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Giovanni Mario by Disdéri (2)

Giovanni Mario by Disdéri (2)
Giovanni Mario, born Giovanni Matteo De Candia (1810-1883); Italian tenor who created the role of Ernesto in Donizetti’s "Don Pasquale" at the Théâtre-Italien in Paris (1843).
Because he possessed an exceptionally fine natural voice, Mario was encouraged by the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer to become a singer. He studied singing with Louis-Antoine Ponchard and Marco Bordogni. Mario made his debut in 1838 at the Paris Opéra in the title role of Meyerbeer's "Robert le diable". After meeting the famous soprano Giulia Grisi (London 1839) they often performed together and they lived together (because Grisi could not get an official divorce). From 1840 Mario sang in Paris at the Théâtre-Italien and London and Paris were the main places of his activity. Here he became the most celebrated tenor of his era. He sang at Covent Garden from 1847 until 1867 and again during the 1871 season. He sang in the London premieres of Don Pasquale (1843), Le Prophète (1849), Rigoletto (1853) and Roméo et Juliette (1867). In Paris he sang in the world premieres of Don Pasquale (1843) and Rossini's Stabat Mater (1847). He also sang the Paris premières of I due Foscari (1846), La traviata (1856), Rigoletto (1857), Martha (1858) and Un ballo in maschera (1861). He also appeared in St. Petersburg (1849/53, 1866/70), Madrid (1859, 1864) and New York (1854). His most famous roles were Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Gennaro in Lucrezia Borgia, Fernando in La favorite, Lionel in Martha, Raoul in Les Huguenots, the Duke in Rigoletto and Manrico in Il trovatore. His voice was considered one of the finest tenor voices of his time; one praised the elegance and intelligence of his declamation, his musical taste and his eminent sense of style. Complemented by a brilliant stage presence and a special interpretive talent. In 1871 he gave his farewell performance at Covent Garden. In 1872/73 he undertook a tour through the United States along with Carlotta Patti. Soon after ending his career he was in grinding poverty. In 1880 a benefit concert was organized for him in London.

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