Primo Zambruno

Career

Primo Zambruno was born in Tortona on September 3, 1914. Due to the war and his family economic situation, Zambruno had to start working early in his life. He started late to study singing professionally. Zambruno auditioned for Pertile, who spotted his talent and recommended that he studied with Merli. He started his studies in 1949. It was not too long before he made his debut in 1951 (October 14) in Varese in La Forza del Destino. After Varese, he sang more Forza in Lecco, Monza before his breakthrough in Modena, also in Forza. Zambruno sang there four Alvaro with Guerrini, Tagliabue/Colzani, Meletti under the baton of Molinari Pradelli.

In 1952, Zambruno added to his repertory Il Trovatore (February 9 in Massa) and Andrea Chenier (February 13 in Catania with Protti). He sang in Massa, Catania, London (Il Trovatore with Kelston, Stignani, Walters with Capuana conducting on June 7), Rosignano, Tortona, Belluno and Parma (Il Trovatore with Stella, Minarchi, Campolonghi and Questa conducting on December 27).

In 1953, Zambruno added Aida to his repertory on July 2 in Verona with Cerquetti, Nicolai, Protti, Neri, Maionica and Ghione conducting. During that year, Zambruno sang Il Trovatore, Andrea Chenier and La Forza del Destino. Cities visited included Brescia (Il Trovatore on January 28 with Stella, Protti and De Fabritiis), Alger, Udine, Prato, Lucca, Volterra, Pontedera, Vigevano, Rovigo, Treviso and Catania.

During 1954. Zambruno sang in Parma, Alger, Napoli (La Forza del Destino on February 20 with Tebaldi, Pirazzini, Tagliabue, Clabassi, Meletti and Santini), Mestre, Pisa, Tortona, Pistoia, Faenza, Rimini, Alessandria and Novi Ligure. Zambruno added to his repertory Turiddu on July 22 in Pistoia with Frazzoni.

In 1955, Zambruno visited for the first time Dublin (April in his first Norma with Mancini, Stignani, Stefanoni and Erede), Valencia (July 14 in his first Don Josť), Barcelona, Madrid (On October 10, he sang his first Cavaradossi with Caniglia and Annovazzi), Marseille, Rouen, Monte Carlo. He limited his appearances in Italy to Modena, Verona and La Spezia.

In 1956, Zambruno confined his appearances to Cagliari, Sassari, Alessandria, Valencia and sang for the first time in South America on November 23 in Caracas in Carmen.

In 1957, Zambruno sang his first Canio (On March 3 in Nice with Oppicelli) and his first Enzo in Malta with Corridori, Didier, Caminada, Azzolini and Cioni on November 21. He started the year in Cremona (Norma), followed by Malta, Nice, Trento, and Malta until the end of the year.

At the beginning of 1958, Zambruno travelled from Malta to Athens where he appeared in La Gioconda, Aida and Il Trovatore. From there, he went on to Spain appearing in Sevilla (Tosca and Pagliacci) before returning to Italy. Appearances in Tortona, Cento followed before crossing the Atlantic and making his MET debut on November 7 in Cavalleria Rusticana with Milanov (on the decline), Elias, Bardelli and Mitropoulos. After an appearance in Philadelphia with the same cast, he returned to Italy.

1959 was to be his last full year singing before retiring. Zambruno sang in Bordeaux, Rouen, Adria, Sestri Levante, Boccadasse, Aquasola, Alger, Lausanne, Rosignano and Dublin.

Zambruno sang three times in 1960 (Vigevano, Rovereto and Caltagirone) and 1961 (Vercelli, Agusta and Acireale). His last appearance was on May 24 in Vercelli in La Forza del Destino. Zambruno, not wanting to continue until vocal decline set in, retired with his voice intact.

During his brief ten years career, Zambruno sang with singers such as Guerrini, Stefanoni, Tagliabue, Colzani, Meletti, Protti, Kelston, Stignani, Callas, Carmassi, Frazzoni, Stella, Cerquetti, Nicolai, Maionica, Pirazzini, Malaspina, Neri, Petri, Mascherini, Capecchi, Tebaldi, Clabassi, Vinco, Savarese, De Cavalieri, Spatafora, Gobbi, Simionato, Caniglia, Barbieri, Guelfi, Zanasi, Ferrin, Parada, Dall'Argine, Lazzarini, Oppicelli, Parutto, Corridori, Paskalis, Ausensi, Campi, Meliciani, Milanov, Couderc and Cappucilli.

Zambruno sang under the baton of following distinguished operatic conductors Molinari Pradelli, Capuana, Guarnieri, Santi, Questa, De Fabritiis, Morelli, Ghione, Ziino, Santini, Patane, Wolf Ferrari, Erede, Annovazzi, Mitropoulos, Gavarini and Savini.


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Reviews

During his career, the press commented as follows:

"Excellent Alvaro ... his voice is incisive and well produced. His singing is masculine, precise and restrained".- La Forza del Destino, Rovigo 1953

"Primo Zambruno in great form acceded to the demand of the public and repeated the stretta."-Il Trovatore, Brescia 1953

"He had to repeat, at the insistence of the public, di quella pira".-Il Trovatore, Volterra, 1953

"He earned the explosion of enthusiasm from the public. The public was requesting that he repeated the romanza ... The curtain had to be raised and maestro Tieri had to take again his place on the podium so that Zambruno could repeat the aria."-Il Trovatore, Luccca, 1953

"it is the magnificent tenor Primo Zambruno who sang Manrico and had to repeat the stretta".-Il Trovatore, Alger 1959

The tenor Primo Zambruno, who had previously sung here Manrico with considerable success, returned as Manrico again to a public who remembered him. His vocal generosity, his vocal skills, his facility, created again great enthusiasm. He is capable both of great vocal outbursts and delicate singing". Il Trovatore, Rouen, 1959

"The romanza Celeste Aida was received with great applause and requests for bis".-Aida, Verona, 1953

"The tenor Primo Zambruno had a triumphal reception from our public".-Carmen, Valencia 1955


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Repertory

Bellini
     Norma, 1955

Georges Bizet
     Carmen, 1954

Umberto Giordano
     Andrea Chenier, 1952

Leoncavallo
     Pagliacci, 1957

Piero Mascagni
     Cavalleria Rusticana, 1954

Amilchare Ponchielli
     La Gioconda, 1957

Giacomo Puccini
     Tosca, 1955

Giuseppe Verdi
     Aida, 1953
     Il Trovatore, 1952
     La Forza del Destino, 1951

Cities


Acireale 1961
Adria 1959
Agusta 1961
Alessandria 1954, 1956
Alger 1953, 1954, 1959
Aquasola 1959
Athens 1958
Bagnacavallo 1958
Barcelona 1955
Belluno 1952
Boccadasse 1959
Bordeaux 1959
Brescia 1953
Cagliari 1956
Caltagirone 1960
Caracas 1956
Castellano 1960
Catania 1952, 1953
Cento 1958
Cremona 1957
Dublin 1955, 1959
Faenza 1954
Fiorenzuola d'Adda 1953
La Spezia 1955
Lausanne 1959
Lecco 1951
Loano 1951
London 1952
Lucca 1953
Madrid 1955
Malta 1957
Marseille 1955
Massa 1952
Mestre 1954
Modena 1951, 1955
Monte Carlo 1955
Monza 1951
Napoli 1954
Nice 1957
New York 1958
Novi Ligure 1954
Parma 1952, 1954
Philadelphia 1958
Pisa 1954
Pistoia 1954
Pontedera 1953
Prato 1953
Rimini 1954
Rosignano 1952, 1959
Rouen 1955, 1959
Rovereto 1960
Rovigo 1953
Sassari 1956
Sestri Levante 1959
Sevilla 1968
Trento 1957
Treviso 1953
Tortona 1952, 1954, 1958
Udine 1953
Valencia 1955, 1956
Varese 1951
Vercelli 1961, 1962
Verona 1953, 1955
Vigevano 1953, 1960
Voltera 1953


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Discography

TIMAClub CLAMA CD-11 (Arias and scenes from Aida, Il Trovatore, La Forza del Destino, Otello, Carmen, Pagliacci, La Gioconda and Andrea Chenier.

Reference:Boggio/Tiberi Primo Zambruno tenore, TIMAclub.

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