Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Giuseppe Taddei, RIP

A baritone as remarkable for his versatility as for his longevity on the stage. Not many singers succeed, at much the same periods in their careers, in relatively light baritone roles like Marcello, and in roles usually thought of as more in the bass-baritone line, such as Mozart's Figaro, and also Leporello, which is sufficiently bass territory to have been in Kipnis's repertory (though, yes, also in Evans's and Terfel's). Taddei performed and recorded all these roles -- and also the uber-dramatic roles of the Italian rep, such as Rigoletto and Scarpia (the latter famously recorded under Karajan with Price and diStefano.)

The New York Times's obit concentrated on the longevity angle, since the Met -- due to Bing's famous ham hands with singers' egos -- failed to secure his services until he was 69! (And what was Jimmy -- who usually handles singers so much better -- thinking of when he offered this titan a role like Fra Melitone as a Met debut role? I guess he was thinking cameo; but even at 69 Taddei was not yet old enough to be doing cameos!)