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Rolando Panerai

Soloist, Baritone
He was born in Campi Bisenzio, Florence on 17/10/1924. He studied under Raul Frazzi (Florence), as well as under Armani Tess and Julia Tess (Milan). He debuted as Pharaoh [Moses in Egypt/Mosè in Egitto] at the Teatro di San Carlo Naples (1947). He sang at La Scala Milan as High Priest of Dagon [Samson and Delilah/Samson et Dalila] (1952) and in Paul Hindemith's opera Matthias the Painter [Mathis der Maler] (1957). Being a very active singer, by 2011 he had sung about 150 leading roles mainly of Italian repertoire. He appeared at major international music centers such as: Venice (premiere of Prokofiev’s opera The fiery angel, 1955), San Francisco (Le nozze di Figaro/Le nozze di Figaro; La Bohème), Vienna State Opera (1958), Festival Salzburg (Falstaff, 1957; Don Giovanni; Thus Do They All/Cosi fan tutte; Don Pasquale; as Paolo Albiani in Simon Boccanegra), Royal Opera House, London (The Barber of Seville/Il barbiere di Siviglia; The elixir of love/L 'Elisir d'amore), Arena di Verona (1979, 1983), Florence Maggio Musicale (Gianni Schicchi), Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, Tenerife, etc. He collaborated with the Italian Radio (1951) in presentations of rare works by Verdi: Joan of Arc [Giovanna d'Arco], The Battle of Legnano [La battaglia di Legnano] and Aroldo. He made a name for himself as a singer of comic roles. He worked with leading directors such as Giorgio Strehler, Franco Zeffirelli and Luchino Visconti. He participated in numerous recordings of Italian romantic repertoire, alongside leading postwar singers such as Maria Callas, Tito Gobbi, Giuseppe di Stefano, Beverly Sills, etc. He worked with the GNO once, singing the title role in Rigoletto (1971/72).