Alessandro Valente

9 January 1890 Torino – 7 October 1958

As a boy, Valente sang opera in the choir at Verona (in Tosca and Carmen). After vocal studies, he came to London as early as 1912, and sang Turiddu under Mascagni's direction at the Hippodrome (being announced, for marketing reasons, as a 17-year-old tenor). He was no success, and remained in England, singing operatic arias in vaudeville and music halls – minimum four shows per day (also under the name "Alex Vallo"). He fought WWI in the Italian army, then he was back to vaudeville, this time in Italy.

In 1924, he was hired by Luisa Tetrazzini as a supporting artist for her farewell tour, after which he returned to England – and to vaudeville.

After the April 1926 world premiere of Turandot, it took surprisingly long until any selection from that opera appeared on record – only in 1927, His Master's Voice published the two tenor arias for the first time. And the singer was Alessandro Valente; how come has not been clarified. The record was a huge success, certainly also because it was well-sung, but above all because people had been waiting to finally buy a Turandot record – over night, Valente was famous. Not on stage, though; he made a few more records, but no operatic career. Already his contemporaries wildly speculated why; perhaps his voice was simply too strained from all the vaudeville drudgery. In 1931, he gave a few concerts in Berlin, and at the Cologne radio.

In later years, he lived in Italy as an inventor; a very successful curtain rack was his invention.

Alessandro Valente sings Pagliacci: Un tal gioco, with Apollo Granforte, Nello Palai, Giuseppe Menni and Adelaide Saraceni

Alessandro Valente sings Pagliacci: Vesti la giubba
In RA format

Alessandro Valente sings Pagliacci: No, Pagliaccio non son
In RA format

Alessandro Valente sings Turandot: Nessun dorma


Gramophone, 1915
HO118ak		A Trieste (Carosio)			7-52064	B364, 7-252013, R6171

Phono Record
207		Tosca: Recondita armonia		not numbered
3??		Madama Butterfly: Addio, fiorito asil	not numbered

Gramophone Electric, 1927-30
Bb10413-1  	Madama Butterfly: Addio, fiorito asil	unpublished
Cc10496-1  	Pagliacci: Vesti la giubba		unpublished
CR1323-2   	Pagliacci: Vesti la giubba		2-052333, S5336, C1387, EJ173, Z172, AF163
BR1324-4   	Turandot: Nessun dorma			7-52360, R5335, HN763, B2458, EW26, AM667, K5335, DA2033, VA73
BR1325-2   	Turandot: Non piangere, Liù		7-523661, R5335, HN763, B2458, AM667, K5335, DA2023, VA73
CR1332-2   	Tosca: Recondita armonia		2-052338, S5336, C1387, EJ173, Z172, AF163
BF1518-2   	Tu ca si' mamma				unpublished
BF1519-2   	A vela					unpublished
CF1530-2   	Manon Lescaut: Tu tu amore		2-054214, S5338, C1503, EH197, AF206
           	with Emma Lattuada
CF1531-1   	Manon Lescaut: O tentatrice		2-054215, S5338, C1503, EH197, AF206
           	with Emma Lattuada
CF1636-2   	Sly: Canzone del orso			2-052375, S5340, AN174
CF1637-1   	Sly: Non sono un buffone		2-052376, S5340, AN174
BF2512-1   	La fanciulla del West: Ch'ella mi creda 7-52420, R10093, HN764, B3015, EG1272, AM1848
BF2513-1   	La fanciulla del West: Or son sei mesi 	7-52421, R10093, HN764, B3015, EG1272, AM1848
BF2526-1	La cena delle beffe: Tornato è maggio 	7-52423, R10117, EG1429
BF2547-2T1 	La cena delle beffe: Calato in Arno   	7-52424, R10117, EW1429
BM833      	La cena delle beffe: Calato in Arno	unpublished
BM921-2    	Madama Butterfly: Addio, fiorito asil	30-614, R10206, HN765, B3141, EG1609, AM2474
           	with Angelo Pilotto
BM922-4    	L'africana: O paradiso			30-615, R10206, HN765, B3141, EG1609, AM2474
BM927-2    	Tosca: E lucevan le stelle		30-939, R10372, HN768, B3487, EG1991
CM986     	La Gioconda: Cielo e mar		32-767
BM987-2    	Aida: Se quel guerrier io fossi		30-1321, R10225, HN767, B3682, EG2532
BM988-2    	Aida: Celeste Aida			30-1322, R10225, HN767, B3682, EG2532
BM1028-1   	La bohème: Che gelida manina		30-1319, R10224, HN766
BM1029-1   	La bohème: In povertà mia lieta		30-1320, R10224, HN766
BM1377-3   	Carmen: Il fior				30-3390, R10372, HN768, B3487, EG1991
BM1378-2   	Serenata (Mascagni)			30-2613, R10371, B3486
BM1539-2   	Andrea Chénier: Sì, fui soldato		30-3389, R10371, B3486

		Pagliacci, complete (Saraceni, Granforte, Basi/Menni, Palai, Sabajno)

Decca, 1932
TB1110-2  	Canta pe' me               		F3871
TB1111-2  	Tu ca nun chiagne         		F3871
TB1114-2  	L'arlesiana: È la solita storia  	unpublished
TB1115-2  	Germania: No, non chiuder gli occhi  	unpublished
CB6406-2  	Tu ca nun chiagne         		unpublished

I wish to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recordings (Vesti la giubba, No Pagliaccio non son, Nessun dorma).
I wish to thank Roberto Marcocci for his additions to the discography.
Further discographical information: Gesellschaft für historische Tonträger, Wien
References for the biography: Kutsch & Riemens; Preiser CD liner notes
Picture source
I wish to thank Anton Bieber for the recording (Un tal gioco) and relative label scan.

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