Fiorello Giraud

22 October 1870 Parma – 28 March 1928 Parma

Picture of Picture of Fiorello Giraud

Fiorello Giraud sings Carmen: Il fior che avevi a me tu dato
In RA format

Fiorello Giraud sings Luisa Miller: Quando le sere al placido
In RA format

His father Lodovico was a famous tenor, and well-off, but he contracted yellow fever and died on tour in Mexico – and 12-year-old Fiorello found himself all of a sudden orphaned, and without a dime. He had to do unqualified work already as a boy for sustenance, as a runaround for the telegraph office and as an assistant baker and horseshoer.

But he wanted to be a tenor like his father. With the help of a patron, he could enroll at the conservatory, and later study privately in Milano with tenor Enrico Barbacini. In December 1891, he made his debut as Lohengrin in Vercelli. Ruggero Leoncavallo happened to attend one of the Vercelli performances, and chose the young singer for the world premiere of his Pagliacci as Canio, at the Milano Teatro Dal Verme on 21 May 1892. It was a triumph, and made Giraud famous. He went on to sing in Ancona, Parma, Alessandria, Brescia, Modena, Milano again (at the Teatro Manzoni, this time) and Verona, mostly as Canio.

In 1894, he made a tour to Australia, and in September of the same year, he was very successful in Warsaw as Canio, Gounod's Faust and Don José, and in Il piccolo Haydn by Cipollini. A large part of his career took place in Italy: at La Fenice in Venice, in Bologna, Rome (both Teatro Costanzi and Teatro Nazionale), Milano (Teatro Lirico), Palermo (Teatro Massimo), Genova (both Teatro Carlo Felice and Politeama), Torino, Florence, Pisa, Trieste. In 1907, he made his Scala debut as Siegfried in Götterdämmerung.

Abroad, he sang in Rosario, Buenos Aires, Valparaíso, Santiago de Chile, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Cairo, Alexandria, Monte Carlo.

His repertory was primarily dramatic: Loris, Tristan, Tannhäuser, Siegmund, Young Siegfried, Stolzing, Puccini's des Grieux, Vasco da Gama, Osaka, Federico Loewe (Germania); but he also sang Cavaradossi (he was famous for his Puccini interpretations), Roberto in Le villi, Rodolfo, Fenton, Cassio, Alfredo, Ernani, Enzo Grimaldo, Chénier, Turiddu, Amico Fritz, Milio; rarer operas he interpreted were Fadette by Dario De' Rossi (world premiere, Rome, January 1896), Amy Robsart by Isidore de Lara, Chatterton by Leoncavallo, Sapho by Massenet, Ero e Leandro by Luigi Mancinelli, Medea by Ferdinando De Tommasini (world premiere, Trieste, April 1906), Sperduti nel buio by Stefano Donaudy (world premiere, Palermo, April 1907) or Il trillo del diavolo by Stanislao Falchi. At La Scala in 1908, Giraud was Italy's first Julien in Louise, as well as Italy's first Pelléas.

He quit the stage in 1918, and appeared in a few Italian silent films until 1921. Then he taught voice in Parma.

Reference 1, reference 2, reference 3: Kutsch & Riemens, reference 4: Dizionario biografico degli italiani, vol. 56, Roma 2001

I wish to thank Ashot Arakelyan for the picture .
I wish to thank Richard J Venezia for the recording (Carmen).
I would like to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recording (Luisa Miller).
Gramophone, Milano, April 1904
2188h   Andrea Chénier (Giordano): Come un bel dì di maggio	52046
2190h   Tannhäuser (Wagner): Sia lode a te			52047
2191h   Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner): Nel verno al piè	52048
2192h   Oblio (Tosti)						52049
271i    Ancora (Tosti)						052067, Victor 58317
272i    Carmen (Bizet): Il fior					052069, Victor 58318
273i    Luisa Miller (Verdi): Quando le sere			052070, HLM7124, HLM7258
274i    Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner): Cominciam		052071

Gramophone, Milano, 16 March 1916
6439ae  Rosa (Tosti)						7-52081, 7-252228, R3843
6440ae  Sogno (Tosti)						7-52082, 7-252229, R3843
6441ae  Io ricordo (Tosti)					7-52084, 7-252030, R3845
6443ae  Invano (Tosti)						7-52085, 7-252032, R3847

Gramophone, Milano, 18 March 1916
6445ae  Rimpianto (Toselli)					7-52091, 7-252237, R3851
6446ae  Lungi (Tosti)						7-52088, 7-252234, R3849
6447ae  Primavera (Tosti)					7-52089, 7-252235, R3849

Gramophone, Milano, 1 April 1916
6488ae  Oblio (Tosti)						7-52083, 7-252231, R3845
6489ae  Ave Maria (Grigolato)					7-52090, 7-252236, R3851
6490ae  Non m'ama più (Tosti)					7-52086, 7-252233, R3847

Gramophone, Milano, 18 July 1917
20092b  Jocelyn (Godard): Ninna nanna				7-52132, 7-252182, 7-252238, R3853
20093½b Sérénade d'autrefois (Silvestri)			7-52133, 7-252183, 7-252239, R3853
Sources: Robert Johannesson's (alas defunct); Gesellschaft für historische Tonträger, Wien

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