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Francesco Maria Bonini (Soprano) (Naples 1865 – Milan 1930)



He studied singing with Beniamino Carelli at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella in his native city. He made his stage debut in 1896 at the Teatro Mercadante in Foggia as Don Carlo di Vargas in Giuseppe Verdi's La forza del destino. In 1897-1898 he made appearances at the Amazon Theatre in Brazil, the Valletta Royal Opera House in Malta and at the Cairo Opera House in Egypt. In 1899 Bonini returned to Italy to appear in operas in Brescia and Cremona. He sang at the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater in 1900 and 1902 and in 1901 he was committed to the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. In 1903 he made his debut at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and at La Scala in Milan, the latter in the role of Arnoldo in Amilcare Ponchielli's I Lituani . On 17 October 1903 he portrayed the role of Athanaлl in the Italian premiere of Jules Massenet's Thais at the Teatro Lirico Internazionale in Milan opposite Lina Cavalieri in the title role. On 19 December 1903, Bonini made his debut at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples as Michonnet in that house's first staging of Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur with Solomiya Krushelnytska in the title role. He remained committed to that theatre through 1905, portraying such roles as Walitzin/Commissario in Umberto Giordano's Siberia and Johannes Rathenow in the Italian premiere of Ruggero Leoncavallo's Der Roland von Berlin. He also made appearances in the world premiere of Leopoldo Mugnone's Vita Brettona and the Naples premiere of Lorenzo Filiasi's Manuel Menendez. From 1905-1907, Bonini was engaged at the Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos in Lisbon. While there he appeared in the world of premiere of Joao Arroyo's Amor de Perdicao. He sang at the Teatro Regio di Parma in 1907-1908, portraying such roles as Carlo Gerard in Andrea Chenier, David in L'amico Fritz, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, and Rinaldo in Amica among others. From 1909-1911 he appeared mostly at the Teatro Regio in Turin in such roles as Kurwenal, Wolfram von Eschenbach in Tannhauser, and the title roles in Boris Godunov, Falstaff, Herodiade, and Rigoletto. In 1911-1912 Bonini returned to La Scala where he was seen as Hidraot in Christoph Willibald Gluck's Armide, King Raimondo in Isabeau, and Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg. He returned to the Teatro Regio in Turin in 1913 where he assailed the role of Friedrich of Telramund in Lohengrin for the first time. That same year he made a few appearances at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Bonini spent the latter part of his career working as a freelance artist, mainly in Italy. In 1918 he made his first appearance at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome as Falstaff. That same year he had a major success at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna as Germont in La traviata with Ester Mazzoleni as Violetta. He returned to Bologna numerous times through 1922 in such roles as Comte de Nevers in Les Huguenots, Rigoletto, and Wolfram. In 1919 he portrayed Amenofi in Amilcare Ponchielli's Il figliuol prodigo at the Arena di Verona Festival. In 1922 he sang Germont at La Fenice and in 1923 he sang Nevers and Germont at the Teatro Municipale Piacenza. He also made several appearances at the Teatro Regio di Parma in the 1920s. Bonini retired from the stage in 1927, after which he lived in Milan where he taught singing. Other roles which he performed during his career included Alfonso in La Favorita, Amonasro in Aida, Barnaba in La Gioconda, Nelusko in L'Africaine, Renato in Un ballo in maschera, Scarpia in Tosca, and Valentin in Faust.

Chronology of some appearances

1895 Taranto Teatro Paisiello Forza del Destino (Carlo)
1898  Brescia Teatro Grande Boheme (Marcello)
1900 Modena Teatro Storchi Stagione
1902 Odessa Teatro Municipale Rigoletto (Rigoletto)
1904 Rio de Janeiro Teatro Lirico Aida (Amonasro)
1906 Lisbona Teatro San Carlos Dannazione di Faust (Mefistofele)
1908 Parma Teatro Regio Amico Fritz (David)
1910 Cosenza Teatro Rendano Cavalleria Rusticana (Alfio)
1912 Milano Teatro La Scala Isabeau (Re Raimondo)
1914 Fiume Teatro Verdi Traviata (Germont)
1916 Torino Politeama Chiarella Andrea Chenier (Gerard)
1918  Brescia Teatro Sociale Traviata (Germont)
1920 Como Politeama Stagione
1922 Firenze Teatro Verdi Traviata (Germont)
1924 Torino Teatro Balbo Traviata (Germont)
1926  Prato Politeama Banchini Isabeau (Re Raimondo)



La Forza del Destino: Le minaccie...Non si placa with Gino Martinez-Patti Fonotipia 39736, 39737,    XPh2000, XPh2001
La Boheme: Entrata di Schaunard...Quadro quarto with Gino Martinez-Patti,  Antonio Magini-Coletti and Oreste Luppi  Fonotipia 39728, 39729, xPh 1980, xPh 1992
Rigoletto: Pari siamo! Fonotipia 39045 XPh145
Rigoletto: Cortigiani, vil razza dannata Fonotipia  39071 XPh98
Amica: Se tu amasti me Fonotipia 92562 XPh3985
La Traviata: Di Provenza Edison Unpubl. 44665
Rolando di Berlino: Preghiera Fonotipia 39124   
Il Trovatore: Tace la notte…Deserto sulla terra with Mario Gilion Fonotipia 39812 Xph2111
La Forza del Destino: Solenne in quest'ora with Mario Gilion Fonotipia 39811 Xph2109
La Traviata: Madamigella Valery?...Pura siccome with Giannina Russ Fonotipia 39869, 39870 xph2094, xph2095


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