Baccaloni, Salvatore, noted Italian bass; b. Rome, April 14, 1900; d. N.Y., Dec. 31, 1969. He began his training at the Sistine Chapel choir school at the Vatican, and then studied with Giuseppe Kaschmann. In 1922 he made his operatic debut as Rossini’s Bartolo at the Teatro Adriano in Rome; from 1926 to 1940 he sang at Milan’s La Scala, where he was esteemed in buffo roles. In 1928 he made his debut at London’s Covent Garden as Puccini’s Timur, and in 1930 his U.S. debut at the Chicago Civic Opera as Verdi’s Melitone. From 1931 to 1941 he appeared at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and from 1936 to 1939 at the Glyndebourne Festivals. On Dec. 3, 1940, he made his first appearance with the Metropolitan Opera as Mozart’s Bartolo during the company’s visit to Philadelphia; then sang for the first time on the Metropolitan stage in N.Y. in the same role on Dec. 7, 1940, and subsequently was its leading buffo artist until 1962; his farewell appearance with the company was as Rossini’s Bartolo in Brookville, N.Y., on Aug. 8, 1965. Baccaloni was the foremost comic bass of his generation. Among his memorable roles were Don Pasquale, Osmin, Leporello, Dulcamara, Varlaam, and Gianni Schicchi.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire