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Ferruccio Tagliavina
By Steve Slezak
Ferruccio Tagliavini was born Aug. 14, 1913; he died Jan. 28, 1995. GI's in Italy were greatly responsible for his being hired by the Met...word of mouth about this incredible tenor got to the right people. 

He made 78's in the 1940's, which have been published in CD form in the last few years. His first recordings for U.S. consumption were military V-Discs, from 1946...I have all these in my private collection. He continued to sing, extremely well, into the late '70's. I have a number of "in house" recordings of recitals from San Francisco, Canada, and Naples in which he sounds like he did 30 years earlier. His last commercial records were made, I believe, in 1960. 

He was married to soprano-turned-mezzo, Pia Tassinari. They performed together throughout their careers. 

I think his recordings of Neopolitan songs are the renditions to which everyone has to "bow down"...not even Di Stefano did as well with them. Just about all his Cetra recordings from Italy(in the '50's) are benchmark performances...La Boheme, L'Arlesiana, L'Amico Fritz, etc., are all fabulous performances. 

He, along with Cesare Valletti and Giuseppe Di Stefano, were probably the greatest of the post-war Italian lyric tenors. Man, do we need more like him nowadays. 

Steve Slezak