- Category : Singer - Classical
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 4/1 - Opportunistic / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (5,29,30,59)
- Incarnation Cross : JX Values
Tito Gobbi (October 24, 1913 – March 5, 1984) was an Italian baritone.
Gobbi was born in Bassano del Grappa and studied law at the University of Padua before he trained as a singer. He made his operatic debut in 1935 as Count Rudolfo in Vincenzo Bellini's La Sonnambula. In 1942 he made his debut at La Scala in Milan and then appeared at Covent Garden in London in 1951, both times in the role of Belcore in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore.
Rome was to be the base for many of Gobbi's productions throughout the 1950s and 1960s, for which he created many roles himself. He was noted for his unique voice and his talent for verismo (realistic) acting. In the 1960s he was involved in stage directing, a notable example being his 1965 production of Simon Boccanegra at the Royal Opera House in London.
He appeared in twenty-five films, in both singing and speaking roles. He sang the role of Baron Scarpia in the 1964 Franco Zeffirelli production of Puccini's Tosca at Covent Garden with Maria Callas in the title role. Act II of the production was shown on British television and is now preserved on video and DVD. Gobbi and Callas had previously sung their roles in the classic 1953 EMI recording of the opera, with Giuseppe di Stefano as Mario Cavaradossi and Victor de Sabata conducting. That 1953 album was issued both on LP and CD, and is considered by many to be the greatest recording of a complete opera ever made. It went out of print only once, after Callas re-recorded the role in stereo in 1964, but the 1953 mono version was soon re-issued and is the one that remains in print to this day. The performance is considered to be one of Callas and Gobbi's best works. He was a close friend and admirer of Callas, and was interviewed several times about their collaborations together.
Gobbi was announced as 1969 King of Moomba by the Melbourne Moomba festival committee, amid some controversy (he was the third non-Australian and some people were calling for an Australian). He considered 'abdicating' but went on to great acclaim at the related parade; which was "... the biggest audience of my career, ... I am so happy I did not abdicate. I am proud to be king of Moomba".
He had one daughter with his wife Tilda, Cecilia. She now runs the Associazione Musicale Tito Gobbi, an organization devoted to preserving and celebrating the record of Gobbi's contributions to opera.
In later years, he made the Lyric Opera of Chicago his home base. He retired from the operatic stage in 1979 and published an autobiography Tito Gobbi: My Life (1979) and Tito Gobbi and His World of Italian Opera (1984). He was brother-in-law of the Bulgarian bass Boris Christoff.