- Rodolfo Celletti
- , revised by Alan Blyth
(b Naples, Italy, Feb 25, 1873; d Naples, Italy, Aug 2, 1921). Italian tenor. He studied with Guglielmo Vergine and made his debut in Mario Morelli’s L’amico francesco in Naples in 1894. He took further lessons from Vincenzo Lombardi while continuing to sing locally, and achieved his first real success in 1897 at Palermo in Ponchielli’s La Gioconda. The foundations of his career were laid at appearances in Milan (Teatro Lirico), which included the premieres of Cilea’s L’arlesiana (Federico, 1897) and Adriana Lecouvreur (Maurizio, 1902), Buenos Aires, and Rome. A relatively unsuccessful appearance in La bohème at La Scala during the 1900–01 season was followed by a triumph in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore.
Caruso made his successful Covent Garden debut in 1902 as the Duke in Rigoletto and sang the same role in his first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera on 23 November 1903. Over the next decade he performed there periodically, creating Dick Johnson in ...