Ottavio Nouvelli was born on June 21, 1853 in Torino. He started to study singing in 1872 at the Liceo Musicale di Torino with Maestro Fassò.
On March 31, 1876, Nouvelli made his first public appearance in excerpts of Mosè at the Teatro Rossini in Torino. He was heard by the
renown violinist Sivori, who took him with him during March 1877 for a concert at the Théâtre Italien in Paris.
Escudier, the impressario of the theater, hired him immediately to make his debut as Lyonel in Martha. Lyonel became one of
his favorite role. The following year Nouvelli sang at the Théâtre Italien in Linda, Traviata, Sonnambula and Aida, besides
singing on April 9, 1878, in the third revision of L'esclave de CarmoŽns (By Flotow), Alma l'incantatrice as CamoŽns.
During the season 1878-1879, he was at the Liceo in Barcelona; during the Spring-Summer season in 1879 he was at Covent Garden singing
in Don Giovanni, Dinorah (with Patti), Ballo in Maschera, Stella del Nord and during the winter 18979-1880, he sang at the Imperial Opera
in Saint Petersburg.
During October 1881, he was the protagonist in Roméo et Juliette at the Comunale in Bologna, then he went to Montecarlo
for the 1882
Spring season and during the Summer he was at the Teatro Nazionale in Buenos Aires. On November 12, 1882, he was back at the Comunale
singing Lohengrin with Mancinelli conducting.
He was again at the Théâtre Italien singing in Simon Boccanegra (27 November 1883) with Litwinoff, Maurel
and de Reszke
with Faccio conducting, Rigoletto during March 1884 replacing Gayarre, and Sonnambula with Nevada and Sembrich who alternated.
Following year, he was in Palermo and in Barcelona for the Autmn season.
In 1886, he sang at the Carlo Felice in Genova and at the Politeama
Margherita singing in Carmen.
In 1887, he was in Nice for the Spring Season, at the Comunale in Bologna for the Atumn season singing
in Hérodiade and Carmen, before going to Prag to sing at the National Theater.
On December 26, 1887 he sang in Regina di Saba at La Scala with Faccio conducting, while on June 2, 1888 he sang Tristan at the
in Bologna with Martucci conducting.
During October 1889, Nouvelli was at the Costanzi in Rome (Carmen, with Mugnone conducting); on December 26 he sang at La Scala
in Meistersinger; he was Turiddu at the Politeama in Livorno (1890) and on January 24, 1891 at La Fenice.
He retired after singing in the ninth symphony of Beethoven at the Regio in Torino during April 1892. He moved to Varsaw where
he taught singing at the Conservatory and took part in many benefit concerts.
His death on January 19, 1901 was announced in the Gazetta Musicale di Milano (31 January 1901). His coffin was transferred to
the cemetary of Trana where he had a house where he spent the Summer months.
On November 25, 1883 he received a medal for bravery from the Mairie of the fourth arrondissement in Paris for having saved on
from a burning appartment in Paris (Il Trovatore, October 18, 1883 number 42). In 1889, Nouvelli wrote a book La respiration
et l'émission du son vocal published in Varsaw.
Reference: Dietro il sipario, 1881-1898, Memorie e appunti del Segretario della Commissione Teatrale Giulio Ferrarini, a cura di Valerio Cervetti,
Città di Parma, 1885