Enzo Dara is one of the foremost buffo performers of his generation, particularly admired for his Rossini performances, excellent vehicles for his comic acting abilities as well as his musicality. He first worked as a journalist before deciding to explore a singing career, and studied in his native Mantua with Bruno Sutti. His opera debut was in 1960 as Colline in Puccini's La bohème at the Fano opera house. After a period of military service, he made a sensation in 1967 at his Reggio Emilia debut as Mustafa in Rossini's L'italiana in Algieri. The next year, he made his La Scala debut as Don Bartolo in Rossini's Il barbière di Siviglia, a role that has practically become his signature. He made his first appearance at Covent Garden in 1976 as Dandini in Rossini's La cenerentola as part of the La Scala touring company. Bartolo was the role of his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1982, as well as his independent Covent Garden debut three years later. His interest in the drama of opera has led to him directing several productions, including Il Maestro di Cappella and Don Pasquale.
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