Titta Ruffo’s Rigoletto
Titta Ruffo (Pisa, 1877- Florence , 1953) was one of the most popular Italian baritones. His real name was Ruffo Cafiero Titta and he debuted at the age of twenty in Rome, at the Teatro Costanzi, in Lohengrin by Wagner. He was immediately noticed, both for the emission and timbre of his powerful voice. Two years later, he appeared in Verdi’s Rigoletto, a key role in his brilliant career. He would later perform this role frequently in Europe and in the theatres of the two Americas. His sister married Giacomo Matteotti, and as a result of the murder of the socialist member of parliament, Ruffo decided not to perform in Italy anymore, and retired to live in Switzerland and France. Returning home for a visit to his relatives, he was arrested and then released only thanks to a widespread international appeal that requested and obtained his release, with the proviso of being prohibited from leaving the country by the fascist regime. His popularity, in Italy and abroad, was equal to that of Enrico Caruso and this playlist documents some arias and romances from his favourite work, Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi.