Canadian baritone Louis Quilico would have been 96 today. He had the kind of career that most baritones dream of, finding an organic fit in Verdi’s operas: Germont in La traviata, Renato in Un ballo in maschera, Iago in Otello, Macbeth in Macbeth, and of course, the role that earned him his nickname after over 500 performances, Rigoletto.
Quilico’s career was also full of mentorship and teaching; after he died in 2000, his widow, Christina Petrowska Quilico created the Christina & Louis Quilico Awards for the Ontario Arts Council, awarding great merit in emerging singers.
Personally, I like hearing him teach, like in this two-part video of a masterclass and concert Quilico gave with Christina. But there’s also tons to learn by just listening – and since this is Mr. Rigoletto we’re talking about, here’s Louis Quilico singing Verdi’s “Cortigiani, vil razza dannata”.
Happy birthday, Mr. Rigoletto: