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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Di Stefano, Giuseppe

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Giuseppe Di Stefano (1921 - 2008)


The tenor Giuseppe di Stefano was born in 1921 near Catania, in Sicily. He studied with Adriano Torchi and Luigi Montesanto in Milan. After three years in the Italian army he escaped to Switzerland in 1943 and was interned. He later appeared in Swiss broadcasts and concerts that aroused considerable interest.

His official début was as Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon in 1946 in Florence, repeating the part for his first appearance at La Scala in Milan the following year. His American début was as Gounod’s Faust in February 1948 at the Metropolitan, where he would regularly appear until 1952. He returned there in 1955-56 and 1965. He also sang in Mexico City (1948-52), often opposite Maria Callas. He appeared regularly at La Scala between 1952 and 1961, the latter year being the occasion of his début at Covent Garden in London. He also sang in Paris, Vienna, Berlin and Buenos Aires. Originally a lyric tenor, his first rôles included Nemorino, Rodolfo, Alfredo, Fenton and Pinkerton.

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