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Gabriele Santini (1886 - 1964)

The conductor Gabriele Santini (1886–1964) was born in Perugia, where he undertook his musical studies before continuing at Bologna Conservatorio. He made his conducting début in 1906 but soon moved to South America where he was employed at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires for eight seasons before appearing in Rio de Janeiro and Chicago. He then assisted Toscanini at La Scala in Milan between 1925 and 1929, conducting Aida, Madama Butterfly, Der Freischütz, Carmen, Gianni Schicchi, Tosca and Il Tabarro. He then worked at the Opera in Rome during the years 1929–33. He returned to La Scala in 1934 to conduct eight operas during the year. Santini conducted the première of Mascagni’s Il re in Rome in 1930. He returned to La Scala in 1943 to conduct La Wally. He then became the artistic director of the Rome Opera during the years 1944 and 1947 and then was music director until 1962. He directed the première of Alfano’s Dottor Antonio in Rome in 1949, in addition to conducting the first Italian performances of L’heure espagnole (Rome, 1929) and Milhaud’s Christophe Colomb (Rome, 1954). Santini recorded a number of complete operas between the years 1952 and 1964. Sadly he collapsed during a recording of Tosca in 1964 which resulted in the project being aborted. Santini died in November that year in Rome.



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