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 • Rome
 • Provincia di Roma
 • Lazio
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Beniamino Gigli
Birth: Mar. 20, 1890
Rome
Provincia di Roma
Lazio, Italy
Death: Nov. 30, 1957
Rome
Provincia di Roma
Lazio, Italy

Opera Singer. With a smooth and lush "honeyed" voice, he is considered by many to be one of the very finest tenors in the recorded history of music. The son of a shoemaker who was fond of opera music, in 1914 he won first place at an international singing competition in Parma, Italy. On October 15, 1914 he made his operatic debut, playing the role of 'Enzo' in Amilcare Ponchielli's "La Gioconda" in Rovigo, Italy. After that he became renowned, performing "Mefistofele" at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Italy (March 1915), Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy (December 1915), Teatro Costanzi in Rome, Italy (December 1916), La Scala, in Milan, Italy (November 1918), and finally the Metropolitan Opera, New York (November 1920) where he remained for 12 years. Following the death of the great Italian tenor Enrico Caruso in 1921, he rose to international prominence, often referred to as "Caruso Secondo." In 1932 he left the New York Metropolitan Opera when he refused to take a salary cut, and returned to his native Italy, performing there as well as the rest of Europe and South America. He was highly criticized for being a fan favorite of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, having recorded the Fascist anthem "Giovinezza" in 1937. He gave but just a few performances during World War II but after it ended in 1945, he returned to the stage with great acclaim. From 1935 until 1953 he appeared in over 20 films, including "Forget Me Not" (1935 and 1936) and "Ave Maria" (1936). During his life, he gave 2,249 opera performances and nearly 1,000 benefit concerts, raising more money than any other singer in history. In 1955 he undertook a world tour of farewell concerts that led to a decline in his health with his last public appearance in Washington DC in May of that year. He died two years later at the age of 67. Many of his recordings have been re-issued on CDs. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Children:
  Rina Gigli (1916 - 2000)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Recanati Cemetery
Rome
Provincia di Roma
Lazio, Italy
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Medora
Record added: Jan 26, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13127110
Beniamino Gigli
Added by: Anonymous
 
Beniamino Gigli
Added by: Creative Commons
 
Beniamino Gigli
Added by: Medora
 
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Thank you for your many contributions to the world of opera. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Apr. 14, 2016

- Cori Hoag
 Added: Mar. 20, 2016
Rest in Peace.
- Sue Gartman
 Added: Jul. 19, 2015
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