Giuliano Ciannella

25 October 1943 Campi Salentina – 10 January 2008 Ferrara

Picture of Giuliano Ciannella

Giuliano Ciannella singsManon Lescaut: Donna non vidi mai
In RA format

Giuliano Ciannella singsI masnadieri: O mio castel paterno
In RA format

Giuliano Ciannella singsLes vêpres siciliennes: Sogno, o son desto?, with Mauro Augustini
In RA format

Giuliano Ciannella singsLa Gioconda: Cielo e mar
In RA format
Ciannella was a graduate of Bologna University in engineering; by pure chance, he met Mirella Freni at a private party. The result of that encounter was that he took voice lessons with Leone Magiera at the Bologna academy of music, and later with Carlo Bergonzi.

Ciannella made his debut as Edgardo at the Teatro Nuovo in Milano, in 1974. Two years later, he already sang Cassio at La Scala. Via Genova, Venice and Parma, he arrived at the Metropolitan Opera in 1979, where he sang no less than 111 performances until 1986 (plus one single in 1996).

Also elsewhere, he had an excellent career: Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Maggio musicale, Arena di Verona, Bregenz Festival, Munich Staatsoper, Hamburg, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Covent Garden... and above all the Vienna Staatsoper, where he appeared regularly from 1985 onwards – until 1991, by which time his career was essentially over, although he would very occasionally sing on for a few more years, before becoming a voice teacher at the conservatories of Parma and Ferrara.

Having heard him a few times, I was not at all surprised that his career was so short (rather that it was so prominent!). His voice was under constant pressure, its placement was deficient, and the way he pushed the top notes must have been hurtful for himself, but was definitely hurtful for the ears of the listener.

His repertory included Manrico, Riccardo, Don Carlo, Radames, Ernani, Puccini's des Grieux, Rodolfo, Cavaradossi, Calaf, Gounod's Faust, Don José, Raoul (!) or Rossini's Otello (!).

Reference 1, reference 2: Kutsch & Riemens

I wish to thank Helmut Krautschneider for the picture.
Source for the Vêpres siciliennes recording: the website of Mauro Augustini (defunct).
I wish to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recordings (Gioconda, Masnadieri, Manon Lescaut).

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