Bonaldo Giaiotti (25 December 1932 – 12 June 2018) was an Italian operatic bass, particularly associated with the Italian repertory.
Born in Udine, he studied in his native city and later in Milan with Alfredo Starno, where he made his debut at the Teatro Nuovo in 1957. After singing with success in various opera houses in Italy, he made his American debut in Cincinnati, as Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, in 1959.
The following year, on 12 October 1960, he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and remained with the company for 25 years, singing some 30 roles in over 300 performances, most often as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Ramfis in Aida, Timur in Turandot. Other roles included Padre Guardiano in La forza del destino, Phillip II in Don Carlo, Ferrando in Il trovatore, Count Walter in Luisa Miller, Zaccaria in Nabucco, Giorgio in I puritani, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Alvise in La Gioconda, King Heinrich in Lohengrin, etc.
Giaiotti also made several guest appearances in other major opera houses, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Palais Garnier in Paris, the Vienna State Opera, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Zurich Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, etc. From 1963 until 1995, he was a regular guest at the Arena di Verona Festival, notably as Verdi's Attila in 1985. Surprisingly, he did not make his first appearance at La Scala until 1986, as Count Rodolfo in La sonnambula.
While best known for performing the Italian repertoire, Giaiotti did sing a number of non-Italian roles, notably the High Priest in Karl Goldmark's Die Königin von Saba (in 1991 at the Teatro Regio (Turin)), Cléomer in Massenet's Esclarmonde (January 1993, at the Teatro Massimo), Cardinal Brogni in Halevy's La Juive, and the Anabaptist in Meyerbeer's Le Prophète, and, as above, King Heinrich in Richard Wagner's Lohengrin (in 1976 and 1980, at the Metropolitan Opera).
His evenly produced, beautiful and sonorous voice made him one of the leading bassi-cantanti of his generation.
He died on 12 June 2018 at the age of 85.