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Giuseppe De Luca


The son of a blacksmith, de Luca sang as a young boy in church choirs in Rome. When his voice broke, a wealthy patron paid for him to study at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia with Venceslao Persichini, one of the leading teachers of the period who also taught Mattia Battistini and Titta Ruffo, and with Antonio Cotogni. He made his operatic debut as Valentin / Faust in 1897 at Piacenza.

An immediate success, de Luca was invited to sing throughout Italy. He created the leading baritone role of Michonnet in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur at the Teatro Lirico in Milan in 1902 and during the following year made his debut at La Scala, Milan as Alberich / Das Rheingold. Shortly afterwards he created the parts of Gleby in Giordano’s Siberia (1903) and of Sharpless in the unsuccessful first performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (1904), both at La Scala.

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