Cesare Curzi

14 October 1926 San Francisco – 10 February 2023 Walnut Creek

Picture of Cesare Curzi

Cesare Curzi sings Turandot: Nessun dorma
In RA format

His father Francesco was an Italian immigrant, and a tenor; he was also Cesare's first teacher. At age 15, Cesare Curzi was already on stage, singing operetta. After further vocal studies at the San Francisco academy of music and the University of California, and after military service, he became a chorister at the San Francisco opera in 1947. From 1949 (and until 1954), he was a soloist there, singing comprimario parts like Normanno or Parpignol.

In 1955, he went to Germany, first to Kiel for one season, then to Nürnberg, where he sang from 1956 to 1992. He was also a regular guest in Frankfurt (1960–71), and at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Düsseldorf and Duisburg). Further guest appearances at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, at the Salzburg Festival, the Maggio Musicale in Florence, and for one single performance as David at the Vienna Staatsoper (1964). Curzi was a great favorite with his German audiences, particularly in operetta, but also as Duca di Mantova and as David. Further roles included Alfredo, Ernesto, Edgardo, Hoffmann, Lyonel, Ferrando or Rodolfo; in operetta, Barinkay, Alfred, Eisenstein, Orlofsky, Orphée, Danilo, Camille de Rosillon, Tassilo or Herzog von Urbino. Curzi was also well-liked on German TV.

In addition to his tenor career, he opened in import export trade for Italian groceries in 1973, which was later taken over by one of his sons. After some 45 years in Germany, Cesare Curzi and his wife went back to California in 2000.

Reference 1: Curzi's website, reference 2: Kutsch & Riemens, reference 3

I would like to thank Georges Voisin for the recording.

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