Campanini, Italo


Noted Italian operatic tenor, who was hailed on his first appearance as a worthy successor to Mario. He was born in Parma, Italy, was the son of a blacksmith, and was brought up to follow a trade, but joined the army and went to war with Garibaldi. After he returned, a musician, who took an interest in him, secured for him a course of instruction at Parma Conservatory and at the age of twentyone he began his career as a singer. After a period of study with Lamperti, at Milan, he made his debut at Odessa, in 1869, in II Trovatore and sang for several years with success. He made his London debut, in 1872, as Gennaro in Lucrezia Borgia. He toured the United States several times, in 1873, in 1879 with Abbey's company, and in 1892 with Mme. Patti and again in 1894. He sang the leading roles in Lohengrin, Mephistofeles, Faust, Carmen, Don Juan and Lucia. He was said at otie time to have had a repertory of one hundred operas. He never fulfilled the early promise which he showed, but was a hard worker and zealous. He possessed a voice of great flexibility and brilliancy, but it decayed rapidly. He is said to have received as high as $1,000 a night, yet he died, as have so many of his kind, poor, and at the last voiceless. He made his greatest successes as Rhadames in Aida; Faust in Boito's Mefistofeles; Kenneth in Balfe's Talismano, a posthumous opera produced at Drury Lane in 1874; as Raoul in Les Huguenots and in the tenor role of La Favorita.