(December 27, 1888 – 16 December 16, 1965)
Tito Schipa, born Raffaele Attilio Amedeo Schipa was an acclaimed Italian tenor.
His birthday was recorded as 1889 to avoid military conscription. Schipa studied in Milan and made his operatic debut at the age of 21. He appeared throughout Italy and in Argentina.
In 1917 he created the role of Ruggiero in La Rondine by Puccini. In 1919 he went to the USA and joined the Chicago Opera Company where he stayed until 1932 before moving to the Metropolitan.
He had also sung with the San Francisco Opera in 1924. Until 1949 he sang regularly at La Scala and in 57 even toured the Soviet Union. Performing a wide range of Puccini and Verdi roles, Schipa he eventually added many French operatic roles to his repertoire – and in concert always (like most Italian tenors) loved to sing those Neapolitan and Spanish songs that so many people love (and some of us loathe!)
Like Tauber and Placido Domingo and sometimes Jose Cura- Schipa loved to occasionally take the baton and conduct… which is as appealing to some purists as Russell Crowe trying to be a rock star.
Tito Schipa enjoyed all the success of having an enormous and loyal following. They loved his great musicianship and his winning personality.
He retired from the opera stage in 1958 and taught voice in Budapest before moving to New York to teach there. He died there in 77 from complications due to diabetes.