Arangi-Lombardi, Giannina

Italian soprano, 1891 - 1951

Biographical notes:

She was born in Naples and studied first the piano, then voice with Beniamino Carelli. He trained her as a mezzo. She made a relatively late début at the age of thirty as Lola in “Cavalleria Rusticana” at the Teatro Costanzi in 1920. During the next three years she sang as a mezzo-soprano in various Italian theatres. In 1921 she appeared as Amneris and also as Brangäne! She discovered that she felt more comfortable in soprano range, and restudied with Adelina Stehle (the first Nanetta in Verdi’s “Falstaff”) to become a soprano. She appeared thereafter as Santuzza. In 1926 she was engaged at La Scala, where she made a strong impression as Aida and Gioconda. The following season she was Santuzza under Toscanini and Leonora in “Il Trovatore” under Panizza. In 1929 she enjoyed such a success as Aida under Toscanini (at La Scala) that she was invited by him to sing in guest performances of the Scala in Berlin. There she sang with Aureliano Pertile and Giacomo Lauri-Volpi. She opened the 1929/30 season as Donna Anna, again at La Scala. In 1935 she sang Donna Anna at the Salzburg Festival. Bruno Walter was the conductor, the cast included Luise Helletsgruber, Lotte Schöne, Dino Borgioli, Ezio Pinza, Virgiolio Lazzari and Emanuel List. Her last appearances took place in Palermo in 1938 (“I Vespri Siciliani”). After her departure from the stage she taught first in Milan, then for several years in Ankara. She later returned to Milan.




Boito - Mefistofele (Molajoli 1931/De Angelis, Favero, Melandri)

Eklipse        Arkadia

Mascagni - Cavalleria rusticana (Molajoli 1930/Melandri, Lulli, Castagna, Mannarini)


Mozart - Le Nozze di Figaro (Walter/Pinza, Rautawaara)


Ponchielli - La Gioconda (Molajoli 1931/Stignani, Rota, Granda)

Naxos Historical

Verdi - Aida (Molajoli/Lindi, Capuana, Borgioli, Pasero)

VAI            Arkadia

Recital (Arias by Donizetti, Verdi, Ponchielli, Mascagni, Puccini)

Preiser - LV

Carlo Galeffi (duets)

Preiser - LV

Antonio Melandri (duets)

Preiser - LV

Francesco Merli (duets)

Preiser - LV

La Scala Edition Vol. 2


Les Introuvables du Chant Verdien


Great Voices - The “Carlo Felice” in Genoa Vol. 5


Mike Richter’s Opera Page: The Record of Singing Vol. 3




This is my favorite Italian lirico-spinto soprano. Hers is a voice with a phantastic upper, an eminent middle, a full deep register and she sings with a perfect “voix mixte.” An excellent high register requires a well-trained middle register. Arangi-Lombardi illustrates this basic rule! The dark color of her voice reminds me of Rosa Ponselle and Anita Cerquetti.

Giannina Arangi-Lombardi is an under-estimated singer nowadays. At a time when “veristic” singers were highly favored, she concentrated instead on exquisite vocal artistry, musical phrasing and rich tonal shading. Her voice never possessed the shrillness of some of her contemporary colleagues.

Listen to her Aida in an integral recording conducted by Lorenzo Molajoli. Her O, Patria mia is magic. In the two Amelia arias she is in a class of her own and possibly only equalled by Hina Spani, Meta Seinemeyer and Elisabeth Rethberg. She sings a beautiful Vissi d’arte ,  a womanly and heartfelt interpretation. A great artist and singer!

My favorite recordings:

- Ritorna vincitor! (Title role in Aida / Verdi / Columbia 1928)

- Voi lo sapete, o mamma (Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana / Mascagni / Columbia 1930)

- Tacea la notte placida (Leonora in Il Trovatore / Verdi / Columbia 1932)

- Vissi d’arte (Title role in Tosca  / Puccini /  Columbia 1932)

 Com’è bello, quale incanto (Title role in Lucrezia Borgia / Donizetti /Columbia 1933)

- Te vergin sant invoco (Giselda in I Lombardi / Verdi / Columbia 1933)

- Ma dall’arido stelo divulsa (Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera / Verdi / Columbia 1933)

- Morrò, ma prima in grazia (Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera / Verdi / Columbia 1933)