OPINION

December 3, 1957

BENIAMINO GIGLI: Rome, 30 – Beniamino Gigli, the famous opera singer, died this afternoon of pneumonia at the age of 67 at his home. According to his attending physician, Gigli fell ill two days ago, apparently with a cold, but suddenly developed a high fever. The opera singer joked with those around him at his bedside right up until his final minutes. Last September he had been slightly injured in a car accident and two years ago suffered a heart attack. Gigli was born in Recanati, central Italy and made his first appearance in 1915 as Enzo in «La Gioconda.» Gigli stood in for Enrico Caruso at the Metropolitan Opera in 1920. Returning there in 1955, after a 16-year absence, he gave three farewell recitals. The Allied authorities had banned Gigli from singing right after World War II, accusing him of having collaborated with the Fascists. The singer admitted to having sung for the Fascists and for the Germans but attributed the accusations to jealousy. He said he had never been interested in politics and had never worn the Fascist black shirt or insignia.