The Tuscan tenor with a steel voice
Born in Montespertoli in 1872, he studied singing in Florence, became a opera tenor, with a solid voice, high note range and incisive phrasing. He took part in numerous opera productions like Medioevo latino by Ettore Panizza, Le maschere by Pietro Mascagni, Lorenza by Edoardo Mascheroni, Amica by Pietro Mascagni, Siberia by Umberto Giordano, Mademoiselle de Belle-Isle by Spiro Samara, Aurora by Ettore Panizza.
Bassi was also an acclaimed singer of the Puccini’s repertoire and the first Italian to play the role of Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West . He had a very successfull career not only in Italy (Milan, Rome, Naples, Florence, Ravenna, Livorno, Bologna, Pisa, Lecce, Trapani, Carrara), but also in the main international theaters: England (London), Russia (Saint Petersburg, Odessa), Spain, France (Paris), Austria (Vienna), United States (New York, Chicago) and Latin America (Buenos Aires, Montevideo, La Plata, Rio de Janeiro, Valparaíso, Santiago de Chile) . In 1910 he took part in the gala show for the coronation of King George V of the United Kingdom at Covent Garden in London. Towards the end of his career he devoted himself mainly to the Wagnerian repertoire, both in Italy and abroad, as clearly shown by the opera Parsifa, The Valkyrie iand Lohengrin . Once withdrawn from the scene in 1926, Bassi retired to Florence where he taught singing and had as a pupil, among others, the famous tenor Ferruccio Tagliavini.
Montespertoli honours the famous tenor
After the tenor’s death in 1949, his archive and his keepsakes have been donated to the Municipality of Montespertoli by his heirs and on the 30 November 2014 a Museum dedicated to him has been inaugurated. A street, the local Filarmonica and, since 2010, a summer music festival are named after Amedeo Bassi.Festival Amedeo Bassi .
To learn more
Amedeo Bassi. Voice of steel. silver and gold. Anna Maria Gasparri Rossotto, 2020
Giacomo Puccini and Amedeo Bassi. Tuscan connections in America. Barbara Boganini, ICAMUS 2018