Ruffo, Titta (real name, Ruffo Cafiero Titta)

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Ruffo, Titta (real name, Ruffo Cafiero Titta)

Ruffo, Titta (real name, Ruffo Cafiero Titta) , famous Italian baritone; b. Pisa, June 9, 1877; d. Florence, July 5, 1953. He found it convenient to transpose his first and last names for professional purposes. He studied with Persichini at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, then with Casini in Milan. He made his operatic debut in Rome as the Herald in Lohengrin (1898); then sang in South America; returning to Italy, he appeared in all the principal theaters; also sang in Vienna, Paris, and London. He made his American debut in Philadelphia as Rigoletto (Nov. 4, 1912) with the combined Philadelphia-Chicago Opera Co., and then sang in Chicago (1912–14; 1919–27); his first appearance with the Metropolitan Opera was as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (N.Y., Jan. 19, 1922). He left the Metropolitan in 1929 and returned to Rome. In 1937 he was briefly under arrest for opposing the Mussolini regime; then went to Florence, where he remained until his death. His memoirs appeared as La mia parabola (Milan, 1937; rev. 1977, by his son). A renowned dramatic artist, he excelled in roles from Verdi’s operas; was also an outstanding Figaro, Hamlet, Tonio, and Scarpia.


M. Barrenechea, T. R.: Notas de psicologia artistica (Buenos Aires, 1911); A. Farkas, ed., T. R.: An Anthology (Westport, Conn., 1984); D. Liburdi, T. R.: I costumi teatrali (Pisa, 1993).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire