Attilio Planinšek

22 April 1922 Trieste – 2 May 1985 Split

Planinšek belonged to the Slovene minority in Trieste. He studied with Toti Dal Monte and Francesco Merli and made his debut in 1947 in Toulon as Manrico. For the next ten years, he sang primarily around Italy, but also in London (Stoll Theatre) and Switzerland.

From 1957 to 1959, he was a member of the Ljubljana opera house; as a guest, he also came to Zagreb in 1957 (9 November, Manrico), and for the first time to Split (1958, Radames). From 1960 to 1964 and again from 1972 to his death, he sang permanently in Split; in between (1964–72), he was at the Belgrade opera theater, but continued to sing as a guest in Split, where he was a huge favorite with the audience.

His roles included, other than Manrico (probably his most successful part), Calaf, Radames, Enzo Grimaldo, Rodolfo, Turiddu, Canio, Ismaele, Pollione, des Grieux (Manon Lescaut), Samson (a huge success, Split 1961), Alvaro, Don Carlo, Gounod's Faust. By the time he added Otello to his repertory (1970), he was past his prime, and not particularly successful.

Picture source

During the 1956/57 season at the Ljubljana opera house, Attilio Planinšek sang one performance of Manrico in Il trovatore and one performance of Cavaradossi in Tosca.

During the 1957/58 season at the Ljubljana opera house, when Attilio Planinšek was already engaged as the new dramatic tenor, he sang 9 performances of Manrico in Il trovatore, 16 performances of Andrea Chénier, 8 performances of Erik in Der fliegende Holländer, 3 performances of Cavaradossi in Tosca and 2 performances of Radames in Aida. That is a total of 38 performances during the 1957/58 season.

During the next season 1958/59 at the Ljubljana opera house, Attilio Planinšek sang 18 performances of Radames in Aida, 3 times Turiddu in Cavalleria rusticana, 13 performances of Canio in Pagliacci and 5 performances of Manrico. Total: 39 performances.

Planinšek also sang during the 1959/60 season at the Ljubljana opera house, but as a guest: 2 times Turiddu in Cavalleria rusticana and 2 times Canio in Pagliacci, 5 performances of Manrico, 10 performances of Cavaradossi in Tosca and 3 times Andrea Chénier. Total: 22 performances.

I found also a Slovene translation of a review of La forza del destino with Planinšek in the Times of Malta, November 1959. It states that Licia Vallon (Leonora) and Attilio Planinšek (Alvaro) showed beautiful voices capable of coping with any problem. The reviewer reports that they received a big applause after their arias. On the other hand, he thought their acting was not smooth enough. However this lack of acting smoothness was overcome by freshness of their voices. The reviewer also praised orchestra and choir under maestro Cremagnani and the excellent direction and staging by Cadro.

In the late 50s or early 60s, he was also Calaf in Turandot at the Hrvatsko narodno kazalište u Splitu (Croatian National Theatre in Split). He was a favourite of the Split audience, and considered to have one of the most beautiful voices ever heard in Croatia.

Planinšek was also Ismaele in two performances of Nabucco (29th July and 1st August 1962, cf. Slobodna Dalmacija, 22 July 2004).

On September 21st, 1965, he was Radames at Narodno pozorište (National Theatre in Belgrade).

In 1979 he was awarded a Milka Trnina (also spelled Ternina) prize (Nagrada Milke Trnine) together with soprano Blaženka Milić.
Martin Ramor

Attilio Planinšek sings Il trovatore: Di quella pira
In RA format

I wish to thank Georges Cardol for the recording.

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