Gigli Was The Original
Tenor To Be Called
"The People's Singer"
Born in 1890, tenor Beniamino Gigli was the youngest of
six children of a poor Italian shoemaker. It was there in his
hometown of Recanati near the Adriatic Coast, where a
seven-year old Gigli first sang in public. The youngster's
Voice had such an extraordinary sweetness that he became
known as "The Canary Of The Belfry."
Gigli made his debut as Enzo in Ponchielli's opera
La Gioconda in 1914 and recorded
"Cielo E Mar" five years later.
Gigli came to The Met in 1920, just one
year before the great Enrico Caruso died,
and sang there for 12 consecutive seasons.