Rest in Peace, beloved Cesare Siepi.

My all-time favorite basso passed away today.Cesare Siepi was the possessor of a luscious,velvety voice and on stage he was sensational.I saw him countless times and am so saddened at his passing. Here is a brief article about his  many successes.:

His international reputation was established in 1950, when Sir Rudolf Bing brought him to the Metropolitan Opera in New York to open the 1950 season as King Philip II in Don Carlos. He was to remain principal bass at the Met until 1974, adding roles such as Boris Godunov (in English) and Gurnemanz in Parsifal (in German), and singing all the major roles of the bass repertoire.

His also gave his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1950, and appeared there regularly until the mid 1970s.

In 1953 Siepi debuted at the Salzburg Festival with a legendary production of Don Giovanni conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler, staged by Herbert Graf, and designed by Clemens Holzmeister. He made an immediate impact in the title role of Don Giovanni which became perhaps his best known role, as it had been for the most famous Italian bass of the generation before, Ezio Pinza. This performance has been released on CD, and a 1954 mounting of this production was filmed in color and released in 1955.

Siepi was a frequent guest at the Vienna State Opera. In 43 performances he sang Don Giovanni, more often than any other singer in modern times except for Eberhard Waechter. In 1967 Siepi was Don Giovanni in a controversially received production staged by Otto Schenk and designed by Luciano Damiani that showed Mozart's masterpiece in the light of the commedia dell'arte, emphasizing the comic and ironic elements of this opera (conductor Josef Krips strongly opposed this production's concept). In Vienna he also sang Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Colline (La bohème), Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Padre Guardian (La forza del destino 1974 in a new production conducted by Riccardo Muti), Gurnemanz (Parsifal), Mephisto (Faust), Filippo II (Don Carlos), and Ramphis (Aïda). His final performance at the Vienna State Opera was in Norma (Oroveso) in 1994.

He was a particularly fine recital artist, especially in Community Concerts under Columbia Artist Management, and a sensitive interpreter of German Lieder. He married Met ballerina Luellen Sibley and they have two children.

Siepi enjoyed a long career, and performed regularly until the 1980s, including lead roles in the ill-fated Broadway musicals Bravo Giovanni and Carmelina. In addition to his studio recordings, there are also many live recordings of performances of his major roles.

According to the Italian Wikipedia, Siepi's formal farewell to the operatic stage occurred at the Teatro Carani in Sassuolo on 21 April 1989. Indeed, Capon's List shows live recordings made as late as 1988.

Siepi's last studio recording was as the old King Archibaldo in RCA's 1976 taping of Montemezzi's L'amore dei tre re, with Anna Moffo and Plácido Domingo in the cast.

    Rest in Peace, my beloved Cesare.

P.S. For my podcast on Siepi,see archives of May 3, 2006

 

Direct download: siepi.jpg
Category:general -- posted at: 9:40pm EDT


More Great Music

August 2022
S M T W T F S
     
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

Archives

Syndication

Contact