Opera Scotland

Mariano Stabile Suggest updates

Born Palermo, 12 May 1888.

Died Milan, 11 January 1968.

Italian baritone.

Mariano Stabile enjoyed a long and successful career, particularly in buffo roles.  He was especially renowned for his characterisation of Verdi's Falstaff and still performed it as late as 1961.  He appeared in Chicago during the 1924-25 season, and at Salzburg 1935-39.

He studied in Rome under Cotogni at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia.  His debut, back in Palermo in 1909, was as Amonasro.  He worked steadily over the next few years until in 1922 he was chosen by Toscanini to launch the season at La Scala as Falstaff.

His repertoire was wide, ranging through Mozart (Figaro,  Don Giovanni,  Don Alfonso);  Rossini (Poeta Il turco in Italia,  Figaro); Donizetti (Malatesta);  Verdi (Amonasro,  Iago,  Falstaff);  Thomas (Hamlet) and Puccini (Scarpia).  He created the title role in Respighi's Belfagor (1923).

Between the wars he worked frequently in Britain, both at Covent Garden (1926-31) and at Glyndebourne (1936-39).  He returned to the Glyndebourne company after the war, when they performed at the second Edinburgh Festival.  He also sang with Jay Pomeroy's New London Opera Company  (1946-48), under conductor Alberto Erede, working with, and influencing, young British singers including Ian Wallace,  William Dickie and Murray Dickie.  During this period he also worked at the Stoll Theatre in London.

He can be heard in a vintage recording of Il turco in Italia, which was produced at La Scala in 1950, directed by a young Franco Zeffirelli.  Young but very stylish colleagues include Maria Callas and Nicolai Gedda.  This staging was brought to the 1957 Edinburgh Festival, though without any of these participants.

Roles in Scotland

Don Alfonso a middle-aged bachelor
Così fan tutte 1948

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