27 August 2017

Acclaimed Italian Basso Buffo Enzo Dara has Died 

ENZO DARA, whose four-decade career as a masterful interpreter of opera's biggest basso buffo roles found him sharing the stage with some of the greatest singers of the second-half of the twentieth century, has died at the age of 78. Dara, who was born in Mantua, died in his hometown on August 25. 

Dara worked as a journalist before before considering a career in opera, and eventually studied with Bruno Sutti in Mantua. The bass made his professional debut in 1960 singing the role of Colline in a production of Bohème in Fano, a commune on Italy's northern Adriatic coast. Over the next four decades of his career, Dara became one of the most famous Italian basses on the opera stage by portraying a small cluster of touchstone roles that highlighted his natural gifts for comedy, rapid-fire patter and innate bel canto technique. 

He first sang Dulcamara in 1966 in Reggio Emilia, but soon followed Elisir's dottore with Barbiere di Siviglia's: Dara first assayed the role of Bartolo at Spoleto's Festival dei Due Mondi in 1967. Two years later he sang the role at La Scala under the baton of Claudio Abbado and he would go on to sing Bartolo more than 400 times, including forty-one performances at the Metropolitan Opera. 

Other roles included Cenerentola's Don Magnifico, the title role in Don Pasquale and Dandini in La Cenerentola, which he sang on tour with La Scala and at the Royal Opera House in 1976. 

After retiring from singing, Dara directed a number of opera productions, including performances of Cimarosa’s Il Maestro di cappella and 2015 performances of Don Pasquale at Venice's Fenice. In 1992 he was awarded the Donizetti Prize by the Donizetti Festival in Bergamo, and in 1994 the bass released his first book, a memoir titled Anche il buffo nel suo piccolospacer 

 

More information can be found at La Repubblica

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