Giuseppe Giacomini (*September 7, 1940; Veggiano near Padua, Italy) is an Italian dramatic tenor. An impressive tenor voice thanks to its richness and power, Giacomini, known as "Bepi" amongst his fans, recently celebrated his 40th anniversary of singing.
Training and Career
Giacomini began his vocal career studying with Elena Ceriati, Marcello del Monaco and Vladimiro Badiali. After some success with song competitions around Italy, he made his professional debut in 1966 in Vercelli, as Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly. In 1969 he performed as Turiddu (Cavalleria rusticana) and Des Grieux (Manon Lescaut) in Parma and Modena.
His first engagement outside Italy was in 1970 in Berlin, where he portrayed the lead tenor role of Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut. He went on to star in Il tabarro in Lisbon (1971), Tosca in Barcelona (1972) and Vienna (1973), and then at the Staatsoper in München in 1973.
In 1974 made his American debut in Buenos Aires at the Teatro Colón as Pinkerton and Il tabarro. Giacomini returned to Italy to tremendous acclaim at the top houses - La Scala (Forza del Destino, 1974; La Bohème, 1975), Teatro San Carlo, Teatro Reggio, Opera di Roma, and the Teatro Reggio. He also appeared in 1975 in less prestigious Mantova in Fedora, a dismal production rescued by his Loris;his 'Amor ti vieta' was enthusiastically encored.
Giacomini made his North American debut as Ramerrez in La fanciulla del West in Connecticut, 1975, making his Metropolitan Opera debut the year afterwards in La forza del destino. This performance earned him several more contracts with the house in the big Italian repertory: Macbeth, Don Carlo, Il trovatore, Pagliacci and Tosca in the next few years. It was only after this success that he made his first Covent Garden appearance in 1980 (Fanciulla del West).
Particular performances of note include his participation in the world premiere of Marco Tutino's La Lupa in Livorno in 1990 where he sang the role of Nanni, and his Des Grieux at the hundred-anniversary of the premiere of Puccini's Manon Lescaut at the Teatro Reggio di Torino. He also sang for the Royal Family at the Covent Garden in 1988 and Gorbachev in Moscow, took part in the historical staging of Aida set against the pyramids of Cairo in 1987 and was Calaf in Seoul on occasion of the opening of the Olympic Games in 1988. He is also credited with the revival of rare operas as Donizetti's Fausta (Roma, 1981) and Leoncavallo's Medici (Frankfurt, 1993).
Among his prizes and honour count the title Kammersänger of the Staatsoper in Wien, the Gold Viotti, the Giovanni Zenatello Prize, the C.A.Capelli Prize, the Gold Mascagni and the Giovanni Martinelli Prize. He is also Commendatore of the Ordine di San Gregorio Magno, a Vatican order of knighthood.
Despite his enormous career and truly extraordinary voice, Giacomini never achieved widespread fame in the opera world. Though he was rumored to have retired in 2000, he has continued to make concert appearances around the world and appeared effectively as Cavaradossi in Tosca at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden when past his 60th birthday.
Giacomini gave his China tour in 2010, where he worked with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Mr. Muhai Tang. He gave a recital in the newly built Tianjin Concert Hall on September 17, 2010.