[Verdi, Giuseppe. (1813–1901)] [Baccaloni, Salvatore. (1900–1969)] Serafini-Lupo, Enzo.
Large Original Bronze Bust presented to Salvatore Baccaloni
Impressive large bust portrait of the great Italian Opera composer, ca. 1950, with incised inscription on the left side by the sculptor to the Italian operatic bass, often regarded as the greatest buffo artist of the 20th century: "A Salvatore Baccaloni / grande amico della commedia lirica / Enzo Serafini." Mounted to a marble base, in very fine condition. 22.75 inches (57.8 cm.).
Rather amazingly, the skillful sculptor of the present bust was primarily known as a talented baritone himself. Born in Abruzzi, Italy, he studied in Naples and counted among his teachers Carlo Sebastiani, Leopoldo Mugnone and Adolph Block. He was soloist with the Sistine Chapel Choir at the age of ten and later made his operatic debut in the Teatro Bellini in Naples, in the opera 'Favorita.' Well known as an acting instructor, song and opera coach, he was Conductor and Stage Director of the Comic Opera Guild in New York and Professor at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music from 1947. Serafini's portrait of his earlier coach, tenor Emilio Roxas, accompanist and coach of many Metropolitan Opera Co. singers including Martinelli and Muzio, is reproduced in the 1922 Volume 85 Issue of the popular magazine 'A Musical Courrier' (p. 42).
The recipient of the present remarkable bust was Italian operatic bass, buffo artist, and actor Salvatore Baccaloni. He sang for the first time at La Scala, Milan, in 1926 and on the advice of Arturo Toscanini, decided to specialize in comic roles. Baccaloni enjoyed a successful international career, first appearing at the Metropolitan Opera on 7 December 1940, where he performed regularly until 1962. He often sang in Philadelphia with a succession of opera companies from 1951 through to 1966, making his debut with the Philadelphia Civic Grand Opera Company in 1951 in the title role of Don Pasquale, his debut with the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company in 1956, as Benoît/Alcindoro in La bohème, and his debut with the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company in 1959, as Benoît/Alcindoro. It is likely that it was during that period in Philadelphia that Baccaloni and Serafini-Lupo, then teaching at the Philadelphia Conservatory, became friends. The precise circumstances of the present remarkable hommage and gift remain unknown to us, but what a gift it was!
Please note that professional packaging and crating will be required for this item, which weighs approx. 75 lbs, and will be invoiced separately to the buyer. Pickup in NY or Boston by arrangement is also possible.
Art & Design