Tebaldi, Renata (1922–2004)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Tebaldi, Renata (1922–2004)

Italian soprano. Born in Pesaro, Italy, Feb 1, 1922; died Dec 19, 2004, in the Republic of San Marino; dau. of Giuseppina (Barbieri) Tebaldi and Teobaldo Tebaldi (cellist); studied with Brancucci and Campogalliani at Parma Conservatory, and with Carmen Melis and Giuseppe Pais at Pesaro Conservatory; never married.

Possessed with one of the most beautiful voices of the mid-20th century, debuted in the small but significant role of Elena in Boïto's Mefistofele at Rovigo (1944); next appeared at Trieste Opera as Desdemona in Verdi's Otello (1946); chosen by Toscanini to perform in a gala concert of Verdi's Te Deum at the reopening of Teatro alla Scala (1946); made La Scala stage debut in starring role of Eva in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, sung in Italian as I maestri cantori (1947); debuted at Covent Garden as Desdemona and San Francisco as Aïda (1950); made Metropolitan Opera debut (1955) and sang there regularly until 1972, giving more than 250 performances; going beyond standard Verdi and Puccini roles, displayed her mastery of title roles in such operas as Andrea Chénier, Catalani's La Wally, Spontini's Olympia, Handel's Giulio Cesare, and Verdi's rarely performed Giovanna d'Arco; retired (1976).

See also Carlamaria Casanova, Renata Tebaldi: The Voice of an Angel, trans. and ed. by Connie Mandracchia DeCaro (Baskerville, 1995); Walter Panofsky, Renata Tebaldi (Berlin: Rembrandt, 1961); Victor Seroff, Renata Tebaldi: The Woman and the Diva (1970); and Women in World History.