I was very happy to find confirmed what I remembered: I've seen Ernesto Veronelli only once, when I was a child, in Aida, and I have an excellent memory of his performance. It was an Arena di Verona production, staged in a totally unsuitable venue in Vienna, the Stadthalle – a multipurpose hall whose acoustics are more suited to tennis tournaments than to opera performances. And yet Veronelli made a deep impression. After so many years, I "rediscovered" him after getting a complete Trovatore where he sang – early in his career – Ruiz (most probably his only studio recording), and am again quite impressed. He has a website that is a bit ill-kept meanwhile, but still has many pictures and what is perhaps the best chronology on any singer's website.
Originally working in the textile industry, Veronelli sang in a church choir, and played the clarinet – just for fun. Eventually, he studied voice in Milano (just 10 kilometers from his hometown), and made his debut as Turiddu in 1967 in Vercelli. His career picked up steam slowly; almost from the beginning, he sang a lot also abroad, but during the 60s and 70s in less than famous theaters: Istanbul, České Budějovice, Lille, Cork, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Seattle... only the São Carlos in Lisbon stands out, where he was Puccini's des Grieux in 1975. In Italy, a similar picture: Foggia, Aosta, Barletta, San Felice sul Panaro, Villa d'Alm&eagrave;, Taranto, Volterra, Nizza Monferrato, Bagnocavallo, Cento, Fano, Faenza, Imperia.
In the early 80s, things quickly improved for Veronelli: the year 1980 saw him in Cologne, Dublin, Lucca, Como, Mantova, and at La Monnaie in Brussels (as Cavaradossi); 1981, in Catania, Bari (Teatro Petruzzelli), Modena, at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, in Cologne again, Dortmund, and at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich (as Radames); 1982, in Hamburg (as Riccardo), at the Paris Opéra (Cavaradossi, with Kiri Te Kanawa), at the Petruzzelli, the Bayerische Staatsoper and La Monnaie again, in Stuttgart for the first time (Cavaradossi), at the Arena di Verona (Radames).
1983 debuts included Covent Garden (Roland in Esclarmonde by Massenet, with Joan Sutherland, and Pinkerton) and the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Pinkerton again), plus he was back to Cologne, Stuttgart and the Opéra (another Pinkerton). In 1984, he was Calaf at the Vienna Staatsoper and at Covent Garden, Carlo in Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco in Zürich, and Alvaro in Nice, plus Manrico in Munich, Chénier in Cologne and Cavaradossi in Rouen. In 1985, he arrived at La Scala, as Calaf, and at the Met, as Canio, as well as in Johannesburg. In 1986, he was in North America: Detroit, Baltimore, Toronto, Radames at the Met; and at the Maggio Musicale in Florence (Medea with Shirley Verrett).
After that, he was back to provincial stages in Italy, mostly. He quit the stage in 1997.
Reference 1: Veronelli's website; reference 2