The third man remembers that Callas-Gobbi Tosca

The third man remembers that Callas-Gobbi Tosca


norman lebrecht

March 06, 2014

Renato Cioni, who died this week, gave an interview a few months ago to an Italian magazine, recalling his role as Cavaradossi in the most indelible of all opera productions. Here’s a sample:

On stage (Maria) was always caress­ing me, touch­ing my hair, cross­ing her arms around my neck. Maria mag­ni­fi­cently brought to life a char­ac­ter who was, in a way, her­self. She was a woman who was gen­er­ous and insec­ure. Her voice was strong and dra­matic, yet also sweet.

To read more, click here on Gramilano.

cioni callas


  • For me, Callas’ portrayal of Tosca with Gobbi put every other production in the passenger seat.

  • PK Miller says:

    I finally heard Callas on the stage when she was past her prime. I didn’t understand: What’s it all about Alfie? (Not sure if Dionne Warwick had sung that yet–maybe my 2014 recollection!) I left terribly disappointed. About 10 years later, a colleague sat me down & we spent an entire day listening to Madame Callas. He pointed out the incomparable technique, musicianship, musical intelligence. It was then I learned to listen to more than the voice–holds true for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, too. To have sung w/Callas as Signor Cioni did is mind boggling. Someday, please God, on God’s opera stage, I will sing Cavaradossi to Madame Callas’ Tosca fully understanding why she remains one of the greatest singers who ever lived. Grazie, Signor Cioni for sharing this.