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Franco Corelli

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Franco Corelli (8 April 1921 – 29 October 2003) was an Italian tenor active in opera from the 1950s to 1976. He was noted for his charismatic stage presence and physical attractiveness as well as his powerful voice. Throughout the 1960’s, Corelli’s position as one of the greatest Italian tenors in the world was secure. With his unusually dark vocal color and baritonal lower range he infused even the warhorses of Neapolitan songs like ‘O Sole Mio’ with freshness and authenticity, while his huge and electrifying top notes moved audiences to roaring delirium. He was a galvanic stage animal, and a very handsome man. In Italy, he was called “Golden Thighs.” Every Corelli performance was a little like a bullfight. Despite his virile, heroic stage presence, Corelli suffered from terrible stage fright. Corelli retired from the stage in 1976 at the young age of 55. At the time, there was much regret that he had never undertaken the role which many believed would have been his greatest, Verdi’s “Otello,” which he was rumored to be preparing. In light of his crippling stage fright, the huge demands of this role may have scared him into retirement a little early, but by the mid-70’s the voice was in decline, no longer backed by the sheer animal strength that had, in a sense, created it. Fortunately Corelli left many commercial recordings and many more live ones. Among the greatest are the title part in Donizetti’s “Poliuto”, several “Trovatore” performances, and, with Tito Gobbi, a wonderful performance of Puccini’s wild-west opera, “La Fanciulla del West”.

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  • GraveOzz

    The Prince of tenors.

    13 Apr 7:46pm Reply
  • fearimpaired

    <3 My favorite tenor!

    22 May 2014 Reply
  • TheDarthsala

    Immortal voice

    27 Apr 2014 Reply
  • luianledrez

    Franco Coreli tenor de gran carisma con voz impresionante , impactante y excelsa la considero patrimonio de la humanidad.

    21 Apr 2012 Reply
  • jets1968

    Insieme a Del Monaco e Di Stefano senza dubbio il miglior tenore italiano della storia della lirica(Pavarotti non e' una dimenticanza,non lo considero al loro livello).

    26 Dec 2009 Reply
  • nirbateman

    Truly one of the best tenors ever. A real shame he never got to sing Rigoletto or Traviata!

    29 Jun 2009 Reply
  • cvam

    Increible voz, es fuerte y a la vez atractiva. Grande Corelli !

    23 Mar 2009 Reply
  • Tarkovsky86

    I created a group in honor of Franco Corelli. Join http://www.lastfm.es/group/Franco+Corelli

    8 Mar 2009 Reply
  • daslava

    the best calaf, mario, chenier and radames ever!

    6 Mar 2009 Reply
  • hrabinaumiera6

    i'm not a specialist, so maybe he wasn't the greatest voice, but the whole: personality and dramma involved, and voice too - that is what i adore him for.

    29 Jan 2009 Reply
  • GoreLover

    It's of course a matter of personal preference, but to me the greatest male voice of the 20th century was the one of Franco Corelli, followed by Caruso and Björling.

    3 Feb 2008 Reply

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