Death of a dominant baritone, 75

Death of a dominant baritone, 75


norman lebrecht

July 01, 2018

The Italian baritone Claudio Desderi has passed away.

After a 1969 debut at the Edinburgh Festival in Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino, he bacame a fixture at Salzburg, Glyndebourne and Pesaro in Mozart and Rossini roles.

He central achievement was at La Scala, Milan, where he sang  inLa Cenerentola and l’Italiana in Algeri conducted by Claudio Abbado and directed by J-P Ponnelle, and in the Mozart-Da Ponte trilogy conducted by Riccardo Muti and directed by G Strehler.

He was also known as a formidable teacher.


  • Caravaggio says:

    Very sad news. May he rest in eternal peace.

  • G Bernstein says:

    Is the soprano Maria Ewing? If not, can someone tell me who she is, please?

    This opera always makes me smile with the pure pleasure of seeing and hearing such utter nonsense sung so well.

    • Sabrina says:

      Yes! It’s Maria Ewing! I have the DVD. It’s my favourite Il barbiere. She was delightful in this production. And Claudio Desderi was amazing as Doctor Bartolo. RIP Claudio! We love you!

  • Dominic Stafford says:

    An educated and interesting man, with a gentle sense of humour, he liked nothing better than practicing his very good English.

    When he wanted to bring Liping Zhang to Firenze for Butterfly, we got down to discussing rehearsals. We settled on 9 days from arrival to first night.

    ‘Are you sure?’ I asked?

    ‘Of course!’ He replied. ‘This is Butterly, not The Nose!’

  • MacroV says:

    I only know him from one thing: Dandini in La Cenerentola, with Abbado (and Frederica von Stade). That DVD is IMHO the greatest opera film ever and he steals the show.

  • Bylle Binder says:

    I remember him as Leporello and Figaro – he was great and I really, really liked listen to him.