Giovanni Apostolou


Picture of Giovanni Apostolou
Ioannis (Yannis, Yangos) Apostolou was born in Menidis, Athens, probably in 1860, though some researches provide the year 1863 or 1866. He was one of the first Greek singers to attain international fame and career and one of the earliest whose voice is preserved on records.

About 1870 he became a member of the chorus of the Royal Palace Chapel of Athens (a chorus that had been formed by Queen Olga's command) and later studied at the conservatory in Athens. At the same time, so as to earn his living, he worked as assistant secretary at the Athens Magistrates' Court and later at the National Press. He was part of a group of serenaders who sang in the streets of Athens.

He started singing in choirs (around 1886) at charity concerts, carnival festivities and at the Athens Cathedral. His real stage debut took place on 14 March 1888 in the role of Yorghis in the opera O ypopsifios vouleftis/The parliamentary candidate by Xyndas. He sang seven performances in March and April and then sang it at Patras.

On 22 July 1888 he appeared in the "komidhyllion" (a sort of musical comedy) "E mylonáthes" (The Millers) by Napoleon Lambelet. On 19 December 1888 Apostolu sang the role of Daniel in the opera "Betly ossia La capanna svizzera" by Donizetti.

During 1889 Apostolou sang in the Elliniko Melodrama tours singing The parliamentary candidate, Betly but also adding to his repertory the role of Belmonte in "Die Entführung aus dem Serail", the role of Markos Botsaris in the opera of the same name by Pavlos Carrer (Cairo, 2 February 1889), Fernand in "La favorite", Edgardo in "Lucia di Lammermoor", Elvino in "La sonnambula". The tours took him to Egypt: Alexandria (Zizinia Theatre) and Cairo (Khedivial Theatre) in January and February; and then to Turkey: Istanbul, March to May, and Smyrna, Eden Theatre, from May to July 1889, adding to his repertory the role of Almaviva in "Il barbiere di Siviglia".

In August the company returned to Athens, and Apostolou sang at the Theatró Falírou the operas "Markos Botsaris" and "Kyra Frosýni", also by Carrer. Both operas were conducted by the composer.

From September 1889 to March 1890 the company made a great tour, singing in Marseille, Trieste, Brăila and Galaţi (Romania, three months) and Odessa, where the company broke up.

At the time Apostolou voice was described as "sweet, powerful, caressing, clear, intoxicating, exqusite, enchanting". The Greek expatriates in Odessa as well as the Greek comunity in Bucharest provided him with the necessary funds for further studies in Italy. Apostolou was already married and traveled with his wife to Milan, where they arrived in late May or early June 1890. The mother of famous Greek composer Spyros Samaras introduced the singer to maestro Felice Pozzi (or Pozzo). In six months, approximately, Apostolou was fully trained in singing, opera repertoire, acting and Italian language. Pozzi agreed that he was ready for his Italian debut and obtained for him his first contract, as Alvaro in "La forza del destino" in Venice, 16 December 1890. A general overview of his artistic career can be obtained by the list of his performances (below).

He sang in Odessa for five seasons, where he was deeply admired. He must have been also a favourite at Naples, where he sang both at the Mercadante and the San Carlo theaters. When he sang "La bohème" at the Teatro Argentina in Rome, King Umberto I invited him to sing at his royal villa and presented him with a medal and a diamond brooch.

Many gaps in Apostolou's life and career remain. There are no reports on the kind of illness that caused his untimely death. There is some information that says that already in 1901 he was experiencing the first symptoms of the illness.

Giovanni Apostolou died in Naples on 28 August 1905, at 45 years old.

Giovanni Apostolou sings Markos Botsaris: O gero dimos

Giovanni Apostolou sings Giati?

Giovanni Apostolou sings Manon Lescaut: Tra voi belle
In RA format
I wish to thank Vladimir Efimenko for the record (Manon Lescaut).

1890 VENEZIA, Teatro Rossini La forza del destino: Rosina Aimo, Cesira Ravasio Prandi, Michele Wigley/Agostino Gnaccarini, Gaetano Monti 16 December Gli adoratori del fuoco (by A. De Lorenzi Fabris): Augusta Cruz, Gaetano Monti December or January 1891 BOLOGNA, Teatro del Corso Faust: Emma Zilli, Emma Gardini, Maria Amadei, Rogerio Astillero, Agostino Gnaccarini December/January 1891 1891 NAPOLI, Teatro Bellini Cavalleria rusticana May Faust: Raimondina Da Costa, Lisa Vitale, Giuseppe Pacini, Paolo Poggi May Tazza di té (by D. Scarano): Fernandina Da Costa, Giuseppe Pacini May VERONA, Teatro Nuovo Elsa (by G. A. Carraroli): Nina Mazzi May LENDINARA, Teatro Sociale Faust: Anna Maria Negri, Cesira Manfredini, Giovanni Borghi, Giuseppe De Grazia September ASCOLI PICENO, Teatro Ventidio Basso La forza del destino: Rosina Giusti, Ida Nobili, Giuseppe Borghi, Amilcare Molchero, Raffaele Fangiotti November NOVARA, Teatro Coccia Mefistofele Cavalleria rusticana: Jan. La Villareal/Zone Nesleida-Mingarti, Pozzi-Camola; Vincenzo Mingarti December 1892 NOVARA, Teatro Coccia Stabat mater (by Rossini) 28 February PISA, Teatro Nuovo Mefistofele: Anna Soffriti/Alfonsina Bendazzi-Garulli, Mariana Budini, Remo Ercolani; G. Zuelli 12 March FERRARA, Teatro Comunale Cavalleria rusticana: Elvira Miotti, Carolina Zawner, Maurizio Bensaude; Angelo Disconzi April VICENZA, Teatro Eretenio L'amico Fritz PAUSOLA, Teatro Sociale Faust: Giuseppina Savelli, Linda Barinetti, Giuseppe Maggi, Luigi Lucenti June VICENZA, Teatro Eretenio La Gioconda: Teresa Angeloni, Camilla Sormani, Ernestina Bobbio, Emilio De Bernis, Ettore Brancaleoni August TORINO, Teatro Vittorio Emanuele La forza del destino: Augusta Cruz, Maria Giuliani, Benigno Gavirati, Antonio Sabellico, Salvatore Vinci October 1893 PALERMO, Teatro Politeama Garibaldi Loreley (prima locale): Maria D'Arneiro/Ernestina Bendazzi-Garulli, Eleonora Smith, Benigno Gavirati, Ervino Margravio; Arturo Toscanini 12 January to 7 February (14 performances) Der fliegende Holländer (prima locale): Rita Elandi, Angelica Nava, Francesco Daddi, Tito Scipioni Terzi, Luigi Rossato; Arturo Toscanini from 2 March (10 performances) La Gioconda: Carmen Bau Bonaplata, Elvira Ceresoli, Alice Cucini, Enrico Stinco Palermini/Raffaele Scipioni Terzi, Luigi Rossato April (10 performances) Rigoletto: Regina Pinkert, Alice Cucini, Tito Scipioni Terzi, Luigi Rossato April (4 performances) GENOVA, Politeama Genovese Cavalleria rusticana: Paolina Rossini-Streiten, Olga Ball, Maurizio Bensaude 17 May TORINO, Teatro Alfieri Faust Cavalleria rusticana TORINO, Teatro Vittorio Emanuele Rigoletto Marylka (by Giulio Tanara) Lohengrin: Angelina Turconi Bruni, Cesare Bacchetta December 1894 TRIESTE, Teatro Comunale Manon Lescaut (prima locale): Emilia Corsi, Maurizio Bensaude; Vittorio Maria Vanzo from 24 January (10 performances) NAPOLI, Teatro San Carlo I Medici (by Leoncavallo): Fanny Torresella, Ada Adini, Vittorio Brombara, Virgilio Bellatti; Rodolfo Ferrari from 7 April (5 performances) La damnation de Faust: Concetta Bordalba, Mario Sammarco; Rodolfo Ferrari from 24 April (4 performances) MILANO, Teatro Internazionale Lirico Le martire (by Spyros Samara) from 22 September (8 performances) I Medici: Rodolfo Ferrari from 24 September (5 performances) Fior d'Alpe (by Franchetti): Amelia Karola, Giovanni Scarneo from 27 September (5 performances) 1895 MILANO, Teatro alla Scala I Medici: Adelina Stehle, Ada Adini, Giuseppe Kaschmann from 27 January (7 performances) Patrie (by Paladilhe): Ada Adini, Giuseppe Kaschmann from 6 February (5 performances) NAPOLI, Teatro San Carlo Werther: Lison Frandin, Stefania Collamarini, Eugène Dufriche; Vincenzo Lombardi from 20 March (7 performances) Cavalleria rusticana: Lison Frandin, Stefania Collamarini, Eugène Dufriche; Vincenzo Lombardi from 4 May (12 performances, alternating with Fernando De Lucia) NAPOLI, Teatro Mercadante Cavalleria rusticana Carmen TORINO, Teatro Vittorio Emanuele L'Africaine: Emma Zilli, Adelina De Paoli, Maurizio Bensaude; Arturo Vigna 26 September Manon Lescaut: Emma Zilli, Maurizio Bensaude; Arturo Vigna September Lohengrin: Emma Zilli, Elisa Bruno, Maurizio Bensaude, Luigi Nicoletti Kormann, Carlo Rossini; Arturo Vigna 23 November ALEXANDRIA, Alhambra Theatre La forza del destino Rigoletto La Gioconda 1896 NAPOLI, Teatro San Carlo Mefistofele: Elisa Petri, Ettore Borucchia/Giuseppe De Grazia/Luigi Lucenti; Francesco Giannini from 6 January (15 performances) Lohengrin: Florence Monteith, Giannina Lukacewska, Antonio Magini-Coletti, Michele De Padova, Giuseppe De Grazia from 18 January (16 performances, alternating with Francisco Viñas) TRIESTE, Teatro Politeama Rossetti Manon: Emilia Corsi, Maurizio Bensaude 23 January ROMA, Teatro Argentina La bohème: Angelica Pandolfini, Rosina Storchio, Maurizio Bensaude, Arturo Cerratelli, Gennaro Mascheroni; Edoardo Mascheroni 22 February MILANO, Teatro alla Scala Andrea Chénier: Avelina Carrera/Elena Bianchini Cappelli, Edoardo Camera/Guglielmo Caruson, Gennaro Berenzone 28 March FIRENZE, Teatro Politeama Fiorentino Cavalleria rusticana VENEZIA, Teatro La Fenice Werther from 18 April (7 performances) La bohème: Maria Merolla, Maria Martelli, Ferruccio Corradetti, Vittorio Arimondi, Giuseppe Dorini from 6 May (17 performances) BRESCIA, Teatro Grande La bohème (prima locale): Cesira Ferrani, Camilla Pasini, Tieste Wilmant, Michele Mazzar, Antonio Pini-Corsi 12 performances WARSZAWA, Teatr Wielki Rigoletto: Regina Pacini, Wiktor Grąbczewski 9 October Lucia di Lammermoor: Regina Pacini 13 October Les huguenots: Regina Pacini 1 November Maria di Rohan: Emma Zilli, Mattia Battistini, Irma Monti-Baldini 10 November Rigoletto: Regina Pacini, Irma Monti-Baldini, Mattia Battistini, Aristodemo Sillich 23 November TORINO, Teatro Regio Andrea Chénier (prima locale): Emilia Corsi, Eugène Dufriche, Vittorio Arimondi; Arturo Toscanini from 27 December (11 performances) 1897 MONTE CARLO, Opéra La traviata: Adelina Patti, Guglielmo Caruson; Arturo Vigna 30 January/2 February Lucia di Lammermoor: Adelina Patti, Guglielmo Caruson, Greil; Arturo Vigna 6 February Rigoletto: Maria van Zandt, Victor Maurel; Arturo Vigna 16/20 February 1898 VENEZIA, Teatro La Fenice Ero e Leandro (by Luigi Mancinelli): Amedea Santarelli, Aurelia Kitzu, Vittorio Arimondi from 18 January (6 performances) Lohengrin: Maria Merolla, Aurelia Kitzu, Tieste Wilmant, Vittorio Arimondi, Enrico Stinco Palermini from 5 February (7 performances) PALERMO, Teatro Politeama Manon Lescaut: Emilia Corsi, Guglielmo Caruson, Ettore Borelli April VERONA, Teatro Filarmonico Andrea Chénier: Febea Strakosch, Mario Sammarco 1899 ODESA, Opernyj teatr Lucia di Lammermoor: Regina Pacini 6 February Rigoletto: Regina Pacini, Mario Sammarco 9 February TORINO, Teatro Regio Lucia di Lammermoor: Luisa Tetrazzini, Giuseppe Boisson, G. Scolari; Arturo Luzzatti from 5 September (4 performances) TREVISO, Teatro Sociale Manon (Massenet) from 14 October (11 performances) Carmen from 25 October (6 performances) ROMA, Teatro Adriano Carmen: Ida Borghi, Giuseppe De Luca Cavalleria rusticana: Lina Peri De Stefani, Margherita Manfredi, Giuseppe De Luca ODESA, Opernyj teatr (well into 1900) Manon Lescaut: Valentina Mendioroz, Cesare Cioni Carmen: Irma Monti-Baldini, Amina Franco, Cesare Cioni, Teobaldo Montico; Bernardi La bohème: Valentina Mendioroz, Cesare Cioni, Carlo Walter Cavalleria rusticana: Linda Micucci, Elvira Ceresoli, Cesare Cioni Lohengrin: Valentina Mendioroz, Elvira Ceresoli, Cesare Cioni, Carlo Walter; Giuseppe Pribik Tosca: Valentina Mendorioz, Eugenio Giraldoni January 1900 Werther: Armanda Degli Abbatti, Francesco Maria Bonini January 1900 Andrea Chénier Sapho (by Massenet) Mefistofele Ruslan i Ljudmila La reine de Saba L'Africaine 1900 LUGO, Teatro Rossini Lohengrin: Fausta Labia, Erina Borlinetto, Vittorio Brombara, Antonio Sabellico, Luigi Mugnoz TREVISO, Teatro Sociale Carmen: Amedea Santarelli 1901 L'AQUILA, Teatro Comunale Fedora: Emma Carelli, Giuseppe De Luca August FERMO, Teatro dell'Aquila Fedora: Emma Carelli, Giuseppe De Luca August ODESA, Opernyj teatr Tosca: Maria de Arneyro, Eugenio Giraldoni 14 December Lohengrin: Maria de Arneyro, Armanda Degli Abbati, Eugenio Giraldoni, Francesco Navarini 18 December Les huguenots: Maria de Arneyro, Gerssner, Armanda Degli Abbati, Francesco Maria Bonini, Francesco Navarini, Gaudio Mansueto December/January 1902 Werther: Armanda Degli Abbati, Jeanne Malatesta, Francesco Maria Bonini December/January 1902 1902 TORINO, Teatro Vittorio Emanuele Mefistofele: Clara Joanna, Tina Farelli, Luigi Lucenti December 1903 KIEV, Solodovnikov Company Lucia di Lammermoor: Maria Galvany, Oreste Benedetti, Luigi Ferraioli March Tosca: Ester Adaberto, Oreste Benedetti March ROSTOV, Natsionalnyj teatr Carmen: Linda Monti Brunner, Virginia Colombati, Bonetti May Evgenij Onegin: Ester Adaberto, Oreste Benedetti, Luigi Ferraioli May Tosca: Ester Adaberto, Oreste Benedetti May Werther: Linda Monti Brunner, Maria Vinent May MILANO, Teatro Lirico Internazionale Storia d'amore (by Spyros Samaras, world premiere): Cesira Ferrani, Riccardo Stracciari, Giuseppe Tisci Rubini 17 November 1904 NAPOLI, Teatro San Carlo Lucia di Lammermoor: Maria Barrientos, Francesco Maria Bonini, Constantino Thos; Edoardo Vitale from 16 February (7 performances, alternating with Carlo Cartica) ALEXANDRIA, Alhambra Theatre La bohème: Ada Malaspina, Jole Massa, Silvio Arrighetti, Francesco Vecchioni October Cavalleria rusticana: Adele Marchesi Coniglio, Carolina Zawner, Silvio Arrighetti October NAPOLI, Teatro San Carlo Maria di Rohan: Emilia Corsi, Ines Patalano, Mattia Battistini; Leopoldo Mugnone from 29 December (5 performances)

G&T,  Milano  1902-12
5512a-R  Epistepsa (Lambelet)                                                   12121 (7")
5513a-W2 Margaro (composer?)                                                    12122 (7")
5514a-W2 Markos Botsaris (Carrer): O gero dimos                                 12123 (7")
5517a-R  Ghiati? (Perché?) (Filippi)                                            12133 (7")
5518a-R  Lucia (Luzzi)                                                          12124 (7")
5521a-R  Manon Lescaut (Puccini): Tra voi belle                                 52284 (7")
2917b-R  Apohorismos (Lambelet)		                                        12204
2918b-R  Ine to glyka filiasu (composer?)                                       12205
2921b-R  Don Carlo (Verdi): Io la vidi e il suo sorriso				unpublished
2931b-R  Faust (Gounod): Tardi si fa, addio (w. Ferrani)                        54035
2934a-R  Forza del destino (Verdi): Solenne in quest'ora (w. De Luca)           unpublished
2948b-W2 Saravta kleftes (composer?)                                            12206
2949b-R  Amares (composer?)							12207

Orfeon, Istanbul 
187      Don Pasquale (Donizetti): Cercherò lontana terra			521
209      Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti): Di pescatore ignobile			522
I wish to thank Roberto Marcocci for the picture.
Reference for the discography the excellent site (defunct).
I wish to thank Juan Dzazópulos for the biography, list of performances and updated discography.
Reference: George Leotsakos: Greek lyric theatre. 100 years 1888–1988", Greek Ministery of Culture, Athens, 1988 (English edition unpublished)

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