Ruffo, Tita

Early 20th century Italian baritone, rivaled Caruso for fame - and fees!

Price: $75.00

Description:
(1877-1953, b. Ruffo Titta Cafiero) Italian opera baritone, had a major international singing career. Born in Pisa, he debuted in 1898 at the Teatro Constanzi in Rome as the Herald in Wagner's “Lohengrin”. His career took off in the early 1900s and he quickly achieved international renown due to the power and ardency of voice and acting. His other major debuts occurred in Buenos Aires (1902), London (1903), Milan (1904), Lisbon (1907), the Paris Opéra (1911) and São Paulo [Teatro Municipal] (1911). He made his US debut in Philadelphia in 1912 and sang extensively in Chicago. He reached the Metropolitan Opera relatively late in his career, in 1922, as Figaro in “The Barber of Seville”, having enlisted in the Italian army during WW I. He sang 46 performances at the Met 1922-29. Ruffo's repertoire included most of the major baritone roles in French and Italian opera, including Rigoletto, Di Luna, Amonasro, Germont, Tonio, Rossini's Figaro, Valentin, Iago, Carlo (in both “Ernani” and “La forza del destino”), Nabucco, Vasco, Don Giovanni, Barnaba, Scarpia, Marcello, and Renato in “Un ballo in maschera”. He was also renowned for his interpretations of the baritone parts in Ambroise Thomas's “Hamlet”, Franchetti's “Cristoforo Colombo”, Cathcart in Leoncavallo's “Zazà” and Neri in Giordano's “La cena delle beffe”. Ruffo made more than 130 78-rpm records, acoustic and electric, first for Pathé Frères in Paris in 1904, and then exclusively for the Victor Talking Machine Company from 1907 thru the 1920s. As with Caruso, Ruffo's voice recorded exceptionally well. He continued recording into the electric recording era after 1925. Ruffo was never a "house baritone", but was a nomadic star in his own right and received top billing—and top fees—wherever he sang. Ruffo was the only male opera singer of his time who could compete, in terms of celebrity and fees, with Caruso. He retired in 1931, staying for several years in Switzerland and Paris and in 1937 returned to Italy, where he was later arrested for opposing the ascendant Fascist regime and espousing Socialist beliefs. SP, 5 ½ x 3 ½ b&w flat finish Italian postcard bust portrait in jacket & tie.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






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