Mario Del Monaco (July 27, 1915 - October 16, 1982)
"Mario Del Monaco not only was provided with a great voice, but he was an artist in the full meaning of the word.Who had the chance like myself to attend several of his performances at the Rome Opera House from 1958 to 1972, keeps of him a vivid memory and can witness as remarkably correct the statement of the American columnist Irving Kolodin: “it is not enough to hear Mario Del Monaco, but you must see him performing on the scene.”Mario was gifted with a great performing instinct refined at the school of Stanislavskij and was able to catch the spirit and identify himself with the character so that poured a new vitality into it.Because of his charismatic attitude, the charm of his voice, his very sharp phrasing, his way to act and gesture never seen before, was able to interact with the audience nearly pushing it into a trans.
The interaction between him and the audience created like a magic atmosphere so that Mario Del Monaco was able to communicate his feelings of joy, pain, rage, neglect that the music carried in it. The recording of “Adriana amor” in the Adriana Lecouvreur's final scene in which he bursts out sobbing belongs to the legend. He was falsely accused of never using half tones of his voice, but he trained himself and succeeded marvelously. See, for instance the aria “L'anima ho stanca", from the mentioned Adriana Lecouvreur, "Donna non vidi mai" in Manon Lescaut, "O tu che in seno agli angeli" from la Forza del destino and the duetto from Tosca's first act and "E lucevan le stelle" again from the Tosca's last scene. Mario Del Monaco showed his ability to use the half tones of his powerful voice that could not be compared with the one of tenors of his times.
For the Ernani we have two versions: one very successful at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City and the other performance given in Florence under the direction of Mestro Dimitri Mitropoulos in 1957.
Mario Del Monaco returned to enjoy the American public at the Philadelphia Lyric Opera House (see photo) on April 23, 1953 with Andrea Chénier in a top performance that remains an example for tenors for all times. He obtained a real success with the same opera at the Metropolitan under the superb direction of Mr. Rudolf BingDel Monaco before his debut in Andrea Chénier on October 6, 1945 in Valdagno carefully studied the part with Maestro Umberto Giordano who personally wrote down some remarkes on the score.In the following photo Del Monaco is portayed with Gabriella Tucci.
Mario Del Monaco played a very large number of roles and all in a superb way (see the section entitled “Repertoire” in the present Web page). For more informations see the same section in the recently published book by Elisabetta Romagnolo where you can find a complete chronology of the Mario Del Monaco's performances and those available in different kinds of media."
- Alexander Melik-Pashayev
- Cesare Siepi
- Beniamino Gigli
- Umberto Giordano
- Giuseppe di Stefano
- Pietro Mascagni
- Anita Cerquetti
- Bianca Maria Casoni
- Giuseppe Verdi
- Boris Christoff
- Dimitri Mitropoulos
- Ruggero Leoncavallo