Leonida Bellon

1905–1987

Leonida Bellon was born in Vicenza (Veneto) in 1905. He studied singing in Brescia with the former famous tenor Edoardo Garbin (Padova, 12 March 1865 – Brescia, 12 April 1943).

His operatic career started in Rome, about 1934. He sang in January 1936 at the Teatro San Carlo (Naples) in Mario Persico's La morenita (three performances), with the soprano Maria Zamboni and the baritones Angelo Belmonte and Mino Cavallo.

On June 8 and 9, 1938 he sang Pinkerton in two performances of Madama Butterfly at the Teatro Modernissimo di Imola, with the soprano Iris Adami Corradetti, mezzosoprano L. Bonaventura and baritone Mario Gubiani.

In June 1939 he sang in Rome, for the R.A.I. (then called E.I.A.R.), the role of Pedro in Anima allegra by Franco Vittadini with Iris Adami Corradetti, Gianna Perea Labia and Giuseppina Sani.

In September 1939 he sang in Turin, also for the R.A.I., the role of Troilo in Medusa by Bruno Barilli wih Cloe Elmo, Giuseppe Manacchini and Luciano Neroni.

Next year, in October 1940, he sang again for the R.A.I. in Turin, the role of Marino in Orseolo by Ildebrando Pizzetti with Maria Carbone, Piero Biasini, Ettore Parmeggiani and Tancredi Pasero.

He made his debut at La Scala, in Milan in February 1945 with Andrea Chénier with Iolanda Magnoni and Carlo Tagliabue, the conductor was Gino Marinuzzi (the performances took place at the Teatro Lirico in Milan since the Scala building was destroyed).

He sang on April 7, 8, 9, 10 1945 at the Teatro Verdi in Parma, Andrea Chénier with Mercedes Fortunati and Renata Tebaldi (April 10), Scipio Colombo and conductor Renzo Martini.

In February 1948 he was engaged directly in Italy by the Caprino Sisters Opera Company to sing in Mexico. He sang in Mexico City and Guadalajara, the following operas:

Ciudad de México – Palacio de las Bellas Artes
Tosca: Rita Caprino, Carlo Morelli; Guido Picco (February 7)
La bohème: Flori Caprino, Rosa Caprino, Carlo Morelli, Humberto Pazos; Guido Picco (February 10)
La traviata: Mina Caprino, Carlo Morelli; Guido Picco (February 12)
Aida: Flori Caprino, Rita Caprino, Carlo Morelli, Ignacio Ruffino, Francisco Alonso; Guido Picco (February 17)

Guadalajara – Teatro Degollado
La bohème: Irma González, ángeles Navarro, Carlo Morelli, Ignacio Ruffino, Gilberto Cerda; Umberto Mugnai (April 24)
Rigoletto: Rayén Quitral, Concha de los Santos, Carlo Morelli, Ignacio Ruffino; Umberto Mugnai (April 25; May 3)
Madama Butterfly: Irma González, Concha de los Santos, Carlo Morelli, Ignacio Ruffino; Umberto Mugnai (April 27)
Lucia di Lammermoor: Rayén Quitral, Carlo Morelli, Alfonso Pedroza; Umberto Mugnai (April 29)

In 1948 he sang at the Teatro Comunale in Adria.

In January 1949 he sang again at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli sharing with Beniamino Gigli the role of des Grieux in Manon Lescaut, with Maria Caniglia, Saturno Meletti and Fernando Corena. Gigli sang the two first performances on January 2 and 4, and Bellon the next two on January 6 and 8.

On 22 January 1949 he sang Aida at the Teatro Regio in Parma, with Anita Corridori, Irma Colosanti, Otello Borselini, Bruno Sbalchiero and conductor Giuseppe Del Campo. He sang at the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome, three performances of Andrea Chénier (February 13, 19, 27, 1949) with Franca Sacchi and Benvenuto Franci, conductor Antonio Guarnieri and two performances of La fanciulla del West (March 9 and 13, 1949) with Elisabetta Barbato and Raffaele De Falchi. The conductor was Oliviero De Fabritiis.

His career developed mainly in Italy (those were the war years) and his repertoire increased as he sang La bohème and Cavalleria rusticana in Messina, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in Piacenza and Andrea Chénier (Teatro Nazionale, in Milan). Other operas in his repertoire included Il trovatore, Il piccolo Marat, Manon Lescaut, Turandot and Pagliacci.

His last performances seem to have been in late fifties as Andrea Chénier at the Teatro Municipale in Reggio Emilia. However, there are evidences of a concert in 1964 at the Teatro Comunale in Adria.

In 1967/1968 he was in Caracas (Venezuela) teaching singing. He gave two recitals in that city, at the Ateneo and at the Universidad de Venezuela.

He taught singing in Via Goldoni 77, in Milan during the '70s.

He entered the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti Fondazione Giuseppe Verdi, in Milan, and participated in 1984 in the film Il bacio di Tosca (Tosca's kiss) with the soprano Sara Scuderi and the baritone Giuseppe Manacchini. Here he still showed his powerful instrument and characteristic vocal smalto and squillo of the true lirico spinto tenor that he was.

He died in 1987.
Juan Dzazópulos, April 2012

My gratitude to Mr. Oscar Mago Bendahán (from Caracas, Venezuela) who revised and corrected, adding important information to above biography).
Picture of Leonida Bellon
My gratitude to Mr. Oscar Mago Bendahán for the picture of Leonida Bellon singing a high C.
Leonida Bellon sings Andrea Chénier: Un dì all'azzurro spazio
In RA format

Leonida Bellon sings Andrea Chénier: Come un bel dì di maggio
In RA format

Leonida Bellon sings Cavalleria rusticana: Addio alla madre, with Maria Vinciguerra
In RA format

Leonida Bellon sings Mefistofele: Dai campi, dai prati
In RA format

Discography 

Cetra, 1940	
2-70327   Madama Butterfly: Addio, fiorito asil            CC2204   (PE 143)
2-70328   Manon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai                CC2204   (PE 143)
          Alfredo Simonetto, conductor (4 March 1940)
					  
2-70367   Andrea Chénier: Un dì all'azzurro spazio         CC2205   (PE 144) 
2-70368   Cavalleria rusticana: Addio alla madre           CC2205   (PE 144)
          with Maria Vinciguerra
          Alfredo Simonetto, conductor (4 March 1940)
										
2-70398   Mefistofele: Dai campi, dai prati                CC2213   (PE 145)
2-70399   Andrea Chénier: Come un bel dì di maggio         CC2213   (PE 145)
          Ugo Tansini, conductor (12 May 1940) 

LIVE RECORDINGS
(date and place unknown)

La fanciulla del West: Or son sei mesi 
Otello: Dio mi potevi scagliar

LEONIDA BELLON ON CD

Pearl - GEMS 0120: "The Cetra tenors" (England, 2000)
1.	Andrea Chénier: Un dì all'azzurro spazio
2.	Andrea Chénier: Come un bel dì di Maggio
3.	Cavalleria rusticana: Addio alla madre
4.	Mefistofele: Dai campi, dai prati

The Record Collector- TRC 31: "Forgotten Tenors in Italy" (England, 2010)
1.	Madama Butterfly: Addio, fiorito asil
2.	Manon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai
I wish to thank Juan Dzazópulos for the biographical notes, picture and updated discography.

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