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Antonio Cortis (1891 - 1952)

A week after Cortis’s birth his father died and the family settled in the town of Denia, later moving to Valencia and then to Madrid. His elder brother Bautista also enjoyed an operatic career as a baritone and Antonio, whose actual name was Antonio Monton Córts, entered the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid in 1899, studying singing, violin and harmony. Two years later he joined the Children’s Chorus employed by the Teatro Real, afterwards playing the violin in a local orchestra. In order to seize more opportunities for his elder brother the family moved in 1909 to Barcelona where Antonio enrolled in the Municipal School of Music. He joined the chorus of the Teatro del Liceu in 1911, moving into comprimario rôles the following year.

After completing military service in 1915, during which he remained active as a singer, Cortis was engaged by the Teatro Real, Madrid as a second tenor and was soon singing rôles such as Cavaradossi/Tosca, Don José/Carmen and Turiddù/Cavalleria rusticana in Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid. Having married in 1916, the following year he was engaged by the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires to sing Arlecchino/Pagliacci to Caruso’s Canio. In spite of Caruso’s invitation to join him in New York, Cortis, who had just become a father, returned to Barcelona instead.




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