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Alessandro Bonci (1870 - 1940)

Alessandro Bonci’s father was a comb-maker and his family was poor: even though he became a chorister in the local church at the early age of seven, he later started work as an apprentice boot maker. With the help of several friends however, sufficient money was raised to enable him to enter the Rossini Conservatory at Pesaro, where he studied singing with Felice Coen and Carlo Pedrotti for five years. This was followed by further study at the Paris Conservatoire with the distinguished baritone Enrico delle Sedie, to whom Bonci credited his polished technique. Returning to Italy, he served as a principal tenor at the Loreto Basilica before making his operatic debut in 1896 as Fenton / Falstaff in Parma. The following year Bonci appeared as Arturo / I puritani in Genoa and was swiftly invited to appear in the same role shortly thereafter at La Scala, Milan, as well as in the first performances of Franchetti’s Signor di Pourceaugnac.




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