(August 14, 1913 - January 28, 1995)
Ferrucio Tagliavini was an Italian tenor. His career was mainly active in the 1940s and 1950s.
Tagliavini was hailed as the heir apparent to Tito Schipa and Beniamino Gigli in the lyric-opera repertory due to the exceptional beauty of his voice, but regrettably he did not sustain his great early promise across the full span of his career.
Tagliavini studied in Parma with Italo Brancucci and in Florence. He made his professional debut in 1938 as Rodolfo in La bohème.
He swiftly gained recognition as one of the leading tenors of his time in operas such as Il Barbiere di Siviglia, L'elisir d'Amore, Don Pasquale, La Sonnambula, Lucia di Lammermoor, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Manon, Werther, L'amico Fritz and L'Arlesiana.
Debuts at many of the world's major opera houses followed including La Scala, Milan, in 1942; the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, in 1946; the Metropolitan Opera, New York, in 1947 (as Rodolfo in La Bohème); the San Francisco Opera in 1948; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, in 1950; and, finally, the Paris Opéra in 1951.
During the 1950s, he took on heavier roles such as Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera, Cavaradossi in Tosca and Faust in Mefistofele; but the quality of his voice suffered as a consequence.
Tagliavini retired from the opera stage in 1965 but he continued to give recitals until the mid-1970s. He left behind an impressive discography, the finest of which were recordings he made in his heyday during the 1940s.
They reveal a remarkable voice and a skill at soft or mezza voce, singing that is equally remarkable. Tagliavini also made a few opera films notably Il Barbiere di Siviglia in 1946 with Tito Gobbi.
He married the soprano Pia Tassinari in 1941 and made several recordings with her - they often appeared on- stage together. There is a recording available of them singing Massenet's opera Werther.