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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (8)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Catania, Sicily, Italy
Died in Santa Maria Hoè, Lombardy, Italy
Nickname Pippo

Mini Bio (1)

Giuseppe Di Stefano was born on July 24, 1921 in Catania, Sicily, Italy. He was married to Monika Curth and Maria Di Stefano (Girolami). He died on March 3, 2008 in Santa Maria Hoè, Lombardy, Italy.

Spouse (2)

Maria Di Stefano (Girolami) (23 May 1949 - ?) ( divorced) ( 3 children)
Monika Curth (? - 3 March 2008) ( his death)

Trivia (8)

One of the most famous tenors of his time, he sang the role of Mario Cavaradossi in Maria Callas's famous 1953 recording of "Tosca", considered one of the greatest operatic recordings ever made. He also sang the role of the Duke of Mantua in Callas's studio recording of "Rigoletto", as well as her studio recordings of "Cavalleria Rusticana" and "Pagliacci". He also sang the tenor part in Arturo Toscanini's 1951 performance of Verdi's "Requiem Mass".
Never fully recovered from wounds sustained in a robbery at his family's villa in Kenya in November 2004. The tenor had been struck in the head during an attack by five assailants at his home.
Legendary lyric-dramatic tenor sang with distinction all over the world (La Scala, Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Colon, among many others) until taking on too many heavy roles too early cost him his voice. He may still be heard at his best on the many recordings he made in his prime, particularly "Tosca", "Pagliacci" and "Lucia di Lammermoor" opposite his close friend and frequent on-stage partner, Maria Callas. His recordings of the traditional Neopolitan songs have also been much-praised.
His final performance was in 1992 as the emperor in "Turandot".
He accompanied Maria Callas on her final recital tour in 1973.
He made his operatic debut in 1946 as Des Grieux in "Manon". He first sang at the Met in New York in 1948.
His father was a cobbler and his mother was a dressmaker.
Maestro Di Stefano won the Italian Golden Orfeo (an Italian award similar to an Oscar) award in 1955 for his contribution to the art of opera. Also a member of the Opera Hall of Fame. And a recipient of Grammy Hall of Fame award for his 1953 recording of the opera "Tosca" along with his co-stars Maria Callas, Tito Gobbi and conductor Victor de Sabata - award was issued in 1987.

Personal Quotes (1)

"I am Sicilian, and I was born in a place where the troubadours sang as much as they talked. The story always moved me more than the music, but I became a singer rather than an actor because my best way of delivering words is with music...you shouldn't be moved just by the high notes, you should be able to be moved just as much by the low notes. Not many singers have this kind of expressiveness. My great Maria Callas had it, and so also did Nat King Cole and currently Barbara Streisand. They are beautiful singers. They put so much feeling into the words, so much elegance and musicality. Very seldom does this happen in opera, because they are so preoccupied with sound".

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