- J.B. Steane
(b Cairo, Nov 6, 1923; d Milan, June 30, 1998). Italian baritone. Trained in Lausanne and Milan, he was first heard as a prizewinner on Italian radio. His stage début was in Aida at Reggio nell’Emilia (1949) and he appeared in the first of many seasons at La Scala in 1950 and at the Metropolitan Opera in La traviata (1951). He later became most closely associated with such comic parts as Bartolo, Gianni Schicchi, and Melitone (La forza del destino), in which he made his Covent Garden début (1962). In 1977 he sang a highly acclaimed Falstaff at Glyndebourne. His repertory was extensive, and his career lasted into old age. He took part in many premières, including operas by Malipiero and Ghedini, and in the first performances in Italy of Prokofiev’s War and Peace (1953, Florence) and Shostakovich’s The Nose...