(stage name of Cafiero Titta Ruffo). Born June 8 (9), 1877, in Pisa; died July 6, 1953, in Florence (buried in Milan). Italian baritone.
Ruffo, who worked as a blacksmith for a time, began studying music at the age of 19. He made his debut in Rome in 1898 as the Herald in Wagner’s Lohengrin. He performed in theaters in Italy and toured other countries, appearing in Russia for the first time in 1905. During the 1920’s, he sang with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He retired from the stage in 1931. He was an antifascist who fought for peace.
An outstanding singer, Ruffo had a voice of rare beauty and richness of timbre, as well as a wide range. His stage performances were expressive and at times rough, which contrasted with the traditional ennoblement of the hero by bel canto singers. The characters in the operas of G. Verdi and the verismo school were especially suitable for him. His roles included Rigoletto and lago in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Otello, respectively, Hamlet in A. Thomas’ Hamlet, Figaro in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca, Tonio in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, and the Demon in Rubinstein’s The Demon.
WORKSIn Russian translation:.
Parabola moei zhizni: Vospominaniia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.