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Gaetano Tommasini (Tenor) (Piaggine 1883 - ?)




He was born in piaggine in 1883. Hespent his childhood in Piaggine.Then he continued his studies in Nocera Inferiore. He enroled at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Naples.In the meanwhile he devoted himself to lyric singing, his big passion. In 1908 he debuted at the Social Theatre in Saluzzo, then continuing his career as tenor all over Italy and abroad.

He sang in Moscow and Warsaw in 1913. during the First World Wash e got a degree in Medicine and took part into the war as second lieutenant physician. In a letter sent to his family he says that his superiors knew him above all as an opera singer. He continued singing even in this period.
After the was, he obtained his first big success in Salern, at Theatre Verdi, singing in Aida, playing the role of Radames. He married the mezzosoprano singer Ninм Frascani, who introduced him to Arturo Toscanini.

In 1921 he went to New York. In the United States he spent many years. He also sang at the famous Metropolitan in New York, on April 5th 1921, once again in Aida. He sang in other theatres too, in Philadelphia, Washington, Boston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, S. Francisco, Detroit and in Canada, in Toronto and Montreal.
He was also in Latin America, in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, Saт Paulo etc. Over twenty years of his career, until 1929, he sang in a number of 265 operas, in many cities in Italy and abroad. He also made a big number of recordings with the record companies Columbia Cigale Record, Gramophone Record and Pathи Record.
From 1929 he did not sing anymore because the fascist regime prohibited him to sing. In Milan, he hit with a stick, while going out from the Gallery in Milan, the provincial party secretary. This action cost him his career. Then he became a medical consultant of a famous pharmaceutics industry, Lorenzini Pharmaceuticals. With his aiuthoritarian and proud temper, he was a passionate anti-fascist and was always able to impose himself in the relationships he had with the directors of all the American theatres.

Many American newspapers reported an episode occurred to him: the managers of a famous American theatre in New York sent him a card, asking him to replace the tenor who, because of his indisposition, was forced not to sing in the performance of the day after. When his husband received the message, since she could not find her hisband, was desperate. Articles of newspapers reported the title: “Ninм cries”. Tommasini was having dinner in a restaurant in Little Italy. When he was found, he sent to the theatre and rehearsed all the night long.The day after it was a hit.

Chronology of some appearances

1908 Saluzzo Teatro Civico Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu)
1913 Venice Teatro La Fenice Fanciulla del West (Johnson)
1915 Roma Teatro Costanzi Forza del Destino (Alvaro)
1918 Torino Politeama Chiarella Manon Lescaut (De Grieux)
1921 New York Teatro Lexington Aida (Radames)



Aida: Vieni o diletta with Andreina Beinat, Lia Remondini Columbia  E 1935 41833
Aida: Su del Nilo with Andreina Beinat,  Lia Remondini, Vincenzo Bettoni, Luigi Baldassari Columbia 5560a, 5560b
Aida: Qual insolita luce with Andreina Beinat Columbia E 1935 41832
L' Africana: Di te piu bella immagine...O mia  Selika with Rinalda  Pavoni Gramophone  054332, 054334, 362aj, 365aj
O sole, luna mare (Di Salvo) Columbia E 5241 59712
Aida: Fuggiam da queste mura with Lia Remondini  Columbia D 4444 41837
Aida: O terra addio with Lia Remondini Columbia E 2097 41838-1
Aida: Nume, custode e vindice with Vincenzo Bettoni Columbia ?
Ernani: Uscite!...Vedi come il buon vegliardo with Mattia Battistini, Elvira Barbieri, Vincenzo Bettoni Gramophone 054450 2813 ½c
La traviata: Che gli diro...Amami Alfredo with Claudia Muzio Gramophone 54456 1165ah


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