Siepi, Cesare (chāˈzärā sēĕpˈē) [key], 1923–2010, Italian opera singer, b. Milan. A classic basso cantante [singing bass], his warm, resonant voice was suited to for Mozart's operas, and the tall, handsome Siepi's most famous character was the seductive Don Giovanni, a role he performed worldwide and filmed in 1955. Mainly self-taught, he began singing in a madrigal group and had his operatic debut in Italy in 1941 in Rigoletto. After World War II (during which he lived in neutral Switzerland), he sang in various Italian houses including La Scala, Milan. He debuted at New York City's Metropolitan Opera in 1950 as King Philip II in Don Carlos and became the city's reigning bass, singing in hundreds of Met performances.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.