Badà's voice was only trained when he sang in the boys' choir of the Novara cathedral, and never again.
He made his operatic debut in 1898; always a comprimario, he was soon successful, and in 1905 already came to Covent Garden
as a guest. His real breakthrough came in 1906, when he sang both at La Scala (Narraboth) and the Teatro San Carlo in Naples
From 1908 to 1938, he was the foremost tenor comprimario of the Metropolitan Opera, New York, singing 2170 performances
there, a host of world and local premieres among them (e.g. Trin in La fanciulla del West, 10 December 1910, or Pang in the
first US Turandot, 16 November 1926). Giulio Gatti-Casazza, who had hired him for the Met, called him "il più grande
comprimario esistente" (which may seem exaggerated).
As a guest, he sang in San Francisco and at the Salzburg Festival for instance, and notably Shujskij at Covent Garden to
Fjodor Shaljapin's Boris in 1928.
Towards the end of his career, he was also the Met's Artistic Director.
Reference 1: Kutsch & Riemens; reference 2: Metropolitan Opera archives; picture source