Mario Del Monaco

Mario Del Monaco - A critical approach

Picture of Mario Del Monaco with Arnosi

Picture of Mario Del Monaco in 1966

Picture of Mario Del Monaco's concert in Berlin 1966
I wish to thank Daniele Godor for the 1966 picture and program.
Del Monaco surely did not overwoked himself during that concert.
Picture of Mario Del Monaco as Cavaradossi
Courtesy Harmonie Autographs and Music, Inc., NY
Olivero on Mario Del Monaco:
When Del Monaco and I sang Francesca da Rimini together at La Scala he explained his whole vocal technique to me. When he finished I said, "My dear Del Monaco, if I had to put into practice all the things you've told me, I'd stop singing right away and just disappear." The technique was so complicated: you push the larynx down, then you push this up, then you do that – in short, it made my head spin just to hear everything he did. We recorded Francesca excerpts together. Francesca has a beautiful phrase, "Paolo, datemi pace," marked "piano," and then Paolo enters with "Inghirlandata di violette," which also should be sung softly, delicately. Instead, Del Monaco was terrible – he bellowed the phrase [she imitates him and laughs]! When he listened to the playback he exclaimed, "I can't believe it! After that soft poetic phrase I come in and what do I sound like – a boxer punching with his fists!" He recorded the phrase again, but the second attempt was more or less the same because he was incapable of singing piano. He was furious with himself because he wanted to. He tried everything, but his technique would not permit him to sing softly since it totally was based on the muscles.
Mario Del Monaco sings La traviata: Dei miei bollenti spiriti
In RA format

Mario Del Monaco sings Die Walküre: Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond
In RA format

Mario Del Monaco sings Madama Butterfly: Addio fiorito asil
In RA format

Mario Del Monaco sings Giulietta e Romeo: Giulietta son io
In RA format

Mario Del Monaco sings Otello: Sì, pel ciel, with René Bianco
In RA format

Mario Del Monaco sings Norma: In mia man, with Alda Morelli Morgan
In RA format
I wish to thank Imogen Norcroft for the recording (Walküre).
I wish to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recordings (Giulietta e Romeo, Madama Butterfly).
Mario Del Monaco sings Kiss me, Kate: Wunderbar, with Anneliese Rothenberger and some crooner

Mario Del Monaco sings Otello: Esultate
In RA format
This is just amazing. He sings the last part of Esultate from "dopo l'armi lo vinse" to the end without a breath. Who else has done it?!!!! Renato Gigli, answer sent by Imogen Norcroft.
Mario Del Monaco sings Andrea Chénier: Un dì all'azzurro spazio

Mario Del Monaco sings Il trovatore: Di quella pira

Mario Del Monaco sings Turandot: Nessun dorma
In RA format
Apropos of Del Monaco and Turandot: of his 1949 Buenos Aires performances with Maria Callas, no recording exists. What has been clamourosly passed off as such, some years ago, is actually a forgery: please read this well-done article.

Mario Del Monaco sings Il tabarro: Hai ben ragione
In RA format

Mario Del Monaco sings Il tabarro: Folle di gelosia
In RA format
Not for the lover of the sweet effeminate sound à la Bocelli.
Del Monaco as a baritone

Website on Mario Del Monaco
This website is very attractive. It recommends rightly the book on Del Monaco by Elisabetta Romagnolo. This book has been badly reviewed for no good reason at all by Mr. van den Bulck on the deceased Fasolt website. The only discrepancy, that I can find on the site, is that it states one more time that Del Monaco sang Otello more than 400 times, while the chronology in the book does not support this statement. After checking with the webmaster of the site, the number of 427 was given by Del Monaco during an interview, while regretting he could not achieve a total of 500 Otellos on stage. The book reports only on available documentation supporting his appearances on stage as Otello. I believe the book to be closer to the truth than the over 400 Otellos supposedly sung by Del Monaco. Bad legend never dies.
Mario Del Monaco sings Pagliacci: Vesti la giubba
In RA format

Mario Del Monaco sings Otello: Ora e per sempre
In RA format

Mario Del Monaco sings La fanciulla del West: Or son sei mesi
In RA format
I would like to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recordings.

78rpm Discography


La voce del padrone, Milano 1948-08-06
0BA 6645	M'hai rapito (D'Anzi) (film "L'uomo dal guanto grigio") 			HN 2377 
0BA 6646	Cercar non giova (D'Anzi) (film "L'uomo dal guanto grigio") 		HN 2377 
0BA 6647	Che bella fiesta (D'Anzi) (film "L'uomo dal guanto grigio")		HN 2378 
0BA 6648	Malinconia d'amore (D'Anzi) (film "L'uomo dal guanto grigio")	HN 2378 

La voce del padrone, Milano 1948-11-22
2BA 6715	Andrea Chénier (Giordano): Un dì all'azzurro spazio				DB 11320 
0BA 6716	L'africaine (Meyerbeer): O paradiso							DA 11305 
0BA 6717	Turandot (Puccini): Nessun dorma							DA 11305 
2BA 6718	Lohengrin (Wagner): Da voi lontan							DB 11320 

La voce del padrone, Milano 1951-01-16 0BA 7566-1 Manon Lescaut (Puccini): Donna non vidi mai DA 11332 2BA 7567 Otello (Verdi): Dio! mi potevi scagliar DB 11337 2BA 7568 Otello (Verdi): Esultate & Ora e per sempre DB 11337 La voce del padrone, Milano 1951-04-05 2BA 7647 Aida (Verdi): Celeste Aida DB 11343 2BA 7648 Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Vesti la giubba unpubl? (DB 21452?) 2BA 7648-2 d:o DB 11344, DB 21452 2BA 7649 Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): No, Pagliaccio non son DB 11344 La voce del padrone, Milano 1951-04-07 2BA 7653 Otello (Verdi): Niun mi tema DB 11343 2BA 7654 Boheme (Leoncavallo): Testa adorata unpubl 0BA 7654-2 d:o DA 11332 2BA 7655 Otello (Verdi): Niun mi tema DB 21452 La voce del padrone, Milano 1951-10-04 2BA 7848 Carmen (Bizet): Il fior DB 11351 2BA 7849 Cavalleria rusticana (Mascagni): Addio alla madre DB 11351 La voce del padrone, Milano 1952-01-09 0BA 7850-2 Werther (Massenet): Ah non mi ridestar DA 11333 0BA 7851-2 Andrea Chénier (Giordano): Come un bel dì di maggio DA 11333 La voce del padrone, Milano 1952-07-23 0BA 8107-1 Martha (Flotow): M'apparì DA 11350 0BA 8108-1 Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea): L'anima ho stanca DA 11349 0BA 8109-1 Andrea Chénier (Giordano): Sì, fui soldato DA 11350 La voce del padrone, Milano 1952-07-24 0BA 8108-2 Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea): L'anima ho stanca DA 11349 0BA 8110-1 L'amico Fritz (Mascagni): O amore, o bella luce del core DA 11348 0BA 8111-1 Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea): La dolcissima effigie DA 11349 0BA 8112-1 Cavalleria rusticana (Mascagni): O Lola ch'ai di latti la cammisa DA 11348
Decca, Roma 1952 IAR 607 Luisa Miller (Verdi): Quando le sere LX 3094, XP 6150 IAR 608 La fanciulla del West (Puccini) Ch'ella mi creda X 575, XP 6150 IAR 609 Manon Lescaut (Puccini): Ah! non v'avvicinate X 575, XP 6152 IAR 610 La traviata (Verdi): Dei miei bollenti spiriti X 574, XP 6152 IAR 611 Turandot (Puccini): Non piangere, Liù X 577 IAR 612 Tosca (Puccini): Recondita armonia X 576 IAR 613 Tosca (Puccini): E lucevan le stelle X 576 IAR 614 Macbeth (Verdi): Ah! la paterna mano LX 3094 IAR 661 La Juive (Halévy): Rachel, quand du Seigneur X 573 IAR 662 La Gioconda (Ponchielli): Cielo e mar X 572 IAR 663 Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Prologo X 572 IAR 664 La forza del destino (Verdi): O tu che in seno agli angeli X 573 IAR 665 La Gioconda (Ponchielli): Cielo e mar X 572 IAR 667 Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Prologo X 572 IDR 1-1 Rigoletto (Verdi): La donna è mobile M 682, SV3808 IDR 2-1 Rigoletto (Verdi): Questa o quella (Verdi) M 682, SV3808 IDR 753 Les millions d'Arlequin (Drigo): Serenata SV 3810 IDR 769 Musica proibita (Gastaldon) SV 3809 IDR 771 Addio a Napoli (Cottrau) P 18212 IDR 772 Mattinata (Leoncavallo) P 18214, SV 3810 IDR 773 Mattinata veneziana (Cinque) P 18212, SV 3809 IDR 774 Core 'ngrato (Cardillo) P 18214, SV 3811 A 3, Leningrad Tosca (Puccini): Aria Kavaradossi 33289 Il tabarro (Puccini): Aria Henri 33289 La fanciulla del West (Puccini): Aria Johnson 33290 Turandot (Puccini): Aria Kalafa 33290
I wish to thank Christian Torrent for the discography and the relative pictures.

Repertory

Lucia di Lammermoor (Normanno/Arturo)-Sant'Angelo in Lizzola, Comunale, 1932
Don Pasquale-Ancona, 1932
Cavalleria rusticana-Cagli, Comunale, 20 March 1940
Madama Butterfly-Milano, Puccini, 31 December 1940
La traviata-Milano, Puccini 6 January 1941
Tosca-Palermo, Biondo, 23 May 1941
La bohème-Catania, Bellini, 13 June 1941
Lucia di Lammermoor-Catazanro, Carro di Tespi, 5 October 1941
Zazà-Como, Sociale, 10 February 1942
Ariodante-Parma, Regio, 22 November 1942
L'amico Fritz-Livorno, Goldoni, 6 March 1943
Manon Lescaut-Pisa, Verdi, 3 April 1943
Rigoletto-Padova, Verdi, 27 January 1945
Un ballo in maschera-Venezia, La Fenice, 25 April 1945
La Gioconda-Venezia, Campo Sant' Angelo, 17 July 1945
Turandot-Gradisca d'Isonzo, Estivo dei Tremila, 4 August 1945
Andrea Chenier-Valdagno, del Popolo, 6 October 1945
Aida-Trieste, Verdi, 2 February 1946
Pagliacci-London, Covent Garden, 1 October 1946
Esmeralda-Livorno, Goldoni, 28 November 1946
Carmen-Napoli, San Carlo, 15 February 1947
Il tabarro-Roma, d'all Opera, 29 March 1947
La fanciulla del West-Rio de Janeiro, Municipal, 15 August 1947
Mefistofele-S. Paulo, Municipal, 17 September 1947
Il trovatore-S. Paulo, Municipal, 1 October 1947
Fedora-Roma, d'all Opera, 13 December 1947
La forza del destino-Buenos Aires, Colón, 3 June 1949
Il Guarany-Rio de Janeiro, Municipal, 7 September 1949
Adriana Lecouvreur-Lisboa, S. Carlos, 31 March 1950
Otello-Buenos Aires, Colón, 21 July 1950
La Wally-Milano, Scala, 7 December 1953
Norma-Roma, RAI, 29 June 1955
Samson et Dalila-Nice, Opéra, 7 April 1956
Ernani-New York, MET, 23 November 1956
Lohengrin-Milano, Scala, 11 December 1957
Francesca da Rimini-Milano, Scala, 21 May 1959
Les Troyens-Milano, Scala, 27 May 1960
Die Walküre-Stuttgart, Opernhaus, 20 March 1966
Stiffelio-Napoli, San Carlo, 27 December 1972

Mario del Monaco in Otello
According to the different web pages on Del Monaco, he is supposed to have sung Otello over 400 times, but according to the chronology in the book by Elisabetta Romagnolo on him, it was actually 218 times. Below, here is the list of Otello's appearances found in Romagnolo's book.

1950 Buenos Aires, 21 July (4)
1950 Rio de Janeiro, 24 August (2)
1950 S. Paulo, 30 August (2)
1951 Catania, 5 March (3)
1951 Roma, 26 April (4)
1951 La Havana, 17 May (2)
1951 Mexico, 20 June (2)
1951 Busetto, 24 August (2)
1951 Treviso, 9 October (2)
1952 New York, 15 February (1)
1953 Pittsburgh, 19 March (2)
1953 Hartford, 27 March (2)
1953 San Antonio, May (2)
1954 Milano, 7 January (6)
1954 Monte Carlo, 31 January (2)
1954 Reggio Emilia, 11 February (2)
1954 Paris, 20 February (2)
1954 Roma, 25 March (5)
1954 Torino, 6 May (3)
1954 Milano, 6 September (1)
1954 Rio de Janeiro, 5 October (2)
1955 New York, 31 January (5)
1955 Firenze, 11 June (3)
1955 Napoli 2 July (1)
1955 Verona, 20 July (1)
1955 Barcelona, 6 November (3)
1956 Nice, 10 March (1)
1956 Marseille, 22 March (1)
1956 Nice, 10 April (Act 4 only)
1956 Madrid, 12 May (2)
1956 San Sebastian, 24 May (1)
1956 Bilbao, 28 May (1)
1956 Stuttgart, 14 June (2)
1956 Lyon, 4 July (2)
1957 Napoli, 16 February (3)
1957 Wien, 15 April (7)
1957 Zürich, 10 May (1)
1957 Palermo, 7 September (2)
1957 Chicago, 11 October (3)
1958 New York 27 February (5)
1958 Baltimore, 25 March (1)
1958 Boston, 18 April (1)
1958 Cleveland, 26 April (1)
1958 Milano, 30 September (1)
1958 New York, 15 November (5)
1959 Tokyo, 4 February (4)
1959 Osaka, 2 March (1)
1959 Stuttgart, 17 April (1)
1959 San Francisco, 16 October (2)
1959 Los Angeles, 25 October (1)
1959 San Diego, 5 November (1)
1959 Milano, 7 December (7)
1960 Napoli, 21 January (4)
1960 Venezia, 6 August (1)
1960 Roma, 26 December (4)
1962 Palermo, 11 January (2)
1962 Catania, 6 February (2)
1962 London, 30 June (4)
1962 Philadelphia, 9 November (2)
1962 Hartford, 19 November (1)
1962 Dallas, 30 November (2)
1963 Palma di Maiorca (Act 4 only)
1964 Lucca, 14 September (2)
1964 Philadelphia, 13 October (1)
1964 Bologna, 20 December (3)
1965 Nice, 28 January (2)
1965 Vichy, 19 August (2)
1966 Montréal, 21 June (2)
1966 Venezia, 31 July (2)
1967 Macerata, 3 August (2)
1967 Bilbao, 5 September (1)
1967 Oviedo, 18 September (1)
1967 Stuttgart, 11 October (2)
1968 Bari, 18 January (2)
1968 Lecce, 22 March (2)
1968 Jesi, 22 September (2)
1968 Roma, 27 November (6)
1969 Cagliari, 12 January (3)
1969 Napoli, 12 February (2)
1969 Stuttgart, 27 February (2)
1969 Budapest, 19 March (2)
1969 Wiesbaden, 31 May (1)
1969 Rio de Janeiro, 2 September (2)
1969 S. Paulo, 16 September (2)
1970 Belgrade, 11 March (2)
1971 Mantova, 21 January (2)
1971 Brescia, 30 January (3)
1971 Cremona, 24 February (2)
1971 Budapest, 1 April (2)
1971 Viareggio, 17 June (2)
1971 Napoli, 15 July (3)
1971 Lignano, 31 July (2)
1972 Las Palmas, 28 February (2)
1972 Ascoli Piceno, 16 June (1)
1972 Napoli, 1 July (1)
1972 Bruxelles, 4 November (5)
Reference: André Segond /Daniel Sibille, Mario del Monaco ou un ténor de légende, JML, Lyon 1981
Reference: Mario Del Monaco, La mia vita e i miei successi, Rusconi, Milano 1982
Reference: Elisabetta Romagnolo, Mario Del Monaco, Monumentum aere perennius, Azzali 2002.
Reference: Osvaldo Alemanno, Mario del Monaco, Matteo Editore, Treviso, 1988