Curious Things and Anecdotes
Last di forza Tenor, he saved his voice so much that before the performances he was totally silent and communicated by writing. When he could he rested lying on the bed totally still, and used a special 5-degrees 4-mirrored pair of glasses to be able to read or watch TV without bending or moving his neck.
His duets-duels with Maria Callas were real fights to the last high and the longest breath. The challenge was so hot that Del Monaco, after that in an Aida performance Maria Callas added arbitrarily a high E flat, went away angrily. The next day, when they arrived at the same point of the score, it was Del Monaco who launched a powerful high E flat, "annihilating" the great Maria.
He sung the world premire of Rota's Ariodante at Teatro Regio, Parma, in 1942.
During the Fifties he performed as an actor in five movies, including Giuseppe
Verdi and La donna pi bella del mondo.
Del Monaco said in an interview that one day he had a bad road accident. When he woke up in the hospital, he immediataly touched his troath and sung a powerful high C. Reassured that his voice was still there, he finally left the doctors take care of him.
He sung Otello an incredible 427 times!