Life and career[change]
Bergonzi was born in Vidalenzo, near Parma, Italy. He studied in Parma with Grandini. His first performance was in 1948 in Lecce, as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. For that, he sang as a baritone. After more studies, he retrained himself as a tenor. His first performance as a tenor was in 1951 in Bari, as Andrea Chenier. That same year, on the 100th anniversary of Verdi's death, he sang on Italian radio in several Verdi works, such as I Due Foscari, Giovanna d'Arco, Simon Boccanegra, etc.
He has sung most of the leading roles in Italian opera, notably Nemorino, Edgardo, Ernani, Macduff, Duke of Mantua, Alfredo, Riccardo, Alvaro, Carlo, Radames, Enzo, Turriddu, des Grieux, Rodolfo, Cavaradossi, Pinkerton, etc.
He made many recordings, notably a recording of Verdi's complete tenor arias. This remains a unique achievement.
- The Metropolitan Opera Encyclopedia, edited by David Hamilton, Simon & Schuster, 1987.