Pampanini, Rosetta

Italian soprano, 1896 - 1973

Biographical notes:

Rosetta Pampanini was born in Milan into a musical family. She initiallly trained to become a teacher but eventually decided to study voice. She was taught by the couple Emma and Lorenzo Molajoli and made her debut in 1920 at the Teatro Nazionale in Rome as Micaela. Subsequently she appeared at numerous Italian opera houses. See  -> chronology. In the first years of her career she built up her repertory under Tullio Serafinís guidance.  Of great importance was her association with Pietro Mascagni who often conducted her in his opera Iris. Pampaniniís success in the role re-established the piece from 1898 in the contemporary repertoire. Another significant mentor was Arturo Toscanini. He conducted the revival of Pucciniís Madame Butterfly at La Scala in 1925, with Rosetta Pampanini in the title role. The 12 performances turned out to be a complete triumph - not least because of the heroine whose artistry ensured that Madame Butterfly soon became one of the most popular operas. Not only did Pampanini help to establish Madame Butterfly, the role of Cio-Cio-San also made her to one of the most splendid Italian artists of the time. She remained at La Scala as long as Toscanini stayed there (until 1930),  appearing in a number of world premieres of then contemporary operas as well as in her Puccini repertoire. She also toured with the Scala ensemble. Toscanini invited her to Berlin to sing Manon Lescaut and Madame Butterfly (1929). Covent Garden saw her in her Puccini parts. From 1926 she was a regular guest at the Teatro Colůn in Buenos Aires. In the season 1931/32 she was engaged as Butterfly, Nedda and Mimž at the Chicago Opera, but was not reinvited later. Further performances at the opera houses of Vienna (1930-1932), Oslo (1933) and Prague (1935) followed. A special occasion was her performance of Mimž in a performance of La BohŤme, conducted by Pietro Mascagni in Pucciniís home town Torre del Lago. From 1937 she turned to more dramatic roles such as Leonora in La Forza del destino, Aida and Maddalena. Rosetta Pampanini bade farewell to the stage in 1946. After her retirement she worked as a singing coach and died in 1973.

Puccini, Puccini, Puccini...

As Cio-Cio-San in the triumphal revival of Pucciniís Madame Butterfly, 1925

 

 

A Singerís Career

X = Performance outside Italy                           X = First performance  

Year

Place (opera appearances)

Repertoire

1920

Rome

Micaela (debut)

1921

Turin

Siebel

1922

Biella, Tortona, Modena, Siena

Mimž, Desdemona

1923

Naples, Trieste, Novara

Graziosa in van Westerhoutís Colomba (Naples), Desdemona, Mimž, Iris

1924

Biella, Novara, Catania, Bergamo, Turin, Bologna, Modena

Iris, Mimž, Il Picolo Marat (Mascagni), Elsa in Lohengrin (in Italian)

1925

Padua, Mantova, Catania, Bergamo, Pavia, Livorno, La Scala

Desdemona, Mimž, Margherita (and Elena), Gesý in Vittadiniís Nazareth (Pavia), Cio-Cio-San, Iris

1926

Cremona,Teatro Colůn Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, La Scala

Mimž, Iris, Nedda, Liý, Cio-Cio-San, Sonia in Pedrolloís Delitto e Castigo (at La Scala)

1927

La Scala, Turin, Monte Carlo, Novara, Genoa, Pesaro, Cesena, Mirandola, Ostiglia

Liý, Mimž, Desdemona, Cio-Cio-San, Manon Lescaut, Nedda, Iris

1928

Piacenza, La Scala, Brescia, Covent Garden London, Venice, Fermo

Mimž, Liý, Fior di cielo in Bianchiniís Thien-Hoa (at La Scala), La Falce (Catalani), Cio-Cio-San, Nedda, Desdemona

1929

La Scala, Parma, Cannes, Naples, Rome, Florence, Berlin, Ravenna, San Felice sul Panaro, Cento, Biella, Pegognaga, Casalmaggiore, Bologna

Elsa, Manon Lescaut, Nedda, Desdemona, Mimž, Iris

1930

La Scala, Genoa, Cannes, Lecce, Barcellona, Schio, Torre del Lago, Finale Emilia, Vienna State Opera, Triest, Codogno, Parma, Rome

Mimž, Cio-Cio-San, Desdemona, Maddalena, Manon Lescaut

1931

Padua, Turin, Il Cairo, San Remo, Rome, Udine, Urbino, Vienna State Opera, Triest, Ostiglia, Livorno, Genoa, Siena, Torre del Lago, Viareggio, Naples, Reggio Emilia, Modena

Cio-Cio-San, Iris, Mimž, Maddalena

1932

Chicago, Boston, Venice, Rovigo, Pavia, Livorno, Turin, Vienna State Opera, Genoa, Corbola, Alexandria, Montecatini, Vigevano, Asti, Rome

Mimž, Nedda, Iris, Cio-Cio-San, Maddalena, Adriana Lecouvreur

1933

Novara, Triest, Venice, Turin, Modena, Biella, Udine, Covent Garden London, Vichy, Oslo, Corbola, Copparo, Badia Polesine, Casalmaggiore, Florence, Rome

Mimž, Wally, Manon Lescaut, Fedora, Desdemona, Cio-Cio-San, Tosca

1934

Bari, Piacenza, Verona, San Remo, Fiume, Oslo, Noto, Vichy, Bologna, Ferrara, Forli, Livorno, Stockholm, Upsala, Copenhagen, Bari

Cio-Cio-San, Manon Lescaut, Iris, Tosca, Maddalena, Mimž

1935

La Scala, Naples, Salerno, Venice, Padua, Prague, Genoa, Vienna (Hohe Warte), Vichy, Adria, Bologna, La Spezia, Bordeaux

Cio-Cio-San, Nedda, Mimž, Tosca, Maddalena

1936

Novara, Madrid, Pavia, Rome, Catania, Casale Monferrato, Gallarate, Terni, Adria, Fabriano, Faenza, Fano, Pola, Triest, Viterbo, Montecatini, Asti, Bordeaux, Vercelli, Piacenza

Adriana Leucouvreur, Mimž, Cio-Cio-San, Maddalena, Iris, Tosca, Manon Lescaut, Fedora

1937

Naples, Cremona, Venice, La Scala, Padova, Pisa, Prato, Busto Arsizio, La Spezia, Venice, Casale Monferrato, Salerno, Foggia, Taranto, Petenza, Ancona, Rodi, Porto Recanati, Montecatini, Bologna, Rovigo, Monza, San Severo

Cio-Cio-San, Mimž, Iris, Maddalena, Tosca, Manon Lescaut

1938

Bari, Venice, Turin, Catania, Oporto, Treviso, San Giovanni Valdarno, Ancona, Triest, Montecatini, Zurich , Belgrad , Modena, Genoa

Cio-Cio-San, Maddalena, Mimž, Tosca, Maddalena, Leonora (Forza)

1939

Padua, Valdagno, Cagliari, Sassari, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Gorizia, Naples, Zara, Viterbo, Salso Maggiore, Como, Livorno, Bergamo, Ferrara, Tortona, Perugia, Foligno, Ravenna, Livorno, Florence

Mimž, Cio-Cio-San, Maddalena, Elena, Santuzza, Tosca

1940

Foggia, Madrid, Genova, Rome, Civitavecchia, Naples, Rimini, Turin, Intra, Pordenone, Como, Vercelli, Casale Montferato, La Scala, Fiume, Florence

Tosca, Santuzza, Mimž, Cio-Cio-San, Iris, Wally, Manon Lescaut, Desdemona

1941

Turin, Rome, Naples, San Remo, Savona, Varese, Imperia, Bari, Barcellona, Saragoza, Freiburg, Crema, La Spezia, Pesaro, Ancona, Tirana, Pisa, Martina Franca, Biella

Cio-Cio-San, Maddalena, Elena, Mimž, Santuzza, Tosca

1942

Rome, Bari, Turin, Lonigo, Livorno, Triest, Ascoli Piceno, Catania, Trento

Cio-Cio-San, Tosca, Fedora, Wally, Maddalena, Mimž, Santuzza

1943

Florence, Venice, Carpi, Adria, Ferrara, Fidenza, Pietra Santa, Castelmassa, Voghera, Milan (Teatro Nuovo)

Cio-Cio-San, Mimž, Maddalena, Santuzza

1944

Padua, Busto Arsizio, Pavia, Verona, Adria

Santuzza, Tosca, Cio-Cio-San

1945

Padua

Tosca

1946

Montecatini, Bellinzona (Switzerland)

Mimž, Tosca, Santuzza

1947

Pescara, Livorno

Tosca

 

As Tosca (left) and Mimž (right)

 

The young Rosetta Pampanini

 

Recordings:

La Voce e líArte di Rosetta Pampanini (wonderful edition, beautiful booklet in Italian, 200 pages, pictures)

TIMAClub (4 CD)

Recital (Arias of Gounod, Catalani, Giordano, Puccini, Zandonai, Pietri, Mascagni, Wagner, Verdi)

Preiser-LV

Leoncavallo - I Pagliacci (Molajoli 1930/Merli, Nessi, Galeffi, Vanelli)

Phonographe

Puccini - La BohŤme (Molajoli 1928/Marini, Vanelli, Baracchi, Pasero, Baccaloni, Nessi)

Arkadia

Puccini - Madame Butterfly (Molajoli 1928/Granda, Velasquez, Vanelli)

Arkadia

Dino Borgoli (Duets)

Preiser-LV

Fernando Ciniselli (Duets)

Preiser-LV

Carlo Galeffi Vol. 2 (Duets)

Preiser-LV

Alessandro Granda (Duets)

Bongiovanni

Covent Garden on Record Vol. 4

Pearl

Great Voices at Teatro in Turin

Phonographe

La Scala di Toscanini 1921-1929

Grammofono 2000

Souvenirs from Verismo Operas Vol. 4

IRCC

Mike Richterís Opera Page: The Record of Singing Vol. 3

CD-ROM

 

As Maddalena de Coigny with Beniamino Gigli in ďAndrea ChťnierĒ

 

As Santuzza

 

As Nedda

Comment:

Rosette Pampanini was one of the most interesting and prolific Italian sopranos  of the ďveristic periodĒ. The operas by Puccini, Giordano, Cilea, Leoncavallo, Mascagni, Montemezzi and Zandonai demand for singers who are able to perform with strong sensitivity and rhetorical ability. Sopranos like Poli-Randaccio, dalla Rizza, Cobezzi, Oltrabella, Bruna Rasa, Favero, Cervi Caroli, Melis, Cigna, Zamboni, Scacciati, Tassinari etc. had much personality, but unfortunately, many of them lacked a sufficient singing technique. There was a little conception of legato, enunciation was affected and often unclear, the registers were not fully equalized, the chest register was carried up to G, the middle register remained comparatively weak, and to compensate for this they had a tendency to use too forceful an attack.

Rosetta Pampanini, like so many of her contemporaries, could not always resist the temptation to hoist the chest too high, but however, her singing had character with a variety of color and expression. She was one of the few sopranos of her generation who resisted the emphatic delivery including sobs and sighs.

The following file is one of Pampaniniís finest and most expressive achievements:

 Vissi díarte (Title role in Tosca / Puccini / Columbia 1939)

 

Chronology and all pictures - La Voce e LíArte di Rosetta Pampanini, TIMAClub Vol 4