Franci, Benvenuto, Italian baritone, father of Carlo Franci; b. Pienza, near Siena, July 1, 1891; d. Rome, Feb. 27, 1985. He was a student of Cotogni and Rosati in Rome. In 1918 he made his operatic debut at Rome’s Teatro Costanzi as Giannetto in Mascagni’s Lodoletta, where he later sang in the premiere of that composer’s II piccolo Marat in 1921. In 1923 he sang Amonasro at Milan’s La Scala, where he returned to sing in the premieres of Giordano’s Cena delle Beffe in 1924 and Zandonai’s Cavalieri di Ekebù in 1925. From 1928 to 1949 he was a principal member of the Rome Opera. He also made guest appearances at London’s Covent Garden in 1925,1931, and 1946. In 1955 he made his farewell appearance in Trieste. Among his other roles were Rigoletto, Macbeth, Gerard, Telramund, Barnaba, Barak, and Scarpia.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire