Pio Botticelli (8 January 1789 – 6 September 1855) was an Italian bass-baritone active in the opera houses of Italy from 1810 until the mid-1840s. Amongst the numerous roles he created in world premieres were Pietro il Grande (Peter the Great) in Donizetti’s Il falegname di Livonia and The Caliph in Pacini’s La schiava in Bagdad. He also sang the role of Leucippo in the Austrian premiere of Rossini’s Zelmira.
Botticelli, was born in Rome, the son of Salvatore Botticelli who was also a noted bass. His earliest recorded performance was in 1810 when he sang the role of Montezo in Nicola Antonio Manfroce‘s Alzira at the Teatro Valle in Rome. From 1813 until 1816, he was a singer in the Basilica della Santa Casa in Loreto. During that time he also appeared on the opera stage, creating the roles of Aldano in the premiere of Carlo Coccia‘s Evellina at the Teatro Re in 1814 and The Spirit of Austria in Vincenzo Federici [it] and Ferdinando Orlandi‘s Il mistico omaggio at La Scala in 1815.
From the 1820s he began appearing in the leading bass roles of numerous Rossini operas — Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Walter in William Tell, Douglas in La donna del lago, Leucippo in Zelmira, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Fernando in La gazza ladra, Guglielmo in Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra, Mosè in Mosè in Egitto, and Mustafà in L’italiana in Algeri.
Botticelli’s last stage performances were in Zara, where he appeared in the 1845 carnival season as Alcandro in Pacini’s Saffo and in the title roles of Nabucco and Marino Faliero. He spent his later years in Venice where he died at the age of 66 after a three-week illness. He was survived by his wife and several children.