Stamp of the Month: February 2019

Nicaragua 22.1.1975
Giovanni Martinelli

The Italian tenor Giovanni Martinelli was born in Montagnana on October 22, 1885. He died on February 2, 1969 in New York. In February 2019, his death marks the 50th time.
As a child Martinelli learned clarinet, he sang in a church choir and later served in a military orchestra. The orchestra leader discovered his voice and recommended to study singing with Giuseppe Mandolini. On Dec. 2, 1910 Martinelli made his debut as a soloist in Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” and a few weeks later in Verdi’s “Ernani” at the Teatro Dal
Verme in Milan. Arturo Toscanini and Giacomo Puccini occupied him then as Dick Johnson for the European premiere of the opera “La Fanciulla Del West”. His more than 50-year career has taken Giovanni Martinelli, among others to the opera houses of Naples, Monte Carlo, London, Budapest and La Scala in Milan. More than 30 years he worked at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he was hired as the successor to Enrico Caruso and had a total of more than 650 performances. He remains in memory particularly because of his lyrical-dramatic tenor roles.

The video shows Giovanni Martinelli performing the aria “Celeste Aida”. The film was made in 1929 on the stage of “Hammerstein’s Opera House” in Manhattan.