Agostino Capuzzo

Agostino Capuzzo was born in Stanghella, near Padova, on February 22nd, 1889. He studied together with Giovanni Martinelli and they remained friends. After studies with maestro Mandolini, who was artistic adviser to the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan, and maestro Bavagnoli, father of the conductor, Capuzzo started his career as des Grieux in Manon Lescaut in 1912.
He interrupted his activity to join the army during the First World War and was wounded. He rejoined the army after recuperating from his wounds. When he returned from the front, he took part in a mass given in Gorizia in honor of the unknown soldiers.
He was known in the operatic world as a specialist of verismo and romantic verismo roles. He was a specialist of Mascagni operas, who dedicated a picture to him with following text: To the dear Agostino Capuzzo, in remembrance of his magnificent and admired performance in Piccolo Marat with great friendliness, Firenze 17 March 1924.
Capuzzo was the partner of Gilda Dalla Rizza in three performances of Francesca da Rimini. Due to the immense success, the three performances run extended to 13 performances, in Trieste during the spring season of 1926. They were married the same year on September 26th.
The zenith of Capuzzo's career was during the period 1920–1930. His roles were: des Grieux, Paolo, Pinkerton, Mario, Loris, Calaf, Alfredo, Lohengrin, Giannetto and Piccolo Marat.
His career ended brutally when he was going to have his wish met to sing Francesca da Rimini with Gilda Dalla Rizza at La Scala. In 1930, before the performance, he had problems with his passaggio. Maestro Guarnieri tried to calm telling him it was due to his nervousness because of his Scala performance with Gilda. However Gilda asked him to visit a doctor, who confirmed her suspicions with his vocal chords. The doctor recommended him to take a leave of two months. Capuzzo decided to quit singing. He died in a car accident on April 24th, 1963.
He never recorded officially. Maurizio Tiberi (of TimaClub) once announced the publication of a 2 CD set with recordings by EVAN GORGA, GIACOMO PUCCINI, AGOSTINO CAPUZZO, ANGELO MINGHETTI, CARLA CASTELLANI, ALDO SINNONE, GIUSEPPINA COBELLI, DOLORES OTTANI, JOLANDA MAGNONI, GIACOMO VAGHI and others, with chronologies, but it was never published.
Reference: Paolo Padoan Profili di cantanti lirici veneti, Bongivanni Editore, Bologna 1978

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