Merli, Francesco, Italian tenor; b. Milan, Jan. 27, 1887; d. there, Dec. 12, 1976. He studied with Borghi and Negrini in Milan. He made his first appearance at Milan’s La Scala as Álvaro in Spontini’s Fernando Cortez (1916), and subsequently sang there regularly until 1942; also appeared at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires; between 1926 and 1930 he sang at Covent Garden in London. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. as Radames in Aida on March 2, 1932; then returned to Italy. He retired from the stage in 1948 and was active mainly as a voice teacher. His other roles included Don José, Otello, Canio, Samson, Calaf, and Dick Johnson.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire