Nicola Zaccaria

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Nicola Zaccaria (March 9 1923 - July 24 2007) was a well-regarded operatic bass-baritone during the middle of the twentieth century. Born Nicolas Angelos Zachariou in Piraeus, Greece, Zaccaria was trained at the Royal Conservatory in Athens and made his debut (as Nicolas Zachariou) at age 26 in 1949, as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor at Athens Opera. His international career began some four years later, in 1953, when he bowed at La Scala as Sparafucile. His position as a mainstay of the bass operatic repertoire was assured thereafter. He was La Scala's principal bass for almost 15 years.

Bass singers are usually overshadowed by the tenors and sopranos that typically take the lead roles in opera, and Zaccaria was no exception. He sang with some of the the most famous singers of his generation, such as Maria Callas, but never achieved great international fame. With Callas he recorded nine complete operas:

  • Aida - 1955 as Il re d’Egitto
  • Rigoletto - 1955 as Sparafucile
  • Il Trovatore - 1956 as Ferrando
  • La Boheme - 1956 as Colline
  • Un Ballo in Maschera - 1956 as Tom
  • Il Barbiere di Siviglia - 1957 as Don Basilio
  • La Sonnambula - 1957 as Il conte Rodolfo
  • Turandot - 1957 as Timur
  • Norma (opera)|Norma - 1960 as Oroveso

According to John Ardoin in his book The Callas Legacy, Zaccaria also recorded under the pseudonym Guilio Mauri in the complete recordings of Il Trovatore and Turandot in which he appeared with the soprano. Nicola Zaccaria died in Athens on July 24 2007 from Alzheimer's disease, aged 84.

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