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 • Duomo di Portoferraio
 • Portoferraio
 • Provincia di Livorno
 • Toscana
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Renato Cioni
Birth: Apr. 15, 1929
Portoferraio
Provincia di Livorno
Toscana, Italy
Death: Mar. 4, 2014
Portoferraio
Provincia di Livorno
Toscana, Italy

Opera Singer. A lyric tenor who had a noted career on both sides of the Atlantic, he shall probably be best remembered for two complete opera recordings in which he partnered with a then-young Dame Joan Sutherland. The son of a fisherman, he was raised in the village of Portoferraio, trained at Florence's Cherubini Conservatory, and in 1956 sang the part of LT B.F. Pinkerton in a film of Puccini's "Madame Butterfly" that jump-started his career as well as that of his Cio-Cio-San, Anna Moffo. Later in 1956, a win in a Rome Opera sponsored contest led to his 'official' debut at Spoleto as the hapless Edgardo of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor"; smart enough to know his strengths, he built his career around the lyric staples, his repertoire including at least three of Verdi's characters, Riccardo of "Un Ballo en Maschera", the lecherous Duke in "Rigoletto", and Alfredo from "La Traviata", as well as Rodolfo of Puccini's "La Boheme" and Elvino in Vincenzo Bellini's "La Sonnambula", and one heavyweight part, that of the painter Mario Cavaradossi from Puccini's "Tosca". Over the next few years he refined his craft at ever more important Italian venues and was soon in demand throughout Europe. In 1959 he made his American debut at Philadelphia's Academy of Music and shortly thereafter appeared in a concert version of Donizetti's "Il Duca d'Alba" at Carnegie Hall. The year 1961 proved busy as he bowed at La Scala Milano on March 4th as Pinkerton, made his initial San Francisco Opera appearances as Edgardo, and joined Joan Sutherland for recordings of "Lucia di Lammermoor" and "Rigoletto" which have remained in Decca's catalog ever since. Also in 1961 he made his first appearance in the United Kingdom on an evening that has become the stuff of legend; traveling with an ensemble from Naples' Teatro San Carlo to present Verdi's "Luisa Miller" at the Edinburgh Festival, he received a loud ovation for his performance as Rodolfo. During the Act I curtain calls, however, Cioni and bass Paolo Washington each had a fit of jealousy over which of them should receive higher honors. An onstage fistfight ensued which baritone Piero Cappuccilli managed to break-up, Cioni finished the performance with a broken nose, both men undoubtedly got a severe talking-to from company management, and a thoroughly grand time was had by the press and gossip mongers. He made his 1962 Covent Garden bow as The Duke and in 1964 was part of two important productions, at Covent Garden more than holding his own in a "Tosca" which starred Maria Callas and Tito Gobbi, with Franco Zeffirelli's film of Act II becoming a classic, while at La Scala he joined Anna Moffo for performances and a recording of Herbert von Karajan's acclaimed reading of "La Traviata". He returned to London in 1965 to sing Gabriele Adorno in Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra", continued headlining throughout Europe, bade farewell to Covent Garden in 1969 as Cavaradossi, and on November 18, 1970 bowed at New York's Metropolitan Opera as Pollione from Bellini's "Norma" with Dame Joan in the lead and Marilyn Horne as Adalgisa, and though he was well received his Met career was limited to six performances of "Norma". Cioni gradually retired to the Island of Elba, was a respected voice teacher, continued singing in public into his 80s, was a judge on a 2012 episode of "And the Winner Is...", a sort-of Italian "American Idol", and died following a brief illness. At his demise a number of his records remained available on CD. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Burial:
Duomo di Portoferraio
Portoferraio
Provincia di Livorno
Toscana, Italy
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Mar 09, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 126099832
Renato Cioni
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
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- Bob Hufford
 Added: Mar. 4, 2016

- Robert David Miller
 Added: Aug. 23, 2015

- Brenda Hoffman
 Added: Apr. 16, 2014
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