Mirto Picchi

15.03.1915 - 25.09.1980


Mirto Picchi (March 15, 1915, San Mauro, near Florence - September 25, 1980, Florence) was an Italian tenor, particularly associated with the Italian repertory, and with contemporary works.

Picchi studied in Milan with Giulia Tess and Giuseppe Armani, and made his debut there as Radamès in Aïda, in 1946.

In 1947, he appeared in Vienna, as Don José in Carmen, and in London, at the Cambridge Theatre, as the Duca di Mantua in Rigoletto, Rodolfo in La bohème, Cavaradossi in Tosca, and sang Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera at Edinburgh, in 1949. He made his debut at the Royal Opera House in 1952, as Pollione in Norma, opposite Maria Callas. He also appeared in Rio de Janeiro in 1950, and Chicago in 1954.

However, the main part of his career was in Italy, notably in Milan (Teatro alla Scala), Rome, Naples, and Florence, where he first sang Jason in a revival of Cherubini's Médée (in the Italian version), opposite Callas, in 1953.

He created roles in many contemporary works, notably Ildebrando Pizzetti's Cagliastro and La figlia di Iorio, and Juan Jose Castro's Proserpina y el Extranjero.

One of the leading tenors of the post-war period, he had a fine voice and was an accomplished singing-actor. He retired from the stage in 1974 (Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, at La Scala), and published his autobiography, Un trono vicino al sol, in 1978. 

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