Giuseppe Bartolotta

Picture of Giuseppe Bartolotta>
Only tenor Mario Bartolotti's existence was proven and tested (by documents on a Traviata in Pisa in January 1910) at the time when the Sterling Cylinders catalog (see discography below) first turned up, and so there was some confusion as to whether "Bartolotta" was not perhaps simply a misspelling of Bartolotti.
However, not so: According to an essay once (but alas no longer) available on the University of Iowa's website, Giuseppe Bartolotta was touring rural America with the Circuit Chautauqua during the 1910-11 season. A relative (US-American) flyer at the time also reproduced on that website told that before coming to the US, Bartolotta had sung in the UK, where Sterling Records (see discography below) was at home. The cylinders were made in 1906.
The tenor is the same on both cylinders reproduced below, but it's a different announcer – a British announcer on the La donna è mobile cylinder, and the singer himself on Funiculì funiculà. Both clearly say "Bartolotta". Judging from the tenor's (strong) dialect, he actually is Neapolitan, like what the announcements tell. I think it's improbable, too, that Bartolotta and Bartolotti were the same person, deliberately using one name for concerts in the UK and US, and the other for Traviata in Pisa. Bartolotta came to the US no later than 1910 and was in the UK already in 1906; and had been touring "most of the principal cities throughout Europe" for two years before arriving in the UK, which is to say that he had left Italy long before 1910. And he was always announced as a concert singer, not opera.
Giuseppe Bartolotta sings Rigoletto: La donna è mobile
In RA format

Giuseppe Bartolotta sings Funiculì, funiculà
In RA format

STERLING CYLINDERS 531 RIGOLETTO: La donna è mobile 532 TOSCA: Aria 603 CARMEN: Il fior 604 PAGLIACCI: Vesti la giubba 605 DENZA: Funiculì funiculà 606 GOUNOD: Serenata
I wish to thank Robert Schlesinger for the research, links and notes.
Source for Rigoletto recording.
Another picture of a concert advertisement (click through the thumbnails to view the other pages of that advertisement).
Source for the picture: University of Iowa website ("our" picture being no longer available there).
Source for the discography the extraordinary website of Roberto Marcocci.

Go Home