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French postcard. Paramount. A.N., Paris, No. 457.

 

"Nino Martini (7 August 1902 — 9 December 1976) was an Italian operatic tenor and actor. He began his career as an opera singer in Italy before moving to the United States to pursue an acting career in films. He appeared in several Hollywood movies during the 1930s and 1940s while simultaneously working as a leading tenor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Martini possessed a warm lyric tenor voice that had a wide range and considerable amount of coloratura facility. He sang mostly within the Italian repertoire that encompassed the bel canto literature of Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini, the grand operas of Giuseppe Verdi, and the verismo operas of Giacomo Puccini.

 

Martini studied singing under Giovanni Zenatello and Maria Gay who were married and both well known opera singers. In 1925 he made his professional opera debut in Milan as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto. Shortly thereafter he toured Europe as a concert artist appearing in many of the continent's major music centers. While in Paris he was discovered by [Paramount film mogul] Jesse Lasky who engaged him for several Italian language speaking roles in short films. In 1929, under the influence of Lasky, Martini immigrated to the United States to pursue a film career. His first appearance was in the Paramount Pictures all-star revue film Paramount on Parade (1930), in which he sang the song "Come Back to Sorrento" in one of the film's Technicolor sequences. This film has been restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Further forays into film were postponed, however, as Martini decided to continue to pursue an opera career. He made his U.S. opera debut in 1931 in Philadelphia. This was followed by several broadcasts of opera for CBS radio. In 1933 Martini joined the roster at the Metropolitan Opera, making his debut on December 28 as the Duke of Mantua. He appeared in several more productions at the Met over the next thirteen years, singing the roles of Alfredo in La Traviata, Carlo in Linda di Chamounix, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Rodolfo in La Bohème, and Ruggero in La Rondine. His last performance at the Met was as Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia on April 20, 1946.

 

While performing at the Met, Martini occasionally returned to Hollywood to appear in films, mostly appearing in pictures produced by Lasky. His film credits include Here's to Romance (1935), Music for Madame (1937), and The Gay Desperado (1936). The latter film featured Ida Lupino as his co-star, was directed by Rouben Mamoulian, produced by Jesse Lasky and Mary Pickford, and released by United Artists. His last film appearance was in One Night With You in 1948. In the late 1940s and 1950s Martini continued to perform as a singer mostly on the radio. He eventually returned to Italy where he lived in Verona until his death in 1976."

 

Source: English Wikipedia.

Columbine (in Italian, Colombina; in French, Colombine) is a fictional character in the Commedia dell'Arte. She is Harlequin's mistress, a comic servant playing the tricky slave type, and wife of Pierrot.

 

She is dressed in a ragged and patched dress appropriate to a hired servant. Occasionally, under the name Arlecchina she would wear a motley similar to her counterpart Arlecchino (or Harlequin). She was also known to wear heavy makeup around her eyes and carry a tambourine which she could use to fend off the amorous advances of Pantalone.

 

She was often the only functional intellect on the stage. Columbina aided her mistress, the innamorata, to gain the affections of her one true love by manipulating Arlecchino and counter-plotting against Pantalone while simultaneously managing the whereabouts of the innamorato. She may be a flirtatious and impudent character, indeed a soubrette, but without losing her judgment.

 

In the verismo opera Pagliacci by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, the head troup's wife, Nedda, plays as Colombina, cheating on her husband both onstage with Arlecchino, and offstage with Silvio.

 

Although Columbina became the dominant name (known as Columbine in France and England) other names under which the same character is played in Commidian performances include: fantesca (maid), servetta (female servant), Franceschina, Smeraldina, Oliva, Nespola, Spinetta, Ricciolina, Corallina, Diamantina and Lisetta.

I was tagged...

 

10 facts about me:

 

1. I hate to be late.

 

2. I never use ties.

 

3. I never talk to policemen unless is a life or death event.

 

4. There's very few things I can't eat. :-)

 

5. I've never traveled to the orient and I hate that.

 

6. I am a musician and songwriter.

 

7. I love to read literature for teenagers (Harry Potter and stuff).

 

8. I love verismo opera.

 

9. I am learning to become a record engineer.

 

10. I am a sucker for old large format cameras.

Album of bel canto and verismo opera arias