Pasquale 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.

'LARGO AL FACTOTUM' (Il Barbiere di Siviglia)(Rossini): HMV DB156(2-052051) rec. 1911

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 and has been digitally noise reduced (see the note on the introduction page).

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