Fancelli, Giuseppe, admired Italian tenor; b. Florence, Nov. 24, 1833; d. there, Dec. 23, 1887. He had no formal musical instruction and never learned to read music. However, his natural vocal gifts were discovered and he made his operatic debut as the Fisherman in Guglielmo Tell at Milan’s La Scala in 1860. After singing in Ancona, Rome, and Trieste, he appeared at London’s Covent Garden (1866–68; 1870–72), where he excelled as Edgardo, Alfredo, Raoul, and Pollione. In 1872 he sang Radames in the first Italian staging of Aida at La Scala. Fancelli’s marvelous high C endeared him to a generation of opera aficionados.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire