Joseph Satariano  (Baritone)

Born 6th September 1895 and died 19th April 1992.

Satariano is probably the greatest singer Malta has produced. He was born in Valletta. Following a modest debut in Sliema in 1918, he attracted the attention of the Royal Opera House impresario Lancellotti and made his debut there in November 1919 in a minor role in Puccini's "Manon Lescaut".

Satariano then moved to Italy where he made his name after appearances at Milan's Carcano and several other Italian opera houses.  His big break, which Italian critics described as a 'revelation', was his last minute standing-in for the great Stabile in a performance of Mule's "Dafni" in Palermo.  From then on, Satariano never looked back. He was  a frequent visitor to his native land, although at one time he was absent from the Royal Opera House for 8 years.  He sung all over Italy, in Istambul, South America, Tripoli and England where he first sung in 1938 and which he subsequently made his second home.  He gradually built up a repertoire of scores of roles.  By general concensus, Rigoletto was the role which he most made his own.

He sung opposite such names as Melba, Chaliapin, Pederzini, Saraceni, Icilio Calleja, Pertile, Toti del Monte, Simionato, Poli, Licia Albanese, Tassinari, Garuti, Basiola, Schipa, Galeppi, Franci, Merli and Joan Hammond.  In London, Satariano appeared at the Royal Albert Hall and during World War II, he entertained troops with various appearances in ENSA shows.  For many years he enjoyed a fruitful association with the Carl Rosa Company, to which he introduced rising Maltese tenor Oreste Kirkop.

Satariano continued singing well into his sixties and left his last stage appearance for his many admirers in his native land. This was in 1957, when he sung 'Rigoletto' at the Radio City Opera House, Hamrun, still remembered by many as a truly great performance and not a swan song.

Satariano retired definitely in 1962 and came to Malta where he died in his 97th year.

Joseph Satariano, St. Julians, Malta.  1985