Andrea Maggi

Andrea Maggi

Andrea Maggi – a mystery tenor. Certainly one of the most distinguished singers in the early days of the gramophone (all his recordings were made in December of 1904), no trace of a career could be found so far, his name doesn't appear anywhere but on his records. It has, thus, been suggested that Andrea Maggi was just a nom-du-disque of an important tenor of the period, but then again, nobody has the faintest idea who that important tenor may have been.
The Biblioteca Nazionale of Naples owns a photo of Andrea Maggi, which can be found on the web; the name "Andrea Maggi" is in original print on the photo proper, so an eventually wrong later attribution can be safely excluded. However, the Andrea Maggi on that photo is a theater impresario who was quite well-known in Italy from the 1880s into the early years of the 20th century – straight theater, to be sure, not opera! He had his own companies, resided at the Teatro dei Fiorentini of Naples for a while, and the Duse was among his actors; earlier in his life, he had been an actor himself. I doubt very much that he, who seems to have never had any connections with opera as an impresario, would double as a record tenor, and as such a fantastic tenor to boot!
But the existence of that impresario Andrea Maggi also makes the nom-du-disque theory highly improbable in my opinion: who would adopt, as a nom-du-disque, the name of a contemporary (and once again: well-known) straight theater impresario?
So in spite of the photo, the mystery remains, no: it even deepens, and we still don't know anything about one of the foremost early Italian tenors on record. Best Se il mio nome ever!

Andrea Maggi sings Il barbiere di Siviglia: Se il mio nome
In RA format

Andrea Maggi sings Iris: Apri la tua finestra
In RA format

G&T/Zonophone, Milano 1904-12 H114k Fedora (Giordano): Amor ti vieta 92033 (7") H243L Tosca (Puccini): Recondita armonia X-92039 H244L Bohème (Puccini): Che gelida manina X-92031 H245L Mefistofele (Boito): Dai campi dai prati X-92040 H246L Fedora (Giordano): Mia madre X-92032 H248L Manon (Massenet): Il sogno X-92033 H259L Iris (Mascagni): Apri la tua finestra X-92046 H260L Faust (Gounod): Salve dimora X-92047 H261L Elisir d'amore (Donizetti): Una furtiva lagrima X-92048 H262L Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Se il mio nome X-92049 H263L Rigoletto (Verdi): Questa o quella X-92050 H264L Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea): No, più nobile X-92051 H265L Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea): L'anima ho stanca X-92052
Source for the discography: Robert Johannesson's invaluable but now alas defunct website

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