I got complaints from Clemens Jabloner and Ross Halper for my classification of Zampieri as a comprimario.
Steve Slezak wrote also positive comments on him. Peter Groeger provided me with a defense piece
on Zampieri. I have moved him to the Italian tenors list with recordings by him both as comprimario and as lead tenor.
Zampieri was a house tenor in Vienna. Clemens Jabloner provided me with his Viennese repertory, taken from
Chronik der Wiener Staatsoper, 1945–1995, Harald Hoyer. Here it is:
(Number of performances, first and last evening)
Andrea Chénier (5/11.2.61 – 21.9.63)
Un ballo in maschera (31/26.9.58 – 12.3.69)
La bohème (26/7.4.60 – 30.10.68)
Capriccio (Sänger) (9/15.5.60 – 20.12.61)
Carmen (12/8.1.60 – 27.11.63)
Cavalleria rusticana (60/8.3.59 – 6.10.74)
Don Carlo (54/19.9.58 – 6.4. 74)
Falstaff (Fenton) (6/20.9.57 – 21.11.67)
Faust (7/23.2.63 – 24.3.68)
Fidelio (Florestan) (10/18.9.57 – 17.2.63)
Die Fledermaus (Alfred) (27/31.12. 80 – 1.1.74)
La forza del destino (13/24.5.63 – 18.11.70)
Fürst Igor (6/6.2.60 – 18.12.60)
Macbeth (2/8.5.72 – 17.2.73)
Madama Butterfly (72/19.9.57 – 23.11.72)
Otello (Cassio) (46/15.4.57 – 21.6.74)
Rigoletto (42/7.11.58 – 19.3.73)
Der Rosenkavalier (Sänger) (7/1.1.60 – 3.1.61)
Simon Boccanegra (5/24.9.69 – 23.1.72)
Tosca (27/6.11.57 – 17.4.72)
La traviata (Gaston) (1/20.6.57)
La traviata (Alfredo) (60/5.10.57 – 11.10.70)
Turandot (Calaf) (2/24.1.64 – 4.2.67)
Cavalleria rusticana (Matačić), Fürst Igor (Matačić), Die Fledermaus (Karajan) and Capriccio (Böhm)
were first nights, also Otello (Karajan, with Rysanek, Del Monaco, Colzani).
A defense of Zampieri by Peter Groeger
I am very sorry, but I must urgently contradict your classification of Giuseppe Zampieri as a comprimario, because this is only correct for the years 1951 to 1957 when he belonged to La Scala Milano. From 1957/58 till the early seventies Zampieri was one of the leading tenors of the Vienna State Opera House. In that period, he sang 23 roles in more than 500 performances, among them 70 Pinkerton, 60 Alfredo (Traviata), 60 Turiddu, 54 Don Carlos as well as 10 Florestan and 27 Alfred in Fledermaus. Zampieri, as one of the favourite tenors of Herbert von Karajan, was engaged in many of Karajan`s famous productions of that time:
For example in Salzburg: Florestan, Fenton, Sänger in Rosenkavalier and the tenor part in Verdi`s Requiem; and in Vienna: Cavaradossi in the legendary production of Tosca – 1958 with Tebaldi and Gobbi – which is still performed!
When Karajan became the head of the Vienna State Opera House in 1956, he started a close cooperation with La Scala, an activity which some people and also some critics took as an offence against the German speaking singers in the Italian repertoire – for example Rosvaenge. So at the beginning and only for a short time, Zampieri and others – even the great Bastianini – were confronted with unfair reviews. But very soon Zampieri and his famous collegues like Bastianini, di Stefano, Simionato, Bergonzi and so on became beloved favourites of the Viennese opera enthusiasts.
In the USA, Zampieri was the guest star in San Francisco – there is an excellent Ballo in maschera together with Brouwenstijn and Bastianini from 1961 – and at the MET, where he made his debut 1961 in Tosca with Milanov and London.
Giuseppe Zampieri had one of the most beautiful voices of the fifties and sixties, in a time where stars like Di Stefano, Corelli, Del Monaco and so on were on top of their careers.
Zampieri could have made a comparable international career, but he decided to stay mainly in Vienna as the center of his activity.
A lot of mainly live recordings – Florestan, both Alfredo and Alfred, Gabriele Adorno, Riccardo only to mention some of them – give evidence of his outstanding voice.
I hope I could enlarge the knowledge about this artist.
With best regards
Peter Groeger, Vienna, Austria