Born: November 11, 1915 - Prague, Czechoslovakia
Died: May 23, 1962 - Vienna, Austria
The Czech baritone, Marcello Cortis [actual name: Kurt Mautner], studied piano and musicology at the Conservatory of Prague. He then studied singing with Giovanni Binetti in Milan.
Marcello Cortis made his debut in 1940 in Milan and had his first successes at Italian theatres. His career was interrupted by the events of World War II, and could be resumed only in 1946. He sang in 1946 very successful at the Teatro Comunale Bologna. Since 1947 he appeared at Milan's La Scala, where his first role was Melot in Tristan, then Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. He had important successes also with appearances in Paris (1947 Grand Opéra as Rigoletto) and London, in Brussels and Amsterdam, particularly however in Vienna. He participated at the Festival of Glyndebourne 1957 as Taddeo in Rossini's Italiana in Algeri. At the Festival of Aix-en-Provence he appeared very successfully in the years 1949-1961 (Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Bartolo in the Il Barbiere di Siviglia), i.e. in 1952 as Leporello in Don Giovanni and in performances of Charles Gounod's Mireille in the Val d'enfer (1954), in 1961 also in the premiere of the opera Lavinia by Henri Barraud. At the Holland Festival of 1959 he sang in J. Haydn's opera IL mondo della luna. He made guest appearances at the Stadttheater of Zürich (1948), at the Opera House of Strasbourg (1954), at the Opera of Monte Carlo (1954 as Bartolo in the Il Barbiere di Siviglia, also 1957 and 1962), at the Teatro Comunale Bologna (1946 as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, 1952 as Alberich in Siegfried), at the Opera of Rome (1949 as Amfortas in Parsifal, 1950 as Albert in Werther by Massenet, 1951 as Shaklowitij in Khovantchina by Mussorgsky), at the Teatro Comunale Florence (1961 as Inigo in L'Heure espagnole by M. Ravel) and with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (1960 as Taddeo).
Since 1950 Marcello Cortis worked at the same time as a director, whereby his productions of Mozart operas in Aix-en-Provence received special attention. He worked as a director also in New Zealand.
From 1950 to 1957 he could be heard in numerous opera programmes of the Italian broadcast RAI. His recordings, in particular as a Mozart singer, are on Columbia (L'Italiana in Algeri by Rossini, IL Maestro di Capella by Cimarosa; Mireille), on DGG (La serva padrona), Cetra (Rita by Donizetti) as well as on some smaller labels, such as Nixa.