Ottavio Garaventa

26 January 1934 Genova – 18 March 2014 Savignone

Picture of Ottavio Garaventa
Garaventa grew up in a musical family. His maternal grandfather was a famous tenor in the field of Genoese folksongs. His aunt Rosetta Noli was an important soprano of the 1950s.

He made his debut at 19 as a baritone in Lucia di Lammermoor, after studying for a short time with maestro Magenta. Despite his vocal qualities, his career failed to take off. He interrupted his studies, he found work as a crane operator in the port of Genoa. Later, after marriage and the birth of his daughter, and overcoming a serious health problem, he resumed his studies with Rosetta Noli und Vladimiro Badiali.

Her made his debut at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan as Ottavio in 1964. This was the start of a brilliant career.

In 1965, he won, as a tenor, the major competition As.Li.Co.

He sang in the major opera houses around the world, including the San Carlo in Naples; the Staatsoper in Vienna, from June 18th, 1974 to May 29th, 1988 singing Riccardo (twice), Almaviva (3 times), Rodolfo (once), Tebaldo (7 times), Edgardo (once), Pinkerton (3 times), Duca (4 times), and Alfredo (3 times); La Scala, Bunkakaikan in Tokyo, Roma, the Earl Court in London, Arena di Verona (1971, 1975 and 1979), the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Festival of Aix-en-Provence, Firenze, Torre del Lago, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Bruxelles (1980 Théâtre de la Monnaie ), Marseille, Berlin, Frankfurt a.M., Lisbon, Chicago, San Francisco, Modena, Belgrade, Wiesbaden, Glyndebourne (1967 Rodolfo), Edinburgh, Holland (Lucia di Lammermoor from December 21st, 1972 in Scheveningen at the Circustheater with Jan Derksen, Pieter van den Berg, Sonja Poot, Jan Blinkhof/Johan van der Zalm, Nico Boer, Anke Brokstra and John Matheson conducting; Madama Butterfly from December 15th, 1974 in 's-Gravenhage at the Congresgebouw with Grazia Luridiana Colli/Barada, Rita Bezzi Breda, Antonio Boyer/Antonio Salvadori, Gabriele De Julis and Nino Bonavolontà conducting), Bergamo, Genoa, Adria, ...

At La Scala, he participated in several productions of international importance: two editions of La bohème, conducted by Georges Prêtre and Carlos Kleiber, Maria Stuarda, produced after 136 years under the stage direction of Margherita Wallmann, and during the season of the American Bicentennial, Simon Boccanegra, Requiem, and Macbeth, conducted by Claudio Abbado.

He had a vast repertory (113 roles), mainly in the operas of Verdi, Donizetti, Puccini and verismo composers.

He took part in the world premiere of Il gattopardo by Musco in Palermo, sang in Falstaff in Florence, produced by Eduardo De Filippo.

He took part in the revivals of operas not done for decades: I lituani by Ponchielli at the RAI, Les martyrs and Il diluvio universale by Donizetti, respectively, at Genoa and La Fenice.

In 1981 in Florence, he was awarded the title of Accademico delle Muse.

For several years, he was artistic director of the Savignone International Music Festival, and with his daughter Marina, he founded a musical association that takes care of young artists.

Garaventa was also a good painter, and took part in several exhibitions in Italy and abroad.

He retired around 1993.
Reference 1
Reference 2: (page no longer available)
Reference 3: Kutsch & Riemens

Ottavio Garaventa sings La bohème: O soave fanciulla, with Mirella Freni

Ottavio Garaventa sings Tosca: Recondita armonia
In this performance, Garaventa had to repeat Recondita armonia. Muti was not conducting!
In RA format

Ottavio Garaventa sings Tosca: Mia gelosa, with Virgina Zeani

Ottavio Garaventa sings Tosca: La vita mi costasse
In RA format

Ottavio Garaventa sings Tosca: Vittoria! Vittoria!, with Virginia Zeani
In RA format

Ottavio Garaventa sings Turandot: Nessun dorma
In RA format

Ottavio Garaventa sings Otello: Già nella notte densa, with Virginia Zeani
In RA format
I wish to thank Daniele Godor for the recordings (Otello, Tosca).

Go Home