Gregorio Fiasconaro

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Gregorio Fiasconaro () was a bariton, opera director, film actor and the first director of the University of Cape Town's Opera School.


Born in Castelbuono, Sicily, and made his debut as a singer in the children's choir in La Bohéme. His career was interrupted when he became a pilot for Italy during World War II, and was shot down over East Africa and taken to South Africa as a prisoner of war. He married Mabel Marie, a South African woman from Pietermaritzburg, whom he had met while interred, and settled in Cape Town as a singer and teacher, where he was eventually appointed professor of music at the University of Cape Town. They had one son, Marcello Fiasconaro.

He died in Cape Town in 1994.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

As director

He directed the production of Erik Chisholm's opera, Dark Sonnet, for the University of Cape Town Opera Company in 1952.

1969 – La bohème for CAPAB Opera

1969 – Lucia di Lammermoor for CAPAB Opera

1972 – Madama Butterfly for CAPAB Opera

1977 – La traviata for CAPAB Opera

1977 – Otello for CAPAB Opera

As actor

He played Tadh Beag in Erik Chisholm's opera The Inland Woman at the Little Theatre in 1953.

His sole film appearance was as "Mario" in the 1972 Emil Noval film The Winners (released in the USA as My Way, 1974)


Among his many awards are a Nederburg-award for Opera in 1979 and a "Commendatore" from the Republic of Italy in 1984.


Wayne Muller. 2018. A reception history of opera in Cape Town: Tracing the development of a distinctly South African operatic aesthetic (1985–2015). Unpublished PhD thesis.

Alexandra Xenia Sabina Mossolow[1]. 2003. The career of South African soprano Nellie du Toit, born 1929. Unpublished Masters thesis. University of Stellenbosch.[2]

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