Giovanni Capurro (February 5, 1859 – January 18, 1920) was an Italian poet, best remembered today as the co-creator, with singer/composer Eduardo Di Capua, of the world famous song, "'O Sole mio".
Capurro was born in Naples. He made his living as a poet and playwright. He is considered to be among the finest nineteenth-century Italian poets. The actor Viviani gave his first performance in an established theatre, the Teatro Perella in Basso Porto, in The Street Urchin, a sketch by Capurro.
In 1898, Giovanni Capurro wrote the words to 'O Sole mio and asked Eduardo Di Capua (who at the time was in Odessa with his orchestra-violinist father) to set it to music. The song was later presented at Piedigrotta 1898, organized by the Round Table promoted by the publisher Bideri, and came in second place after a piece called Napule Bello!. But in popular appeal, this result was quickly overturned. 'O Sole mio became famous. Even so, it made little money for its creators.
Capurro lived in financial scarcity his entire life. An artist for art's sake, he was not concerned about receiving credit for his best-known creation. For thirty years he was associated with the newspaper Rome as a reporter, drama critic, and, late in life, as an administrative employee. Capurro was a devotee of lounges where he sang, played the piano and did amusing imitations.
Capurro died in 1920; some sources say in Naples while others say Mexico City.
Birth and Death Data: Born February 5th, 1859 (Naples), Died Naples
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1906 - 1939
Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 49 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||B-6047||10-in.||3/25/1908||'O sole mio||Emilio de Gogorza||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||BVE-6047||10-in.||5/25/1926||'O sole mio||Emilio de Gogorza||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||C-6047||12-in.||3/25/1908||'O sole mio||Emilio de Gogorza||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-7079||10-in.||5/13/1909||'O sole mio||Emilio de Gogorza||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-9802||10-in.||1/13/1911||'O sole mio||Guido Gialdini||Whistling solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-14240||10-in.||12/19/1913||'O sole mio||Alan Turner||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-17124||10-in.||2/5/1916||'O sole mio||Enrico Caruso||Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||BVE-17124||10-in.||11/3/1927||'O sole mio||Enrico Caruso||Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||C-17363||12-in.||3/23/1916||Songs of the past, no. 13||Victor Mixed Chorus||Vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-18613||10-in.||10/17/1916||Tatonno 'e quagliarella||Giuseppe Milano||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-19402||10-in.||3/22/1917||'O tammurro||Marcello Mele||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-19865||10-in.||5/17/1917||¡Oh mi sol!||Mario Talavera||Male vocal solo, with piano||lyricist|
|Victor||B-20479||10-in.||8/1/1917||'O sole mio||Carlos Mejía||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||B-26654||10-in.||6/28/1922||'O sole mio||International Novelty Orchestra||Orchestra, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BVE-33001||10-in.||6/15/1925||'O sole mio!||Tito Schipa||Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||BVE-34734||10-in.||3/18/1926||'O sole mio||Joseph Rega||Male vocal solo, with violin and piano||lyricist|
|Victor||BVE-57243||10-in.||12/9/1929||'O sole mio||Ángel Soto||Male vocal solo, with violin and 2 guitars||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-58967||10-in.||8/15/1932||'O sole mio||Enrico Caruso ; Victor Symphony Orchestra||Tenor vocal solo (dubbed), with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||F-1||10-in.||12/21/1907||'O sole mio||Elisa Bella||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||R-738||10-in.||3/29/1910||'O sole mio||Lia Bianca||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||BVE-Test-289||10-in.||3/7/1929||'O sole mio||Harry Roberts||Male vocal solo, with piano||lyricist|
|Victor||CVE-Test-422||12-in.||6/5/1929||The old rugged cross||Mario Cappelli||Male vocal solo, with piano||lyricist|
|Victor||BVE-Test-660[a]||10-in.||8/1/1929||'O sole mio||Mary E. Spann||Female vocal solo, with recorded accompaniment||lyricist|
|Victor||[Trial 1916-02-15-11]||Not documented||2/15/1916||'O sole mio||John Oltrabello||Male vocal solo, with piano||lyricist|
|Victor||[Trial 1919-03-25-01]||Not documented||3/25/1919||'O sole mio||Francisco Avalos||Male vocal solo, with piano||lyricist|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Capurro, Giovanni," accessed October 27, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116306.
Capurro, Giovanni. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 27, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/116306.
"Capurro, Giovanni." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 27 October 2020.
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