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PASSINGS : Gianni Raimondi

Tenor performed often at La Scala

October 28, 2008|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Gianni Raimondi, 85, a tenor who sang often with the great Maria Callas and was a frequent performer at the La Scala Opera House in Milan, died Oct. 19 in Pianoro, Italy, the opera house announced. The cause of death was not reported.

"La Scala remembers his as one of the great voices in its history," the opera house said in an announcement on Raimondi's website. "He went in absolute silence. He wanted the news of his death to be communicated after the funeral, which took place in the strictest privacy."

Raimondi sang 270 times at La Scala, often in the leading role. One noted performance was a 1956 production of "La Traviata" with Callas as the female lead and Luchino Visconti directing.

Born in Bologna, Italy, Raimondi studied at the Music Conservatory in his native city and made his debut there in 1948 as Ernesto in Donizetti's "Don Pasquale." His repertoire included operas by Verdi, Puccini and Rossini.

He performed in New York, Vienna, London, Berlin and Buenos Aires before retiring from the stage in 1976.

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