Franco Corelli passed away in Milano
on 29 October 2003 at 82. With his death one of the last great
tenors of the 20th century is gone, a tenor that to many was the
sole reason for their love of opera.
The attraction of the voice of Franco Corelli
was neither stunning beauty nor an exceptional line, it was rather
an exciting voice, blasting and with pulsating high notes, almost
out of control. It was a fresh delivery to the opera scene in Italy
early 1950s, where he on many occasions partnered Maria Callas,
founding the legacy of the popular claim "the best tenor ever." He
had an exemplary breath control that allowed him to fully dominate
diminuendi and pianissimo singing. He was a stunning Calaf, Cheniér
or Manrico, where his darker timbre was appreciated, but at the
end of his career he successfully scaled down his huge voice and
sang roles like Rodolfo, Romeo or Werther.