Salvatore Giordano

born 1879 Caronia/Messina

Picture of Salvatore Giordano

Giordano studied singing in Palermo and made his debut in 1906 at the Teatro Andronico in Taranto as José.

For a few years, he sang in Europe (for instance, in Thessaloniki, Varna, İstanbul, Sevastopol, Simferopol, Ekaterinoslav/Dnipro, Poltava or at the Berlin Krolloper), but very rarely in Italy.

In 1911, he moved to the USA; since he gave regular concerts in New York City (from Aeolian Hall down to Chickering's piano store during their September 1914 annual clearing sale, including lots of private concerts in the mansions of wealthy families), I suppose he may have lived there. He appeared in opera, immediately after immigrating, with the Constantino Grand Opera Company in Havana and New Orleans, as the understudy for Florencio Constantino himself.

In 1912, he gave concerts at the Maine festival in Portland and Bangor together with Lillian Nordica; from then on, his rather pompous publicity had him advertised as "Nordica's tenor", not to mention "Chevalier Giordano", "the handsomest tenor on stage", "the great Italian tenor from the Royal opera house Moscow" and "Caruso's protégé" or "Caruso's pupil", albeit he was said to be... actually a teeny bit superior to Caruso! Whether or not the claim that Salvatore Giordano was the great-grandson of Umberto Giordano was as truthful as the "Royal opera house Moscow" lie, I don't know.

In Maine, Giordano (Salvatore, mind you) was obviously a big favorite, appearing also in concert in Waterville, Foxcroft and Belfast (all in December 1912), Ellsworth (February/March 1913) or Portland (October 1914).

In spring 1914, he participated in a New York Grand Opera Company tour with Faust, generally sung in English, with the sole exception of Giordano who sang in Italian; they visited New Bern, Charlotte, Ellensburg, Raleigh, Savannah, Spartanburg, Greenwood, Arkansas City, Rocky Ford, Asheville, Coffeyville, Laramie ("first grand opera ever heard in Laramie!"), Ogden, Springfield, Lodi (California), San Diego, Ashland, Medford, Salem, Stockton, Tacoma, Aberdeen (Washington), Butte, Spokane, Missoula, Dickinson, Bismarck.

From November of the same year, the New York Grand Opera Company with Chevalier Salvatore Giordano, but without a chorus ("chorus numbers will be sung by the united cast of great principals"), staged – in addition to Faust – also Carmen, again in English, and appeared in Amsterdam (NY), Gloversville, Oswego, Rochester, Syracuse, Titusville, Utica, Watertown, Clarksburg, Indianapolis, Urbana, Fairmont, Rock Island and, shortly before Christmas, in Madison, Wisconsin, where the manager deserted the troupe after he had discovered that there was no money left.

In spring 1915, Salvatore Giordano sang Lyonel in Klamath Falls at the Medford Theater, and Turiddu, Canio, Gounod's Faust and Don José at the People's Theater in New York. In fall 1915, Giordano sang again Faust in New York City, this time at B. F. Keith's Palace on Broadway ("World's most exquisite music in vaudeville – Grand opera no longer a Metropolitan monopoly – A tabloid version of Faust"). In January 1916, he was on Broadway again, at the Winter Garden in a vaudeville show program.

Then he joined the Aborn Grand Opera company, with which he stayed until 1917: Brooklyn Academy of Music in March 1916 (Don José, Hoffmann, Lyonel, Edgardo and Duca), Baltimore in May (Don José, Lyonel, Faust and Hoffmann), Pittsburgh in May (Don José), the Bronx Opera House in June (Turiddu), Baltimore again in September and October, Washington, too, in September/October (Gennaro in I gioielli della Madonna, Pinkerton and Rodolfo), Boston in October/November (same as in Washington, plus Duca) Bridgeport in November, New York City (Park Theater, Gennaro and Pinkerton) in November/December, Toronto (Don José) in March 1917, Detroit (Gennaro) in April, Providence (Faust) in May. In January 1917, he was also Don José at the Cohan & Harris Theater in New York (probably unrelated to the Aborn Company?). From June to August 1917, he sang the whole season at the Ravinia Park Festival near Chicago: Gennaro, Turiddu, Hoffmann, Edgardo, Pinkerton, Duca, Nicias, Almaviva and Wilhelm Meister. And in October 1917, he was back at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as Turiddu and Edgardo. I didn't find any appearances by Giordano after that.

That same fall 1917, however, he was peripherically involved in a murder case. He had been the lover of Maude King, a rich widow who was probably killed by her "financial advisor", who had in fact dissipated her entire fortune on his own account. That "advisor" was Gaston B. Means, a trickster (and spy for Germany), who later had the "honor" of being called "the most amazing figure in contemporary criminal history" by the FBI's legendary director J. Edgar Hoover. In the Maude King murder case, he was acquitted by the jury in spite of damning evidence.

- Roberto Marcocci
- The Abbeville Press and Banner, 11 March 1914
- Aberdeen Herald, 26 May 1914
- Ashland Tidings, 11 May 1914
- Bismarck Daily Tribune, 14/19/20 June 1914
- The Bridgeport Evening Farmer, 7 November 1916
- The Commonwealth, 3 April 1914
- Daily Kennebec Journal, 23 December 1912 & 9 October 1914
- Daily Capital Journal, 15 May 1914
- The Daily Missoulian, 8 June 1914
- The Daily Telegram, 7/9/11 November 1914
- The Detroit Times, 7/11 April 1917
- Der deutsche Correspondent, 9 May & 24 September & 8 October 1916
- The Dickinson Press, 13 June 1914
- Ellsworth American, 11 September 1912, 5/19 February & 5/12/13 March 1913
- The Evening World, 9 September 1914
- Evening Star, 24 September & 1 October 1916
- The Fairmont West Virginian, 9/10/16 November 1914
- The Independent Reporter, 6 June & 21 November 1912
- The Laramie Republican, 21/22/24 April 1914
- Medford Mail Tribune, 13 May 1914
- The Ogden Standard, 23/27 April 1914
- The Republican Journal, 26 December 1912
- Rock Island Argus, 9/24 December 1914
- Rocky Ford Enterprise, 17 April 1914
- The Star, 31 October 1915
- The Sun, 30 January/3 December 1916 & 16 September 1917
- The Tacoma Times, 23 May 1914
- The Washington Herald, 24/28 September & 5 October 1916

Salvatore Giordano sings Mignon: Addio, Mignon

Salvatore Giordano sings Mignon: Ah non credevi tu


Anker, Berlin, January 1909
02640	 Traviata (Verdi): Parigi, o cara (w. Mandolesi)                        989
02641    Faust (Gounod): Salve, dimora casta e pura                             954
02642b   Rigoletto (Verdi): Questa o quella                                     954
02643    Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Tu che a Dio                          955
02644    Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Fra poco a me ricovero                955
	 Torna! (Denza)								970
	 Elisir d'amore (Donizetti): Una furtiva lagrima			970
02647    Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea): La dolcissima effigie                      989

Anker, Berlin, April 1909
3-02771  Mignon (Thomas): Addio, Mignon, fa core                                109
2-02772  Mignon (Thomas): Ah! non credevi tu                                    109
1-02785  Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Un tal gioco                                  110, Otello 110
1-02786  Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): No, Pagliaccio non son                        110, Otello 110
         Favorita (Donizetti): Spirto gentil                                    121
         Favorita (Donizetti): Una vergine, un angiol di Dio                    121
         Tosca (Puccini): Recondita armonia                                     122
         Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea): L'anima ho stanca                          122
02788    Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Ecco ridente in cielo                  123
02794    Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Se il mio nome                         123
	 Ideale (Tosti)								124
	 Maria di Rohan (Donizetti): Alma soave e cara				124
	 Allora ed oggi (Tosti)							125
	 Se (Denza)								125

Homocord, Berlin, 19 January 1909
2138     Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Tombe degli avi miei                  2138
2139     Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti): Fra poco a me ricovero                2139
2140	 Carmen (Bizet): Il fior						2140

Homocord, Berlin, 20 January 1909
2143     Vieni sul mar (Califano)                                               2143
2144     Tosca (Puccini): E lucevan le stelle                                   2144
2148     Manon (Massenet): Chiudo gli occhi                                     2148
2149     Cavalleria rusticana (Mascagni): No, no, Turiddu (w. Mandolesi)        2149, Cabezas 2149

Homocord, Berlin, 21 January 1909
2153     Andrea Chénier (Giordano): Un dì all'azzurro spazio, pt. 1		2153, Cabezas 2153

Homocord, Berlin, 25 February 1909
2154     Andrea Chénier (Giordano): Un dì all'azzurro spazio, pt. 2		2154, Cabezas 2154

Homocord, Berlin, 26 February 1909
2160     Fedora (Giordano): Amor ti vieta                                       2160

Homocord, Berlin, 9 March 1909
2162	 Rigoletto (Verdi): Bella figlia (w. Simonetti)				Disco Simplex 2162
2163	 Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Zitti, zitti (w. Simonetti)		Disco Simplex 2163

Homocord, Berlin, 23 March 1909
2157     Traviata (Verdi): Parigi, o cara (w. Simonetti)                        2157, Cabezas 2157

Homocord, Berlin, 1 October 1909
2206     Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Ecco ridente in cielo                  2206
2207     Favorita (Donizetti): Spirto gentil                                    2207, Lisboa 2207

Homocord, Berlin, 1909 (no specific dates known)
2155     Carmen (Bizet): Mia madre vedo ancora (w. Simonetti)                   2155, Cabezas 2155
2156     Traviata (Verdi): Un dì felice eterea (w. Simonetti)                   2156, Cabezas 2156
8510	 Fedora (Giordano): Amor ti vieta					8510

Imperial, Wilmington, January 1918
x834C    Carmen (Bizet): Il fior                                                3119
x836C    Manon (Massenet): Chiudo gli occhi                                     3119
Sources for the discography: Gesellschaft für historische Tonträger, Wien; Roberto Marcocci; Allan R. Sutton: Keen-o-phone, Rex and Imperial Records. Complete discography 1912–1918, online publication 2023
Source for the portrait picture the extraordinary website of Roberto Marcocci.

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