Roberto D'Alessio

Picture of Roberto D'Alessio

Roberto D'Alessio sings Les pêcheurs de perles: Mi par d'udir ancora
In RA format

Roberto D'Alessio sings Fedora: Amor ti vieta
In RA format

Roberto D'Alessio sings Ay, ay, ay
In RA format

Roberto D'Alessio sings L'ultima canzone
In RA format

Roberto D'Alessio sings Rigoletto: Questa o quella
In RA format

Roberto D'Alessio sings Il barbiere di Siviglia: Ecco ridente in cielo
In RA format

Roberto D'Alessio was born on April 1st, 1893, in Vittoria (Ragusa), Sicily.

There are some doubts regarding the exact year of his debut. But it was either in 1921 at the Lugano Kursaal as the Duke in "Rigoletto" (or, as Wilhelm Meister in "Mignon") or in 1922 in Piacenza as Fenton in "Falstaff".

On the 20 of May, 1922, he sang the role of Elvino in "La sonnambula" at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, with Toti Dal Monte and Vittorio Julio. There were several performances in Sicily that included, on the 27 of May, "Il barbiere di Siviglia" at the Teatro Gangi in Catania, with Toti Dal Monte, Mario Basiola and Vittorio Julio; then more "Barbieri" with the same cast, at the Teatro Comunale in Acireale (29 May) and at the Teatro Comunale in Siracusa (31 May).

From the 3rd of February, 1923, he sang five performances of "Falstaff" at the Teatro Regio, Parma, with Mariano Stabile. A curiosity: he was announced as "Luigi" D'Alessio.

In 1923 he sang Wilhelm in "Mignon" and Faust in "Mefistofele" at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa.

His first South American tour took place in 1924. He made his debut at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago (Chile) in "Rigoletto" with Laura Dalbi, Carlo Morelli and Gaudio Mansueto. He sang also that season in "Manon" (September 4, 9, 14) with Ottavia Giordano and Anafesto Rossi, "La bohème" (September 21 and 28) with Giordano, Thea Vitulli, Anafesto Rossi and Gaudio Mansueto; "Il barbiere di Siviglia" (October 4, 5, 7) with Angeles Ottein, Armand Crabbé, Gaudio Mansueto and Carlos Del Pozo; "Falstaff" (October 10, 12, 16) with Anafesto Rossi, Marcelo Urízar, Ottavia Giordano, Thea Vitulli, Sara Blanco Sadún and Gaudio Mansueto; "La traviata" (October 12) with Gilda Dalla Rizza and Carlo Morelli, and the fourth act of "La favorita" (October 18, 19) with Sadún and Mansueto, in a double bill with "Pagliacci" (sung by Giordano, Voltolini, Rossi).

The company travelled to Valparaíso for performances at the Teatro Victoria. The casts were the same as in Santiago, except where noted. D'Alessio sang in "Manon" (October 21), "La traviata" (October 25), "La bohème" (October 26, with Dalla Rizza, Vitulli, Urízar and Mansueto), "Rigoletto" (October 29) with a new cast that included the Chilean coloratura Sofía Del Campo, the Chilean baritone Carlo Morelli and bass Mansueto. The last performances in Valparaíso was "Thaïs" (October 30) with Dalla Rizza and Morelli. There was also a single performance of "Manon" at the Teatro Olimpo, in Viña del Mar.

The company travelled to the North of Chile for a few performances at the Teatro Nacional in Antofagasta: "Rigoletto" (November 8), "La traviata" (November 9) and "Thaïs" (November 11). Then at the Teatro Nacional in Iquique, they sang in "Rigoletto" (November 17), "La traviata" (November 19), "Thaïs" (November 21) and a rather unusual new role for D'Alessio, Canio in "Pagliacci" (November 22) with Ottavia Giordano, Marcelo Urízar and Attilio Muzzio.

Back in Santiago, there were new performances at the Teatro Municipal: "Thaïs" (November 28) with Dalla Rizza and Morelli; "La traviata" (November 30 and December 1st) with Dalla Rizza and Urízar; "Manon" (December 2nd) with O. Giordano and A. Rossi; and a special performance of "La bohème" (December 4) with Giordano, Vitulli, Rossi and Mansueto, "in memoriam" of the recently deceased Giacomo Puccini. In all, D'Alessio remained in Chile for four months!

In 1925 he sang in Cairo and Alessandria (Egypt): the roles of Almaviva in "Il barbiere di Siviglia" with the charming Spanish soprano Graziella Pareto, and Maurizio in "Adriana Lecouvreur".

He made his debut at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples on January 1st, 1926 as des Grieux in "Manon" with Ofelia Nieto and Giacomo Vaghi (7 performances). He sang later at the Teatro Regio in Turin the roles of Gerald in "Lakmé", on the 20 of March of the same year (the title role was sung by the Spanish soprano Angeles Ottein) and on the 4 of April Ernesto in "Don Pasquale" (with another famous Spanish coloratura, Elvira De Hidalgo).

His debut at the Teatro Colón, in Buenos Aires took place on the 27 of June, 1926, as Almaviva in "Il barbiere di Siviglia" (seven performances) with sopranos Graziella Pareto and Nina Morgana, baritones Titta Ruffo and Benvenuto Franci, and basses Ezio Pinza and Tancredi Pasero. Next, he sang Ernesto in "Don Pasquale" on the 4 of July (three performances), with Graziella Pareto and Isabel Marengo, baritone Giuseppe De Luca and bass Gaetano Azzolini. His last role in Buenos Aires was the Duke in "Rigoletto", on July 24, with Pareto, De Luca and Pasero.

In August and September 1926 he sang at the old Teatro Lyrico in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), in "Don Pasquale" (August 18) with Pareto and "Il barbiere di Siviglia" (August 25) with Pareto, Titta Ruffo, Ezio Pinza and Gaetano Azzolini.

He sang in Spain during the 1926/1927 season at the Teatro del Liceo, in Barcelona as des Grieux in "Manon" with Gilda Dalla Rizza and Giulio Cirino; Cavaradossi in "Tosca" (December 16) with Hina Spani and Apollo Granforte; Almaviva in "Il barbiere di Siviglia" (January 6) with Ada Sari and Riccardo Stracciari; the Duke in "Rigoletto" (January 9) with Ada Sari and Apollo Granforte and again in "Tosca" (January 16), but with another cast, Gilda Dalla Rizza and Riccardo Stracciari.

His debut at La Scala in Milan took also place in the 1926/1927 season, on the 26 of March, 1927, as the Duke in "Rigoletto" with Toti Dal Monte, Luisa Bertana and Carlo Galeffi, conductor Arturo Toscanini (six performances). He sang again there in the following seasons 1927/8; 1928/29 and 1929/30, always the same role in "Rigoletto" and the cast with little variations, except in 1929 when the role of Gilda was shared by Mercedes Capsir, Adelaide Saraceni and Toti Dal Monte. The baritone was always Carlo Galeffi.

On the 12 of May of 1927 he made his debut at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice as des Grieux in "Manon" with Maria Zamboni, Alfredo Rubino and Nino Marotta (four performances: 12, 14, 15 and 18 of May).

On the 14 of May of 1928 he sang again at the Teatro Regio in Turin as Almaviva in "Il barbiere di Siviglia" with Bidu Sayão and Mariano Stabile.

He visited Denmark in March 1929 and sang "Il barbiere" (March 10) in Copenhagen, with Lina Pagliughi and Riccardo Stracciari.

In 1929 he made his last South American tour, singing in Lima (Peru) "Rigoletto" (5 and 7 July) with Margarita Salvi, Bruna Castagna, Víctor Damiani and Bruno Carmassi; "Il barbiere di Siviglia" (14 and 19 July) with Margarita Salvi, Víctor Damiani and Umberto di Lelio and "Tosca" (25 July) with Giuseppina Cobelli and Víctor Damiani.

Then he sang at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago de Chile. His first appearance here was as Maurizio in "Adriana Lecouvreur" (August 13, 29; September 28) with Giuseppina Cobelli, Aurora Buades and Lorenzo Conati. He had sung the part of Maurizio only once before, in Egypt in 1925. His other roles were: Almaviva in "Il barbiere di Siviglia" (August 18; September 1st, 10, 18) with Salvi, Damiani and Di Lelio; des Grieux in "Manon" (August 22) with Augusta Concato, Conati, Di Lelio; Cavaradossi in "Tosca" (September 27) with Cobelli and Damiani; the Duke in "Rigoletto" (September 4, 8) with Salvi, Bruna Castagna, Armando Borgioli, Di Lelio; Wilhelm in "Mignon" (September 15, 22, 25, 29) with Aurora Buades and Bruna Castagna sharing the title role, Margarita Salvi, Umberto Di Lelio). Then he sang at the Teatro Victoria, in Valparaíso, "Il barbiere di Siviglia" (October 4 and 6) and "Mignon" (October 8).

It was during the 1929 season in Santiago that the tenor and the Spanish mezzosoprano Aurora Buades married. The ceremony took place in the cathedral church of the city, and the beloved soprano Margarita Salvi sang during the mass.

In 1929 he sang Lionello in "Marta" (Verona) and Paolino in "Il matrimonio segreto" on the 26 of December at the Teatro dell'Opera, in Rome, with Bidu Sayão and Umberto Di Lelio.

On the 18 of September, 1930 he was Alfredo in "La traviata" at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, with Ada Paggi and Riccardo Stracciari. On the 18 of December, 1930, he made his last season at La Scala, singing "Rigoletto" with Toti Dal Monte and Lina Pagliughi sharing the role of Gilda and Carlo Galeffi.

In 1931 he sang the main role of "Werther" in Brescia. In April 1932 he recorded in Milan his only complete opera, "Falstaff" with Giacomo Rimini as Sir John.

It seems that his last performances were in Turin, in 1937, as Don Ottavio in "Don Giovanni", with Eva Turner and Carlo Galeffi, and "Crispino e la comare".

In 1952 he was teaching singing in Florence.

Roberto D'Alessio died on June 12th, 1975, in Borgo San Lorenzo (Tuscany).

Roberto D'Alessio was a distinguished tenor, always favourably received by critics and public. His interpretations were sober, elegant and serious. However, he could never reach the highest places in the tenors rank, perhaps due to the hard competence of tenors with the same class of voice, "tenore di grazia", like Tito Schipa, Dino Borgioli, Enzo De Muro Lomanto, Angelo Minghetti, Tomaz Alcaide, Lionello Cecil, Cristy Solari, Luigi Fort, Nino Ederle and Giovanni Manurita.


I. Columbia acoustic

         Mefistofele: Dai campi, dai prati        D5141
         Mefistofele: Giunto sul passo estremo    D5141
         La favorita: Spirto gentil               D5143
         Rigoletto: Parmi veder le lagrime        D5143
         Manon: Ah dispar vision                  D5144
         Mignon: Ah non credevi tu                D5144
B795     Don Pasquale: Cercherò lontana terra     D12258   D5360
B800     I puritani: A te o cara                  D12259   D5357
B802     Don Pasquale: Sogno soave e casto        D12258   D5360
B809     La favorita: Una vergine un angel di Dio D12260   D5358
B810     La sonnambula: Prendi l'anel ti dono     D12260   D5358
B817     Ay ay ay  (Osmán Pérez Freire)           D12257   D5356
B824     Manon: Il sogno                          D12257   D5356
B826     I pescatori di perle: Della mia vita     D12259   D5357
         Pagliacci: O Colombina                   D5359
         Fedora: Amor ti vieta                    D5359
         La favorita: Spirto gentil               D16406 
         I pescatori di perle: Mi par d'udir      D16406

II. Gramophone acoustic

BE1216-2 La favorita: Non sai tu che in seno      7-54028  DA566    VA70
         with Ezio Pinza

III. Columbia Electric

B1151    Rigoletto: Questa o quella               D12524   GQ7041   DQ1057   LM3
B1150    Rigoletto: La donna è mobile             D12524   GQ7041   DQ1057   LM3
B1147    Tosca: Recondita armonia                 D12525   GQ7042   DQ1079
B1148    Ay ay ay (Osmán Pérez Freire)            D12531   GQ7046   DQ1080   1938M   D1575
B1149    Tosca: E lucevan le stelle               D12525   GQ7042   DQ1079
B1166    Il barbiere di Siviglia: Ecco ridente    D12531   GQ7046   DQ1080   1938M   D1575
B1339    Werther: Ah non mi ridestar              D12553   GQ7067   DQ1091
B1385    Mignon: Addio, Mignon, fa cuore          D12549   GQ7063   DQ1088	
B1386    Mignon: Ah non credevi tu                D12549   GQ7063   DQ1088
B1387    Mefistofele: Dai campi, dai prati        D12553   GQ7067   DQ1091
B3197    Werther: Ah non mi ridestar              D12553   GQ7067   DQ1091
B1642    I pescatori di perle: Della mia vita     D12566   GQ7080            1939M
B1643    Tre giorni son che Nina (Ciampi)         D12567                     1940M
B1644    Il barbiere di Siviglia: Se il mio       D12567                     1940M
         Mefistofele: Giunto sul passo estremo    D12601*  GQ7115   DQ1114
B1650    Fedora: Amor ti vieta                    D12566   GQ7080            1939M
B2161    Rigoletto: Parmi veder le lagrime        D12602   GQ7116   DQ1115
B2169    La traviata: Dei miei bollenti           D12602   GQ7116   DQ1115
         Don Pasquale: Com'è gentil               D12607   GQ7121  
         Lakmé: Ah vieni, il bosco è là profondo  D12607   GQ7121
         Werther: Ah non mi ridestar              D12629   GQ7143   DQ1129
B3198    Martha: M'appari                         D12629   GQ7143   DQ1129
B3731    Zazà: Mai più Zazà                                GQ7020
B3740    Il barbiere di Siviglia: Se il mio                GQ7020
BX64     Manon: Il sogno                          D14682   GQX10225
BX65     Manon: Ah dispar vision                  D14682   GQX10225
BX72     La bohème: Che gelida manina             D1468    GQX10226
BX81     I pescatori di perle: Mi par d'udir      D14683   GQX10226 D14692** GQX10232**
BX191    L'arlesiana: E la solita storia          D14696   GQX10236 DQ1114   52045X D12601
BX192    L'elisir d'amore: Una furtiva lagrima    D14696   GQX10236          52045X
         La favorita: Spirto gentil               D14732   GQX10272 GQX10274***
BX112    Cavalleria rusticana: Mamma, quel vino   D14732   GQX10272 GQX16462
BX786    La favorita: Vieni! Ah, vien!                              GQX16457
         with Aurora Buades
BX787    La favorita: Ah, mio bene                                  GQX16449
         with Aurora Buades
BX788    La favorita: Fra vero lasciarti                            GQX16449
         with Aurora Buades
BX790    La Gioconda: Cielo e mar                                   GQX16457
BX905    L'ultima canzone (F. P. Tosti)                             GQX16462
BX112    Cavalleria rusticana: Mamma! quel vino            GQX10272 GQX16462        D14732
  *  Reverse is Maria Zamboni: Mefistofele – Spunta l'aurora pallida
 **  Reverse is Anna Maria Guglielmetti: Il carnevale di Venezia
***  Reverse is Giuseppina Zinetti: La favorita – O mio Fernando

FALSTAFF (complete opera) (role: Fenton):Giacomo Rimini (Falstaff), Emilio Ghirardini (Ford), 
Pia Tassinari (Alice), Ines Alfani-Tellini (Nannetta), Aurora Buades (Mrs. Quickly), Rita Monticone
(Meg), Salvatore Baccaloni (Pistola), Giuseppe Nessi (Bardolfo), Emilio Venturini (Caius). 
Orchestra & Chorus Teatro Alla Scala di Milano, Lorenzo Molajoli 
(conductor). Recorded in April, 1932.
Columbia 14-12" GQX 10563/10576;  LX-241/254  ;  Set OP-16
LP: Columbia (Italy)  QCX 10141/10142; Columbia  (USA) EL-8 
CD: Naxos 8.110198-00
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the recordings (Barbiere, Rigoletto) and for additional matrices to the discography.
I wish to thank Juan Dzazópulos for the biographical notes, picture, new revamped discography and recordings (Ay ay ay, L'ultima canzone, Fedora, Pescatori di perle).

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