Daniele Barioni

Picture of Daniele Barioni Cavalleria rusticana
There is a funny story behind this picture. Mike Richter, an expert on Operashare, posted the Cavalleria duet between Gencer and Zambon. A member posted that it was not Gencer but Olivero. Mike Richter, the expert, said it is not possible as Olivero never sang Cavalleria. Upon being notified that a picture existed, the poster was told by Mike Richter, the expert, that it was still not possible and that he knew better.
Picture of Daniele Barioni

Picture of Daniele Barioni private

Picture of Daniele Barioni as Alfredo
Daniele Barioni as Alfredo
Italian tenor born in Copparo (Ferrara) on 6 September 1930. At the beginning he studied in the baritone key, but soon his true tenor voice was discovered. He made his debut in 1949 at the Circolo Italia, in Milan, in a concert with the Chilean soprano Claudia Parada. His operatic debut was in 1954 as Turiddu in "Cavalleria rusticana" at the Teatro Nuovo, in Milan. During his first year of career he also sang in "Tosca" and "Madama Butterfly", In 1955 he sang in Egypt and South Africa, and on 20 February 1956 he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, in "Tosca" with Delia Rigal and George London. Next season he added "Bohème", "Madama Butterfly" and "Traviata", and in the season 1958/59 "Cavalleria rusticana" with such a success that it was taken in a tour to different cities in the USA and Canada. He sang at the Met for seven years, a total of 54 performances. His last role there was, in the 1962/63 season, the Italian tenor in "Der Rosenkavalier".

Though for many years his career was mostly developed in the United States, he sang in Italy in different cities and theaters, and also in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Canada, Portugal, France, Germany and Ireland. In 1958 he appeared in an Italian film, "Carosello di canzoni". Though he was a favorite in Rome where he sang for many years at the Opera and Caracalla, he sang at the famous La Scala only in 1966, as Pinkerton and Turiddu. Though his repertory was basically that of a lirico-spinto tenor and he was always asked to repeat his justly famous roles in Tosca, Fanciulla del West or Cavalleria rusticana, he also obtained acclaim in Nabucco, Macbeth, Fedora, Andrea Chénier, Turandot and Gioconda; as well as in some operas not associated with his type of voice, such as "Lucia di Lammermoor" and "Rigoletto" , or rarely performed like "Lucrezia" by Respighi, "La rondine" by Puccini or "La vida breve" by de Falla. His repertory included a total of 31 different operas.

After 1962 he did not return to the Met but sang continuously in other cities in the USA, until 1975. From 1975 to 1980 he appeared in opera and concerts, but not with the frequency of previous years. His last appearance was in a concert with Renata Tebaldi at the Teatro Comunale in Ferrara, in 1981, to receive the Premio Frescobaldi 1980. His only commercial recording was "La rondine" with Anna Moffo (RCA-1966). But he cannot be judged by that performance. Far better are his live performances issued on several private labels.

Mario del Monaco gave the following comments on Barioni :
"Sei la più bella voce di tenore dei nostri giorni. Vai sicuro, che nessuno ti può fregare" (1959)
"Per fortuna che Barioni si è defilato, altrimenti ci mandava tutti a rapanelli"

There were rumors that he left the Metropolitan at the instigation of Maria Callas. That is far from true. Barioni and Callas sang together only once, a single performance of "La traviata" on 6 February 1958 with Mario Zanasi as Germont. Anyway in all the other performances that year, Callas sang with other tenors : Campora, Bergonzi, Fernandi and Tucker. Good tenors all of them, but none with the glorious tone of Barioni. In spite of this, Barioni sang at the Met for more five years.

In 1957, Daniele Barioni married the already famous pianist Vera Franceschi, born in the USA in 1929 of Italian parents. She recorded the complete Chopin piano music for RCA. In 1958 their son Giulio Barioni was born. She died prematurely of leukemia in 1966. Her death also practically meant the end of Barioni's career as a singer.

Barioni on Vickers, Tucker and Peerce.
"Vocally, Vickers was better than Tucker. I heard him in Aida. Compared to Tucker, Vickers had a more powerful voice, Tucker was a lyric tenor. Peerce was maybe the oldest of them all. I remember when I went with Del Monaco to listen to one of his rehearsals of Tosca. When he attempted the 'Vittoria!' in act two, he sang it like sighing, very fast, and Del Monaco said to me: 'but this is a Waterloo!'."
Reference: Rubboli, Daniele: Daniele Barioni - Davanti a lui tremò il Metropolitan. Bologna, Bongiovanni 1996, p. 46
Tucker, "un tenore lirico" and Peerce a Waterloo, delightful.
Daniele Barioni sings Andrea Chénier: Un dì all'azzurro spazio
In RA format

Daniele Barioni sings Turandot: Nessun dorma
In RA format

Daniele Barioni sings Tosca: Recondita armonia
In RA format

Daniele Barioni sings Rigoletto: La donna è mobile
In RA format

Daniele Barioni sings Turandot: No, no, principessa
In RA format

Daniele Barioni sings La bohème (Leoncavallo): Testa adorata
In RA format


Cavalleria rusticana – Milano, Nuovo, 21 July 1954
Tosca, Borgosesia – Sociale, 22 August 1954
Madama Butterfly – Firenze, La Pergola, 28 September 1954
La bohème – Johannesburg, ?, 17 September 1955
La traviata – New York, MET, 21 March 1957
Macbeth – New York, 2 January 1960
La rondine – Philadelphia, Academy, 25 February 1961
La fanciulla del West – Catania, Massimo, 16 March 1961
Fedora – Saint Louis, Kiel Auditorium, 19 April 1961
Turandot – Rio de Janeiro, Municipal, 5 October 1961
Andrea Chénier – S. Paulo, Municipal, 16 October 1961
Der Rosenkavalier – New York, Met, 19 November 1962
Lucia di Lammermoor – Philadelphia, Academy, 1 March 1963
La Gioconda – Mexico, Palacio de Bellas Artes, 10 October 1963
Il trovatore – Shreveport, Civic, 28 November 1963
Manon Lescaut – Cincinnati, Zoo?, 19 June 1964
Aida – Tulsa, 6 November 1964
Don Carlo – Hartford, 10 November 1965
Nabucco – orino, Regio, 11 January 1968
Rigoletto – Portland, Civic Auditorium, 12 May 1968
Rosalinda (i. e. Fledermaus) – Vancouver, December 1968
La vida breve – Torino, Regio, 3 February 1970
Mefistofele – Rhode Island, Mosch, 21 March 1970
Lucrezia (Respighi) – Buenos Aires, November 1970
I wish to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the picture (Alfredo) and recordings.
I wish to thank Daniele Godor for the picture (private picture, the color picture – received from the late sig. Bongiovanni –, Cavalleria with Olivero).
I would like to thank Juan Dzazópulos for the biographical information.
Reference: Daniele Rubboli Daniele Barioni, davanti a lui tremò il Metropolitan, Bongiovanni 1996

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