The History of the Tenor
Is an archive of the greatest Operatic Tenors including narration and sound clips from 1900 until 1990.

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Renato Zanelli

Renato Zanelli Zanelli, Renato
Born: April 1, 1892

Died: March 25, 1935


Chilean tenor.

Born Renato Zanelli-Morales of Italian descent, he studied in Santiago with Angelo Querze, making his debut there as a baritone in 1916, as Valentin. He later sang such important baritone roles as Tonio, de Luna, and Renato.

His New York Metropolitan Opera debut came in 1919, as Amonasro. He remained there until 1923, singing most of the major Italian baritone parts.
Zanelli then left for Italy for further studies with Dante Lari and Fernando Tanara in Milan.

His first appearance as a tenor occurred in 1924 at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, as Raoul. He went on to sing widely in Italy and South America in roles as diverse as Pollione, Don José, Andrea Chénier, Canio, Tristan and Siegmund.

He sang his first Otello in Turin in 1926, which also was his debut role at the Royal Opera House in London. His portrayal of Otello was notable for the intensity of its dramatic utterance. He took part in the first performance, in 1930, of Pizzetti 's Lo straniero at La Scala, Milan.

Zanelli had a rich voice and was equally successful as a baritone and a tenor, his early death from cancer cutting short a brilliant career. His artistry is preserved, however, on a number of recordings of operatic arias which he made at the height of his powers in the two vocal categories that he had mastered. These recordings are available on CD.

His brother, Carlos Zanelli-Morales (1897-1970), was also a successful baritone. He sang under the stage name of Carlo Morelli in Italy and also at the Met from 1935 to 1940.

Tenor Aria Opera Date Time
n13-07 Zanelli Narrative   4.35
a13-08 Zanelli Si Pu'o ( Prologue ) Pagliacci 1920 5.25
n13-09 Zanelli Narrative   1.56
a13-10 Zanelli T'Amo Ben Io La Wally 1921 2.33
n13-11 Zanelli Narrative   1.38
a13-12 Zanelli Si Fui Soldato Chenier 1929 2.29
n13-13 Zanelli Narrative   1.32
a13-14 Zanelli Ora Per Sepre Addio Otello 1929 2.01
13-14b Zanelli Dio Mi Potevi Scagliar Otello 1929 4.23

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