Di Stefano Biography
Birthdate:24 July 1921
Birthplace:Motta Santa Anastasia (a village near Catania,
Studied with: Adriano Tocchio, Luigi Montesanto, Mariano
Debut:20 April 1946/Reggio Emilia/Des Grieux (Massenet's
La Scala Debut:15 March 1947/Manon
Metropolitan Debut:25 February 1948/Rigoletto
British Debut: 1957/Edinburgh Festival/Nemorino (L'elisir
Covent Garden Debut: 1961/Cavaradossi (Tosca)
Frequently performed roles at the Met: Faust (20 times),
Rodolfo in La Boheme (18), Des Grieux (12), Duke of Mantua
Did you know...?
- Di Stefano was the only son of a carabiniere turned cobbler and
his dressmaker wife.
- Di Stefano was educated at a Jesuit seminary and briefly
contemplated entering the priesthood.
- In 1943, under the name of Nino Florio, di Stefano worked at
the Cristallo in Milan as a pop singer.
- From January, 1944 to August, 1945 di Stefano became well known
and admired by Swiss listeners in a series of Radio Lausanne
- When di Stefano had difficulties in a performance of La
Boheme at Covent Garden in 1963, he was replaced by a newcomer
called Luciano Pavarotti!
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