Home Arts & Culture Tenor Carlo Bergonzi dies at 90

Tenor Carlo Bergonzi dies at 90

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Italian tenor Carlo Bergonzi has died aged 90.

Carlo Bergonzi was considered a leading performer of Giuseppe Verdi’s work.

During a career spanning 40 years, Carlo Bergonzi performed a string of stage roles, making his debut as a tenor at Milan’s La Scala in 1953.

His voice was captured on numerous recordings, including one of every major Verdi operatic aria, which was made in 1976.

Carlo Bergonzi was considered a leading performer of Giuseppe Verdi's work

Carlo Bergonzi was considered a leading performer of Giuseppe Verdi’s work

After his retirement, Carlo Bergonzi continued to work as a teacher.

He also ran a Verdi singing competition and managed a hotel.


Carlo Bergonzi was regularly performing well into his 60s, and at the age of 75 undertook the demanding title role in Verdi’s Othello at New York’s Carnegie Hall, amongst a roster of stars including Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.

But the role was too challenging and Carlo Bergonzi withdrew part way into the performance and was replaced by his understudy.

Carlo Bergonzi’s vocal prowess extended across a whole range of recorded operatic material, including La Boheme, Madame Butterfly and Lucia di Lammermoor.

During World War Two, Carlo Bergonzi was held in a Nazi prisoner of war camp for three years, and returned to resume his singing career which had begun as a youth in the church choir.

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