Jun 092014
Ivo Vinco and Fiorenza Cossotto after La pietra del paragone, Teatro alla Scala, 1959

and after La pietra del par­agone, , 1959

Ivo Vinco: born Bosco Chies­anuova, Ver­ona, 8 Novem­ber 1927; died Ver­ona, 8 June 2014

Italian bass Ivo Vinco died yes­ter­day at the age of 86 in Ver­ona, just thirty kilo­metres from where he was born, Bosco Chies­anuova, and in the city where he stud­ied singing at the Liceo Musicale until trans­fer­ring to Milan’s Academy.

His début came in 1954, in Ver­ona, when he sang Ram­fis in Aida and dur­ing his career sang in all the major inter­na­tional opera houses.

Vinco’s rep­er­toire included Don Basilio in Il bar­biere di Siviglia, Oroveso in Norma, Rai­mondo in Lucia di Lam­mer­moor, Sparafucile in Rigo­letto, Fer­rando in Il trovatore, Fiesco in Simon Boc­canegra, Padre Guard­i­ano in La forza del des­tino, Grande Inquis­itore in Don Carlo and Alvise in La Gioconda. In many of these operas he was accom­pan­ied on stage by his wife, mezzo-soprano Fiorenza Cos­sotto who, even though they divorced after a mar­riage of 40 years, con­tin­ued to call him her hus­band and was by his bed­side in hos­pital for weeks earlier this year when he was suf­fer­ing with a severe bron­chitis. How­ever, he recovered and died after fall­ing in his home and hit­ting his head.

Among his stu­dio record­ings are La Gioconda, with (and as in most of these, also Fiorenza Cos­sotto) in 1959; the 1960 Rigo­letto with Ettore Basti­anini, Ren­ata Scotto, Alfredo Kraus and Gianandrea Gavazzeni on the podium; Don Carlo in 1961 with Flavi­ano Labò, Ant­onietta Stella, Boris Chris­toff,  Basti­anini and Cos­sotto under the baton of Gab­ri­ele Santini for Deutsche Gram­mo­phon; and again for DG a Rigo­letto with Diet­rich Fischer-Dieskau,  Scotto, and Cos­sotto with Rafael Kube­lik con­duct­ing in 1963.

Vinco is also in the video record­ing of ’s La bohème with Mirella Freni, Gianni Rai­mondi and Rolando Pan­erai in 1964.

There are also many live record­ings, not­able the vari­ous record­ings of Norma with Cal­las (Paris, 1965), Gen­cer (Lausanne, 1966), and Mont­ser­rat Caballè (Bar­celona, 1970; La Scala, 1972).

Verdi was his favour­ite . In a 1988 inter­view with Jeanne Percesepe Bell he said,

For me, the mas­ter of the singing voice is , and I will tell you why: because , first of all, teaches us to con­nect the tones, in phrases; to cre­ate ‘cello-like singing lines, a legato which is per­haps greater even than Bellini’s, not to men­tion Moz­art. Moz­art, as we know, was not the mas­ter of legato, but Verdi cre­ated melo­dies with ‘cello-like singing lines for all the voices and pre­pared for the dif­fi­culties in the high notes with pre­ced­ing notes that assist you, like a spring­board for a jumper.

An ath­lete who must take a jump, uses a base from which to arrive at the height with facil­ity, whereas we find in other com­posers cer­tain huge leaps, tak­ing a low note and then imme­di­ately a high note, like weight-lifting. Verdi is a mas­ter, the great mas­ter for the voice. Who­ever sings Verdi, and sings it well, can never ruin his voice .…

Ivo Vinco’s nephew, Marco, is also a well-known bass.


Ivo Vinco: born Bosco Chies­anuova, Ver­ona, 8 Novem­ber 1927; died Ver­ona, 8 June 2014

  2 Responses to “Italian bass Ivo Vinco dies at 86”

  1. It might be true that the great Fiorenza was his call­ing card, but he cer­tainly wouldn’t have worked in so many theatres if he wasn’t a good singer. RIP

  2. A great singer and a real friend — gra­zie per tutto — RIP Michele e tutti gli “Amici del Bel­canto” from Neunkirchen –Austria

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