Navarrini, Francesco, distinguished Italian bass; b. Citadella, 1853; d. Milan, Feb. 23, 1923. He studied with Giuseppe Felix and Carlo Boroni in Milan, making his debut as Alfonso in Lucrezia Borgia in Ferrara in 1876. From 1883 to 1900 he was a member of La Scala in Milan, where he created the role of Lodovico in Verdi’s Otello (Feb. 5, 1887); then toured in England, France, and Russia. He made his first American appearance in 1902 as a member of Mascagni’s traveling opera co. A giant of a man (he measured six-and-a-half feet), he imposed his presence in heroic and buffo bass roles, including roles in Wagner’s operas.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire