Renato Cioni (15 April 1929 – 4 March 2014) was an Italian operatic lyric tenor, particularly associated with the Italian repertory.
Born in Portoferraio on the Isle of Elba, the son of a fisherman, Cioni received his main musical education at the Cherubini Conservatory in Florence. In 1956, as a result of winning an international voice contest organized by the Rome Opera, he made his stage debut at Spoleto, as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor. Earlier that same year he had appeared as Pinkerton, in a television production of Madama Butterfly, opposite another debutante, Anna Moffo.
He quickly was in great demand as a leading tenor throughout Italy, making debut in Rome, Naples, Palermo, Venice, Genoa, Trieste, Bologna, and Catania, etc. He made his La Scala debut on 4 March 1961, as Pinkerton, under Gianandrea Gavazzeni. Soon he was also singing outside Italy, appearing in Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and France.
In 1959, Cioni made his American debut at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, followed by a concert performance of Il duca d'Alba at Carnegie Hall in New York, which he had also sung earlier that year at the Spoleto Festival. He made his debut at the San Francisco Opera in 1961, as Edgardo, and at the Metropolitan Opera in 1970, as Pollione, opposite Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne.
Cioni became widely known through his studio recordings of Lucia di Lammermoor and Rigoletto, opposite Joan Sutherland, in 1961.
In 1964, he took part in two historical performances, first at Covent Garden, as Cavaradossi in Tosca, opposite Maria Callas and Tito Gobbi, and then at La Scala, as Alfredo in La traviata, opposite Anna Moffo and Mario Sereni, under Herbert von Karajan.
He appeared in the Italian show The Winner Is on 8 December 2012. He died in Portoferraio on 4 March 2014.
- Biography taken from the original booklet of the 1961 studio recording of Lucia di Lammermoor with Joan Sutherland, under John Pritchard, plus additional information from Operissimo.com.