Giuseppe Lugo

18 June 1899 Rosolotti (Verona) – 18 September 1980 Milano

Biography

The house where Giuseppe Lugo was born.

As a very young man, Lugo fought in the First World War, on the Piave and near Asiago. At 24 years old, he emigrated to Charleroi in Belgium, where he found work first at a sawmill, then at a brick factory.

Young Giuseppe Lugo in his WWI uniform.

In his leisure time, he studied singing with a local choir director, Léon Gaudier. When he became homesick, he returned to Italy, and tried to enter the Milan Conservatory, but was already too old to be accepted. So he took private lessons with Raffaele Tenaglia. After about three years, he was almost 30 years old, without a profession and without a dime, so he returned to Charleroi for work, and continued his studies there with maestro Gaudier.
In May 1931, nearly 32 years old, Lugo won a singing competition in Roubaix (France), and on October 6th of the same year, he made his debut at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, as Cavaradossi. He would stay at that theater until 1936: the best years of his career. In those years, he also sang as a guest all over France, as well as in Brussels, Amsterdam and Geneva. On June 30th, 1934, he married Suzanne, the daughter of his singing teacher Gaudier.


On May 26th, 1936, he made his debut at Covent Garden in London, as Cavaradossi (his most famous role) with Gina Cigna. In the same role, he conquered La Scala on January 20th, 1937 (with Maria Caniglia), and that same year, he sang at many principal theaters throughout Italy, not least at the Arena di Verona for the first time (again in Tosca, again with Gina Cigna, and with Mario Basiola under the baton of Vittorio Gui). He'd return to the Arena in 1938 for Bohème and in 1939 for Rigoletto (with Margherita Carosio and Carlo Tagliabue), where he scored a particularly great success.
He returned to La Scala for the winter 1937/38 season, in Bohème, Mefistofele, Madama Butterfly and Pêcheurs de perles, and in early 1939 for Bohème (with Mafalda Favero) and Turandot (with Cigna).

From 1942, his career petered out. His very last appearance was in Tosca (of course) on November 21st, 1947, in Liège.
Apart from the operatic stage, he made five films, the first three of which made him extraordinarily famous, not only in Italy.
He spent the first years of his retirement at his "Villa Vento" in Custoza (just over the hill from where he had been born), establishing a restaurant there in 1960. In 1970, he moved to Milano, where he'd stay until his death.

Lugo in 1972, on the left picture with Franco Corelli.

Giuseppe Lugo sings La bohème: Que cette main est froide
In RA format

Bohème, Berlin 1937: Lugo proudly poses with a laurel wreath donated by the Nazi government, complete with swastika ribbon.

Giuseppe Lugo sings Luisa Miller: Quando le sere al placido
In RA format

Giuseppe Lugo sings Turandot: Nessun dorma
In RA format


Giuseppe Lugo sings Il trovatore: Di quella pira
In RA format

Giuseppe Lugo sings Hérodiade: Ne pouvant réprimer
In RA format

I would like to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recordings.

Picture of Giuseppe Lugo

Repertory

Tosca – Paris, Opéra-Comique, 6 October 1931
La bohème – Paris, Opéra-Comique, November 1931
Les pêcheurs de perles – Paris, Opéra-Comique, 18 March 1932
Rigoletto – Paris, Opéra-Comique, 11 June1932
Madama Butterfly – Paris, Opéra-Comique, 9 September 1933
Faust – Charleroi, Théâtre des Varietés, 30 April 1934
Werther – Paris, Opéra-Comique, 25 October 1934
Manon – Paris, Opéra-Comique, 26 October 1935
Mefistofele – Bologna, Teatro Comunale, 6 November 1937
Turandot – Milano, Scala, 28 January 1939
La fanciulla del West – Trieste, Teatro Verdi, 10 February 1940


Filmography

LA MIA CANZONE AL VENTO - 1939
Regia: Guido Brignone – Giuseppe Lugo, Laura Nucci, Dria Paola, Pina Renzi, Ugo Ceseri, Guglielmo Sinaz.


CANTATE CON ME - 1940
Regia: Guido Brignone – Giuseppe Lugo, Laura Nucci, Ruby D'Alma, Ugo Ceseri, Guglielmo Sinaz.


MILIARDI, CHE FOLLIA - 1942
Regia: Guido Brignone – Giuseppe Lugo, Ria Teresa


SENZA UNA DONNA - 1943
Regia: Alfredo Guarini – Giuseppe Lugo, Carlo Campanini, Silvana Jachino, Guglielmo Barnabò, Umberto Melnati.


IL TIRANNO DEL GARDA - 1954
Regia: Ignazio Ferronetti – Elio Steiner, Irene Genna, Giuseppe Lugo, Alberto Sorrentino.


Musical numbers in the film soundtracks:
La bohème (Puccini): Nei cieli bigi (w Gobbi)
La bohème (Puccini): Che gelida manina
La bohème (Puccini): Dammi il braccio, mia piccina (w ?)
Luisa Miller (Verdi): Quando le sere al placido
Rigoletto (Verdi): La donna è mobile
Tosca (Puccini): Recondita armonia
Tosca (Puccini): E lucevan le stelle
La fanciulla del West (Puccini): Ch'ella mi creda
Aida (Verdi): Celeste Aida
Turandot (Puccini): Nessun dorma
Solo tu (composer?)
La Gioconda (Ponchielli): Cielo e mar
Otello (Verdi): Esultate
Il trovatore (Verdi): Di quella pira
Canzone alla patria (composer?)
Canto d'amore (composer?)


Discography

Polydor, Paris 1932
2146BMP	Pêcheurs de perles (Bizet): Je crois entendre encore					566.139, 67126, Decca CA8158, Fonit 91044
2147BMP	Bohème (Puccini): Que cette main est froide						566.139,67126, Decca CA8158, Fonit 91044

Polydor, Paris 1933
6063½BKP	Tosca (Puccini): O de beautés égales								561086
6064½BKP	Werther (Massenet): Pourquoi me réveiller							561086
6065BKP	Pagliacci (Leoncavallo): Me grimer								561.087, 90233, 62764, Decca DE7023
6067BKP	Tosca (Puccini): O douces mains									561.087, 90233, 62764, Decca DE7023
6068BKP	Cavalleria rusticana (Mascagni): O Lola, blanche fleur				561088
			Madama Butterfly (Puccini): Adieu, séjour fleuri					561088

Polydor, Paris 1934
1400WPP	Manuela (Stolz) (Film: Mon coeur t'apelle)							unpubl
1400WPP	d:o																522973
1401WPP	Le bel amour (Stolz) (Film: Mon coeur t'apelle)						unpubl
1401WPP	d:o																522973
1402½WPP	O sole mio (Di Capua)											522974
1403½WPP	Mattinata (Leoncavallo)											522974

Polydor, Paris 1935
5754BDP	Land des Lächelns (Lehár): Fantaisie (w Lemichel du Roi), pt 2		522834
5756BDP	Land des Lächelns (Lehár): Fantaisie (w Lemichel du Roi), pt 1		522834
5792BKP	Tosca (Puccini): Le ciel luisait d'étoiles								62763, 561.083
5793BKP	Les pêcheurs de perles (Bizet): De mon amie						62763, 561.083
1559WPP	Amore (Jamin)													unpubl
1559½WPP	d:o																25558
1559¾WPP	d:o																524024
1562WPP	Rigoletto (Verdi): Qu'une belle									561093
1561½WPP	Rigoletto (Verdi): Comme la plume au vent							561093
1613WPP	Jamais (Jamin)													unpubl
1613½WPP	d:o																25558
1613¾WPP	d:o																524024
1020GPP	Werther (Massenet): J'aurais sur ma poitrine						unpubl
1020½GPP	d:o																566.171
1065GPP	Manon (Massenet): Air de Saint-Sulpice							566176, Decca CA8224
1066GPP	Hérodiade (Massenet): Air de Jean								566176 Decca CA8224
1067GPP	Werther (Massenet): Ô nature										566.171
2108HPP	Manon (Massenet): Rêve de Des Grieux							unpubl
2108½HPP	d:o																unpubl
2108¾HPP	d:o																561099
2109HPP	Werther (Massenet): Lorsque l'enfant revient d'un voyage			561099

Polydor, Paris 1936
2921½		Faust (Gounod): Salut, ô mon dernier matin						561106, Vox16078 
2922½		Lakmé (Delibes): Fantaisie aus divins mensonges					561106, Vox16078 
2923½HPP	Faust (Gounod): Salut demeure, pt 1								561105
2924HPP	Faust(Gounod): Salut demeure, pt 2 								561105
2925½		Catarì, Catarì (Cardillo)											524250
2926HPP	Sérénade (Toselli)												unpubl
2926½HPP	d:o																unpubl
2926¾HPP	d:o																524252
2927HPP	Il est un doux pays (Nutile)										524252
2928HPP	Santa Lucia luntana (Mario)										524250
2929HPP	Torna a Surriento (De Curtis)										524251
2930HPP	Maria, Marì (Di Capua)											524251

HMV, Paris 1939-06-07
0LA3102-1	Tosca (Puccini): E lucevan le stelle									DA4921, Vic 2143
0LA3103-1	Tosca (Puccini): Recondita armonia								unpubl
0LA3103-2	d:o																DA4921, Vic 2143
2LA3104-1	Luisa Miller (Verdi): Quando le sere al placido						DB5093
2LA3105-1	Bohème (Puccini): Che gelida manina								unpubl
2LA3105-2	d:o																DB5093
0LA3106-1	Tosca (Puccini): Le ciel luisait d'étoiles								DA4922
0LA3107-1	Tosca (Puccini): O de beautés égales								DA4922

HMV, Milano 1939-06
0B 3214-1	La mia canzone al vento (Bixio)									DA1686
0B 3215-1	Cuore, diglielo anche tu (Bixio)									DA1686
0B 3216-1	Dimmi che il mio amore sei tu! (Valente)							DA1687
0B 3217-2	Mattinata (Leoncavallo)											DA1687

HMV, Milano 1940-11
0BA4167-1	Cantate con me (Bixio) (Film: Cantate con me)						unpubl
0BA4167-2	d:o																unpubl
0BA4167-3	d:o																DA5395
0BA4168-1	Voce di strada (Film: Cantate con me) (Bixio)						unpubl
0BA4168-2	d:o																unpubl
0BA4168-3	d:o																unpubl
0BA4168-4	d:o																DA5395

HMV, Milano 1941
0BA 4205	Serenata montana (Blanc) (Film: Addio giovinezza)					DA5396
0BA 4206	Madrigale montano (Blanc) (Film: Addio giovinezza)				DA5396

Cetra 1942
51747		Cavallino corri e va' (Di Lazzaro) (Film: Miliardi, che follia)			AT 0121, AA307

51748 Miliardi che follia (Di Lazzaro) (Film: Miliardi, che follia) AT 0121, AA307 51749 Piccola Mimì (Di Lazzaro) (Film: Miliardi, che follia) AT0122, AA 308 51750 Senza una donna (Bixio) (Film: Senza una donna) AT 0124 51751 Milionario che follia (Bixio) (Film: Senza una donna) AT 0124 51752 Io non posso cantare alla luna (Bixio) (Film: Senza una donna) AT0122, AA 308
Picture of Giuseppe Lugo

Reference for the biography and filmography: Pietro Sandro Beato
Reference for all pictures but the bottom one: Il Baco da Seta, a fantastic local newspaper for a small part of the province of Verona (fortunately the part where Lugo was born)
All that was traced and prepared for this site by Christian Torrent, who compiled also the discography: thank you!