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Giuseppe Anselmi (1876 - 1929)

Born in Sicily, Giuseppe Anselmi entered the Naples Conservatory when he was only twelve. There he studied composition, piano and violin before turning to singing. It is not known if he was initially self-taught as a singer or if he studied with a teacher, but by the time he was sixteen he was touring with an operetta company which travelled throughout Italy and visited the Middle East. He was heard by the influential music publisher Giulio Ricordi, who advised him to study voice with a leading conductor of the period, Luigi Mancinelli; and is believed to have made his operatic début as Turiddù at the Royal Opera in Athens during 1896, although there is no documentation to support this. In an interview given in 1918, Anselmi remembered the year as being slightly later, and the location as Patras, also in Greece; here his repertoire did include Turiddù, in addition to the leading tenor rôles in La traviata, Rigoletto and Il barbiere di Siviglia. He appeared at Smyrna, in Turkey, during 1898 as a member of the impresario Gonzalez’s opera company, which also visited Alexandria, Athens and Istanbul. As the troupe’s leading tenor, he could find himself singing as frequently as five times a week.




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