I could not help it but to break into tears when I heard the news. As I state in the subheading of "Opera Forum", the true nature of this blog is to retrieve the transcendental meaning of opera in the history of man. And if there ever was a person with such gift it was Giuseppe di Stefano who passed away last Monday at his home in Santa Maria Hoe, north of Milan, at the age of 86.
Many things have been written about him, some of them accurate, many others not so accurate. Despite all the infamous critics that are going around out there, Pippo is, in my own personal opinion, together with Beniamino Gigli, the best tenor that opera stages could ever have met. Blessed with a golden voice, an extremely great sense of musicality and a gifted artistic interpretation, Pippo, as he preferred to be called, walked out on stage with the hypnotizing charm and poise that characterized him. He left excellent recordings of several operas, most of them whith his eternal companion and diva Maria Callas. Who could ever forget that immortal diminuendo on the high C in "Salut! Demeure chaste et pure..." in the Met's 1949 - 50 season!
His death resulted from injuries sustained in November 2004, when he was attacked at his family’s villa in Kenya, said his wife, Monica Curth. Unidentified assailants had struck him on the head during the attack. After undergoing surgery twice in Mombasa, he was flown to Milan, where he awakened from a coma but never fully recovered.
It is not my intention to write a biography of Giuseppe di Stefano here, which I will be writing soon, but to pay homage to his memory and everlasting legacy he left to world of opera.
Giuseppe di Stefano (Pippo); Jul 24, 1921 - Mar 03, 2008 | IN MEMORIAM