Dario Volonte

Picture of Dario Volonte

Dario VolonteIl Trovatore: Di quella pira (2)
In RA Format

Dario VolonteTurandot: Nessun dorma
In RA Format

I wish to thank Tom Silverbörg for the recordings.
  • Dario Volonte sings Di quella pira.
  • Dario Volonte sings E lucevan le stelle.
  • In ra Format

    Biographical Notes

    Regarding Dario Volonte, the following article by Mayra Pertossi (1999) is a very good presentation of him:
    " He has gone from being a target of British bombs during th Malvinas's war to being in the spotlights of some of the world's most famous opera houses. Tenor Dario Volonte, 35, is a survivor of the 1982 sinking of the General Belgrano when Argentina and Britain went to war over control of the South Atlantic islands.
    "I leaped into a life raft" as a British torpedo slammed into the warship, Volonte told Reuters. When I jumped I fell into the raft, but all the others I saw fell into the water and froze to death"
    Now the Malvinas War is but a memory for Volonte, who has fashioned a promising new career in opera: In 1997 and 1998, he won over demanding Italian aficionados with his interpretations of Il Trovatore and Tosca. This year he won Argentina's heart with his rendition of "Aurora", a piece local critics say is a load of operatic rubbish but which fans flames of Argentine patriotic favor by exalting the South American nation's independence from Spain.
    The Malvinas War and opera are intertwined for Volonte. "Music, living in the moment and honoring life, for me, is a way to honor those who didn't survive" he said. Born in a humble household in Entre Rios, 250 miles north Buenos Aires, Volonte discovered his vocation by chance. "I discovered I had the right voice when I was 17 while listening to Placido Domingo singing on TV when he was on an Argentine tour (It was 1981 when Domingo sang Otello at Teatro Colon), I started imitating him and I saw I was able to imitate him, singing the high notes he sang... That's when I realized I had a voice for singing", he said.
    A year later he was sent to wart with the British in the engine room of the ill-fated General Belgrano. That is when he witnessed most of his fellow sailors die and years later he dedicated his rendition of the Argentine national anthem sung in Aurora to his fallen comrades. He sang the anthem on June 10, Malvinas Day in Argentina, at Buenos Aires's Colon Opera House.
    It was upon his return from the war, in 1983. that Volonte met his first operatic maestro. "I started singing in church choirs and that's were I met maestro Jose Crea, a baritone at the Colon Opera house, who tutored me for free: He was my first patron, the first to hepl me sing, teach me technique. I studied with him for years", Volonte said. "This is like a calling for me, I never thought I'd make a living from singing" he added. Volonte credits his days job of 12 years as a moving van driver for giving him the brawn that aids his performances. His next break came in 1994 at his audition with the renovated Teatro Avenida, in Buenos Aires, where he was cast as a tenor in Zarzuela. His subsequent performances at the Buenos Aires Opera helped by late 1997 to launch his international career in Europe, where he sang in Tosca, Il Trovatore , Beethoven's ninth symphony I cavalieri di Ikebu by Montemezzi, among other works.
    The tenor's renditions at Turin' Reggio and Trieste's Comunale in Italy, Nice Opera in France and Wexford festival in Ireland, as well as operas in Zurich and Tokyo, were critically acclaimed. After being so widely praised, Volonte returned to Argentina in 1999 to undertake the greatest challenge of his career singing Aurora at the Colon. He played Mariano, one of the leaders of the Argentine revolution of May 1810 that ended the Spanish rule of the South American vice-royalty. It was the first time in the Colon's history that an Argentine singer encored an aria. It was in the "Canción a la Bandera" piece in Aurora. "Singing at the Colon was a moving experience. It was an especially powerful moment for me to sing the anthem and think of my friends who died in the Malvinas because that's what the flag represents for me and anyone who fought in the war," Volonte said.
    Volonte plans to cut a CD of Argentine patriotic songs that will be distributed free to schools and sold in record stores. Part of the proceeds will go to veterans of the Malvinas war." Since June, Volonte is in Argentina. He sang Rigoletto at Teatro Argentino de La Plata, and many concerts over the Argentine Republic. One of them in Salta province, was heard by an audience of 25.000. Everywhere he goes, TV or radio interview's he is asked to sing "La canción a la Bandera". Because of Alfredo Kraus's death, he will sing in November Lucia di Lammermoor at Colon with June Anderson.

    I wish to thank Roberto Falcone for the recordings and the information.

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