Biography by Bob Rideout

Anita Cerquetti was born on 13 April 1931 in the vicinity of Macerata, was quietly studying voice at Perugia’s Liceo Morlacchi. Anita had established solid musical credentials before entering the conservatory. There were seven years of violin instruction to facilitate an easy completion of her entrance examinations.
Anita’s precocious and prodigious vocal talents were recognized by her mentors as entirely extraordinary, and at the age of eighteen, she was allowed to debut as a soloist in a concert at Citta di Castello. The date was 8 February 1949 and the program included the “Jewel Song” from Gounod’s “Faust” and music of Verdi, Bizet and Puccini. There are no extant reviews of that evening’s events but it is known that it was not a presage to stardom.
Anita returned to the Morlacchi for an additional two years of study and on 16 March 1951, not yet twenty, she debuted at Perugia’s Circolo della Musica in an all Verdi program. There was nothing special about the evening and Anita retreated to her family home, where, she was unexpectedly approached by the management of Spoleto’s Teatro Nuovo who wished to engage her for the role of Aida.