Di Stefano, 100

Di Stefano, 100


norman lebrecht

July 24, 2021

The Itaian tenor and Callas partner was born 100 years ago today.

Fulsome tribute here.

Giuseppe Di Stefano died in March 2008.


  • Edgar Self says:

    Memories, persistent even if unreliable or even treacherous! I never saw Callas, a great regret, but saw Di Stefano in his youthful prime, about 30, as Faust with Nadine Conner and Jerome Hines and the Met on tour in Dallas. I remember best his hairpin crescendo-decrescendo on the top note in “Salut demeure” and a terrific thunderclap outside Fair Park Auditorium just as Mephisto emerged from the fireplace.

    On that tour the Met also brought “Tosca” with Ljuba Welitsch, Alexander Sved, and I think Tucker; also “L’elisir d’amore” with Bidu Sayao, Ferruccio Tasgliavini, and wonderful old Salvatore Baccaloni as Dottore Dulcamara. The Siamese twins Alessio di Paolis and George Chehanovsky were everywhere, well-remembered from Met broadcasts and Milton Cross’s sonorous enunciation.

    Old age, e strano, but the only way yet found of living a long time. A wonder too to hear grandchildren of some I saw in youth.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    – They don’t make them like this anymore… When it comes to tenors for the Italian repertoire, my ears prefer Gigli, Bjorling, Del Monaco, Corelli, Di Stefano, Bergonzi, Gedda, Krauss over any of their estimable successors. Am I alone?

    – Many of us think of the Callas-Di Stefano and Tebaldi-Del Monaco partnerships. I’ve heard that this is largely due to their partnerships with recording companies. That in live performances they “swapped” ! Further insights appreciated.

  • Edgar Self says:

    You’re hard;y alone, Petros; it’s a sterling list. Some might add Juan Diego Florez and Hugues Cuenod in their special repertoires; Karl Liebl (Huon of Bordeaux) and Lauritz Melchior (Siegmund) at their best; Fritz Wunderlich singing anything. Gigli would also head my list, sobs and all.

    Novagerio, I got an early start.