18 December 1921 Roma – 15 May 2000 Milano
Cesare Valletti as Ernesto
Fernando Corena, Cesare Valletti, Leyna Gabriele and Cesare Siepi
In RA format
A pupil of Tito Schipa, who was audibly his model,
Valletti made his debut in 1947 at the Petruzzelli in Bari as Ernesto. He quickly embarked on a great career, first in Italy,
then internationally. Already in 1947, he sang in Rome, from 1950 regularly at La Scala. In 1950, as well, he had considerable
success at the Teatro Eliseo in Rome in Il turco in Italia, with Mariano Stabile and Maria Callas; Callas was to become one of
his standard partners. He sang with her in Mexico City in 1951 (Traviata), at Covent Garden in 1953 and in 1958 (both times
again in Traviata) or at La Scala in 1955 (Sonnambula under Bernstein's baton). San Francisco was where he made his US debut
(Werther, 1953), he sang in Chicago, at the Vienna Staatsoper, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, in Rio de Janeiro, Paris,
Amsterdam, Zürich, Glyndebourne, Aix-en-Provence, at the Maggio Musicale (regularly from 1958 to 1965), the Salzburg
Festival (Don Giovanni, 1960) and the Arena di Verona. From 1953 to 1960, he was a member of the Met; he left after differences
with manager Rudolf Bing, and turned down all later invitations to come back.
His specialties were belcanto and Mozart operas, and he even gave lied recitals in German and French (unusual fare for an Italian
He quit the stage as early as 1968 and became a manager in the food corporation owned by his father-in-law.
Reference 1: Kutsch & Riemens; reference 2
I wish to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the picture (top) and the recording.