It's his birthday...Mario Del Monaco
Without doubt one of the more exciting voices and operatic personalities of the mid Twentieth Century would be Mario Del Monaco. A voice of rich power and raw masculinity he was perfect for heroic tenor roles and while he concentrated mostly on the Italian repertoire he was also a renowned Wagnerian singer, Lohengrin and Siegmund were roles he identified with especially. Not to mention he was popular for the roles involving the wearing of tights...Pollione, Radames, Otello and Manrico spring to mind.
As a teenager, I thought the photo above was the hottest thing, still do. Matinee idol looks in Hollywoodesque 50's Egyptian costume while singing Radames?...woof! And so while I try and take my eyes off that chest hair you might like to enjoy the aria below. It's the radio broadcast of Del Monaco's Metropolitan debut, as Radames from the opening of the 51/52 Season, singing Celeste Aida. Have a great weekend.