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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Rossi-Lemeni, Nicola

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Nicola Rossi-Lemeni


Both Rossi Lemeni’s parents were born in Odessa. At the time of the Russian Revolution his father, who was of Italian-Russian extraction, was in the Russian army and the family was obliged to flee to Istanbul where Nicola was born. The family then moved to Italy where his father joined the Italian army. His schooling took place in Rome and Tripoli, Libya then being an Italian colony, after which he studied law at Padua University.

Music, however, gained the upper hand. Both Rossi Lemeni’s parents knew the children of Chaliapin, whose recordings he collected avidly; and after initial training with his mother, an accomplished singer, he studied repertory with Gigli’s accompanist, Vito Carvenale. At eighteen, he began receiving coaching from Ferruccio Cusinati, an assistant to the conductors Tullio Serafin (who was to become a strong supporter) and Antonio Guarneri, and later with Ettore Campogalliani. During World War II, after service on the Russian front under his father, Rossi Lemeni later sang for the Allied troops; and finally made his operatic stage debut in 1946 as Varlaam / Boris Godunov in Venice, followed by Ramfis / Aida at Verona and Philip II / Don Carlo at Trieste.

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