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Giacomo Aragall (b1939)

Giacomo Aragall, whose full name is Jaume Aragall y Garriga, sang in a church choir in Barcelona when he was nine. As a young man he achieved Olympic standard as an athlete, but at the age of twenty he began to study voice with Jaime Francesco Puig in Barcelona. After coming second in a singing competition in Bilbao, he was awarded a scholarship by the Gran Teatro del Liceu of Barcelona to study with Vladimiro Badiali in Milan. Success soon followed: in 1963 he won the Verdi Competition in Busseto and in the same year made his operatic stage début in Verdi’s Gerusalemme at La Fenice, Venice, singing Gaston, the tenor lead, alongside Leyla Gencer with Gianandrea Gavazzeni conducting. He quickly accepted a three-year contract with La Scala, Milan, and made his début there in the title rôle in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz, also in 1963. Other early parts at La Scala included Rodolfo/La Bohème and Il Cavaliere/Cardillac. Aragall soon returned to sing at the Liceu, and in 1964 also appeared at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, with which he developed a close relationship. His career developed quickly, with appearances in Berlin, Budapest, Venice, Genoa, Palermo, Parma, Modena, Naples, Rome and Turin. In 1966 he sang Rodolfo with great success at the Verona Arena and went on to make successful débuts in this rôle: at Vienna in the same year; at Covent Garden and the Metropolitan, both in 1968; at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires in 1970 and at San Francisco in 1973.




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