Rosetta Pampanini 1896-1973

Soprano italienne, lyrico-spinto, Rosetta Pampanini est particulièrement connue pour avoir interprété les œuvres de Giacomo Puccini. 

Elle est née à Milan le 2 septembre 1896. Elevée dans une famille musicale aisée, elle fut formée au chant par Emma Molajoli, l’épouse du célèbre et respecté chef d’orchestre de La Scala de Milan, Lorenzo Molajoli. Elle fit ses débuts sur scène en 1920, au Teatro Nazionale de Rome, dans le rôle de Micaëla (Carmen), et à Turin en 1921, dans le rôle Siebel (Faust)

Après une Mimi (La bohème ) en 1922, et après de nouvelles études, elle fit ses débuts au Teatro San Carlo de Naples, dans le rôle de Desdemone, en 1923, et chanta l’année suivante Elsa à Bergame.

Pampanini dans Tosca à gauche et dans La bohème (Mimi) à droite

Pampanini et Gigli dans Andrea Chénier
à la Scala en 1937

Rosetta ajouta rapidement le rôle de Iris de Pietro Mascagni à son répertoire, ses performances étant souvent dirigées par le Maestro Mascagni lui-même. En 1924, sa Mimi fut remarquée par Arturo Toscanini qui lui proposa aussitôt de faire ses débuts à La Scala en 1925 en tant que Cio-Cio-San (Madame Butterfly), rôle qu’elle s’appropriera jusqu’en 1937. Ensuite, elle chanta dans toutes les grandes maisons d’opéra d’Europe; l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo en 1927, le Royal Opera House de Londres, de 1928 à 1933, le Liceu de Barcelone et l’Opéra d’État de Vienne en 1930, le Lyric Opera de Chicago de 1931 à 1932 et l’Opéra de Paris en 1935. Elle se produisit également à Buenos Aires et Rio de Janeiro.

Pampanini dans le rôle de Cio-Cio San de Madame Butterfly de Puccini, son rôle fétiche

Grande interprète de Puccini, notamment en tant que Madama Butterfly, rôle auquel son nom restera attaché, elle a également chanté Manon Lescaut, La bohème, Tosca, Turandot, Il piccolo Marat, Iris, et Nedda (I Pagliacci). Bien qu’elle fut essentiellement une soprano lyrique, elle a parfois chanté quelques rôles spinto de Verdi tels que Leonora et Aida, ainsi que Maddalena et Fedora de Giordano. Elle fut invitée au Covent Garden de Londres en 1926, à Berlin en 1929, au Vienna State Opera en 1930 et au Lyric Opera de Chicago en 1931, et continua de faire de nombreuses tournées des deux côtés de l’Atlantique.

Au cours de sa carrière, Rosetta a participé à plusieurs premières mondiales, certaines ayant été oubliées de nos jours. Sa voix s’assombrissant avec le temps, à partir d’environ 1937, elle se concentra sur des rôles plus lourds tels que Nedda de I Pagliacci de Leoncavallo, l’héroïne titre de Aida, Leonora (La Force du destin) et Maddalena (Andrea Chenier). 

Elle se retira de la scène en 1946 et se tourna vers l’enseignement devenant un célèbre professeur de chant. Parmi ses élèves se trouvait la soprano britannique Amy Shuard. Aujourd’hui, une grande partie de son héritage enregistré est conservé sur CD.

Pampanini est décédé à Rovigo, le 2 août 1973, à l’âge de 76 ans. Elle est enterrée en Italie au cimetière de Corbola, province de Rovigo, Vénétie.

Tombe de Rosetta Pampanini

Rosetta Pampanini était dotée d’une grande voix expressive. Elle eut la sagesse de ne pas aller au-delà de son registre naturel de soprano lyrique et n’aborda que rarement des rôles trop lourds pour elle comme Aida, Leonora, la Wally, leur préférant Nedda, Maddalena (André Chénier) ou plus tard Fedora.

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