Andrea Maggi – a mystery tenor. Certainly one of the most distinguished singers in the early days
of the gramophone (all his recordings were made in December of 1904), no trace of a career could be
found so far, his name doesn't appear anywhere but on his records. It has, thus, been
suggested that Andrea Maggi was just a nom-du-disque of an important tenor of the period, but then again, nobody has the faintest idea who
that important tenor may have been.|
The Biblioteca Nazionale of Naples owns a photo of Andrea Maggi, which can be found on the web; the name "Andrea Maggi" is in original
print on the photo proper, so an eventually wrong later attribution can be safely excluded. However, the Andrea Maggi on that photo is a
theater impresario who was quite well-known in Italy from the 1880s into the early years of the 20th century – straight theater, to be sure,
not opera! He had his own companies, resided at the Teatro dei Fiorentini of Naples for a while, and the Duse was among his actors; earlier
in his life, he had been an actor himself. I doubt very much that he, who seems to have never had any connections with opera as an
impresario, would double as a record tenor, and as such a fantastic tenor to boot!
But the existence of that impresario Andrea Maggi also makes the nom-du-disque theory highly improbable in my opinion: who would adopt, as a
nom-du-disque, the name of a contemporary (and once again: well-known) straight theater impresario?
So in spite of the photo, the mystery remains, no: it even deepens, and we still don't know anything about one of the foremost early Italian
tenors on record. Best Se il mio nome ever!
In RA format
In RA format
G&T/Zonophone, Milano 1904-12
H114k Fedora (Giordano): Amor ti vieta 92033 (7")
H243L Tosca (Puccini): Recondita armonia X-92039
H244L Bohème (Puccini): Che gelida manina X-92031
H245L Mefistofele (Boito): Dai campi dai prati X-92040
H246L Fedora (Giordano): Mia madre X-92032
H248L Manon (Massenet): Il sogno X-92033
H259L Iris (Mascagni): Apri la tua finestra X-92046
H260L Faust (Gounod): Salve dimora X-92047
H261L Elisir d'amore (Donizetti): Una furtiva lagrima X-92048
H262L Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Se il mio nome X-92049
H263L Rigoletto (Verdi): Questa o quella X-92050
H264L Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea): No, più nobile X-92051
H265L Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea): L'anima ho stanca X-92052
Source for the discography: Robert Johannesson's invaluable but now alas defunct website www.78opera.com.