Giannina Russ

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Giannina Russ, from a 1907 publication.

Giannina Russ (27 March 1873, Lodi – 28 February 1951, Milan) was an Italian operatic soprano, particularly associated with the Italian repertory.

Life and career[edit]

Russ studied piano and voice at the Milan Music Conservatory with Leoni. She made her debut in Bologna, as Mimi, in 1903, at La Scala in 1905, as Aida, and in Florence in 1908, as Norma.

She was quickly invited abroad, making debut in 1904 at both the Royal Opera House in London, and the Monte Carlo Opera, also appearing at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and the Manhattan Opera Company in New York, in 1907.

Russ performed in a wide range of roles, from bel canto to verismo, her repertory included; Semiramide, Giulia, Amaltea, Paolina, Abigail, Elvira, Leonora, Amelia, Wally, Gioconda, Santuzza, etc.

She possessed a beautiful and grand voice, if somewhat uneven, and a strong dramatic temperament, she enjoyed more success in Latin countries than in Anglo-Saxon countries. After retirement she became a respected voice teacher, amongst her pupils were Margherita Grandi and Clara Petrella.


Le guide de l'opéra, les indispensables de la musique, R. Mancini & J-J. Rouvereux, (Fayard, 1986), ISBN 2-213-01563-5