Identifier

etd-11112009-092220

Degree

Master of Music (MM)

Department

Music

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Italian baritone Pasquale Amato (1878-1942), who sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1908–1921, was regarded by critics and colleagues as a leading baritone of the early twentieth-century. Amato appeared in several United States and world premieres, most notably as Jack Rance in Giacomo Pucinni’s La fanciulla del West (1910), and often performed alongside Enrico Caruso. After leaving the Met in 1921 and touring Europe until 1926, Amato returned to the United States. His struggle to find substantial work eventually led to his pursuing teaching. In 1935, having secured a position as director of the opera department at Louisiana State University (LSU), Amato found success in his twin role as director and teacher at LSU until his death in 1942.

Upon Amato’s death, his widow Egeria Amato contacted LSU English professor John Earle Uhler and asked him to write her late husband’s biography. Uhler then contacted Amato’s family, friends, and colleagues for information. Uhler’s collected research materials (accounts from Mrs. Amato, vocal pedagogy articles written by Amato, and personal letters) are now housed in Hill Memorial Library at LSU, along with the manuscript of the unpublished biography. This thesis compiles and contextualizes pertinent correspondence within Uhler’s collection, specifically, Italian letters between Amato and Zirato and letters from Amato’s colleagues. The correspondence is an invaluable source regarding Amato’s personal and professional life: it offers for the first time a candid look into his aspirations and disappointments and reveals the obstacles Amato faced upon his re-entrance into the American concert and opera scene, particularly, the rumor that he had lost his voice. This thesis will also be the first focused study on Amato since Uhler’s earlier work, and will hopefully establish the foundation for further scholarship on the baritone.

Date

2009

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Giger, Andreas

Included in

Music Commons

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