- J.B. Steane
(b Iesi, Feb 17, 1855; d Rome, July 7, 1912). Italian baritone . He studied in Rome at the Accademia di S Cecilia, and, having made his baritone début at the Teatro Costanzi in 1880, was retrained as a tenor. This proved unsuccessful and he quickly returned to the baritone repertory, becoming associated throughout Italy with the role of Escamillo. In 1885 he had a considerable success in Lisbon, appearing in rarities such as Rossini’s Matilde di Shabran and Donizetti’s Poliuto. Two years later he established himself as a favourite at La Scala, where in 1889 he created the role of Frank in Puccini’s Edgar, and in 1901 appeared in the première there of Mascagni’s Le maschere. He also sang Méphistophélès in the first Italian performances of La damnation de Faust. His wide-ranging repertory included Wagnerian roles such as Kurwenal, Telramund and Wotan (Die Walküre). Though his career centred on Italy, where he was engaged by most of the major houses, he sang regularly in South America, travelling also to Russia and Poland. He made his Metropolitan début in ...