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Amato (baritone) was born in Naples in 1878. Though originally
intended by his parents to become a Civil Engineer he studied music
at the Naples Conservatory. His debut was in 1900, at the Bellini
Theatre, as Germont in La Traviata. He subsequently sang at
Covent Garden in the autumn of 1904 with the San Carlo Opera Company,
and after singing in South America and Milan joined the new York
Metropolitan Opera Company in 1908. Roles that he created included
Jack Rance in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West, and in two
forgotten operas, Cyrano de Bergerac (Damrosch) and Madame
Sans-Gene (Giordano). He established himself as a fine character
singer, remaining with the company until 1921. He recorded
extensively, initially for the Italian firm Fonotipia, then for
Victor in America and for Homochord. He died in 1942.
AL FACTOTUM' (Il Barbiere di Siviglia)(Rossini): HMV DB156(2-052051)
rec. 1911 (2.3MB)
This recording shows his abilities off well. With the exception of
Chaliapine, most singers of the era concentrated on beauty of tone
rather than characterization. On the evidence of this recording Amato
was another exception: his Figaro comes over strongly as a character.
The recording, which was made in the USA for Victor, has been
transferred at 78rpm.
CDs of Amato's recordings have been issued on Pearl
GEMMCD9104 and Preiser
I have not heard these transfers and list them here simply for
information. I can't guarantee they are still available.