Fiorenzo Tasso


Picture of Fiorenzo Tasso
Italian tenor. He was born in Marseille (France) in 1901 (other sources mention 1902) and died in Milan on 29 March 1976.

His family, of Italian origin, emigrated to the United States. There, Fiorenzo studied singing at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia with the baritone Emilio de Gogorza (1874–1949).

In the United States Tasso started singing at several radio stations in Philadelphia, Pittsburg and New York, between March and July 1930. He made his opera debut at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, on 16 October 1930, as the Messenger in "Aida", with Anne Roselle, Aroldo Lindi and Chief Caupolicán. He sang again the same role and with the same cast, on 14 April 1932, and that makes me think that he remained in the United States at least until 1932 singing with several opera companies like those of Fortunato Gallo, Alfredo Salmaggi and others. He returned to Europe at a still not known date. On 28 March 1936, he made his debut at the Opera Reale in Rome, as Tristan, with Anny Helm Sbisà, Ebe Stignani, Carlo Tagliabue and Giacomo Vaghia, conductor Tullio Serafin, and became one of the most distinguished Wagnerian singers of his generation and one of the last exponents of this repertoire sung in the Italian language. He is considered the heir of Italian tenors like Giuseppe Borgatti, Amedeo Bassi, Guido Vaccari, Catullo Maestri, Fiorello Giraud, Edoardo Ferrari-Fontana and Ettore Parmeggiani, and the Spaniards Francisco Viñas, Isidoro de Fagoaga, Luis Canalda, Juan Raventós and Juan Voyer; the Maltese (by choice, not by birth) Icilio Calleja and the Chilean Renato Zanelli.

Though his repertoire was not big (21 roles), it was relevant:

1936 Tristano e Isotta (Roma) Tristano
1936 La Walkiria (Bologna) Sigmondo
1937 Lucrezia (Roma) Collatino
1937 L'oro del Reno (Torino EIAR) Loge
1938 Lo straniero (Roma) Lo straniero
1938 Parsifal (Napoli) Parsifal
1938 Tannhäuser (Bologna) Tannhäuser
1939 Fra Gherardo (Roma) Fra Gherardo
1939 Salome (Roma) Erode
1939 Pagliacci (Roma, Terme di Caracalla) Canio
1939 Monte Yvnor (Roma) Imar
1939 Saffo (Catania) Faone
1940 Elektra (Roma) Egisto
1940 Norma (Roma) Pollione
1943 Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria (Milano) Ulisse
1943 Emiral (Roma) Fadil
1943 Alceste (Roma, EIAR) Admeto
1946 Sansone e Dalila (Trieste) Sansone
1947 L'amore dei tre re (Palermo) Avito
1948 Carmen (Roma, Terme di Caracalla) Don José

Note: It is probable that he also sang the title role in "Lohengrin". He also sang "Il battesimo di Cristo" by Mario Pilati, in 1939, at the Duomo (Cathedral) of Monreale near Palermo.

Tasso was a tenor that made almost his entire career in Italy. I know only of a few performances in other countries, in Lisbon (1938, 1948 and 1949), in Berlin (1941, with the Teatro Reale dell'Opera di Roma company) and Genève (1946).

His last known performances seem to have been as Herod in "Salome" at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, in 1950, and at the RAI Auditorium in Torino, in 1952.

He retired from stage in 1953 and dedicated himself to teaching voice in Milan.

He did not leave commercial recordings, but his voice can be appreciated in the following live recordings:

Parsifal: second act duet with Kundry and finale of that same act
Teatro alla Scala 21 March 1940: Piroska Tutsek, Umberto Di Lelio and Tullio Serafin
CD: Discorara DR 112 (2005)

Salome: complete opera
RAI Torino, 4 October 1952: Lily Djanel, Maria Benedetti, Tito Gobbi and Nino Sanzogno
CD: Operadepot
Juan Dzazópulos E.
Fiorenzo Tasso sings Parsifal: Amfortas! La piaga!
In RA format

Fiorenzo Tasso sings Salome: Dov'è Salome?, with Lily Djanel and Maria Benedetti
In RA format
I wish to thank Juan Dzazópulos for the biographical notes and discography.

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