“… he is, arguably, the greatest leading tenor of his generation” – “Opera News”, March 2008
Marcello Giordani has been hailed by the international press as one of the most important tenors on the opera stage today. He has appeared in all of the world’s major opera houses and has sung with many of today’s most renowned conductors. His exceptional versatility and vocal range have allowed him to encompass a vast repertory, from the Bel Canto operas of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini and the lyricism of the French operatic repertoire, to the more dramatic roles of Verdi, Puccini and Berlioz and, most recently, the popular Verismo operas of Mascagni and Leoncavallo: Cavalleria Rusticana e I Pagliacci.
In October 2012 Giordani will open the new opera season at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona with Verdi’s La Forza del destino. He will then reprise the role of Calaf in a revival of Puccini’s Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera, where he is also scheduled to sing for the first time at the Met the challenging role of Hector in Berlioz’ masterpiece Les Troyens. He will return to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in the Spring of 2013 to tackle the role of Paolo il Bello in a revival of the acclaimed production of Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini last seen at the Met in 1986. The latter two operas will be transmitted live in HD from the stage of the Metropolitan to participating cinemas throughout the world on January 5 and on March 16, 2013, respectively, as part of the Metropolitan “Live in HD” series.
In May 2013, he will make his debut in the role of Eléazar in a premiere production of La Juive at the Semper Oper of Dresden, Germany. Later in the month he will be seen on the stage of the Wiener Staatsoper in one of his signature roles, Caravadossi, in Puccini’s Tosca.
On the concert stage, Giordani will appear in two special events where he will be joined in concert by some of the winners of the Marcello Giordani Foundation International Vocal Competition: a concert of opera arias and duets at The Dallas Opera on February 2, 2013, and a “Serata d’Amore” (“An Evening of Love) concert at the Vero Beach Opera on March 24th.
His most recent successes during the 2011-2012 include Faust at the Hamburg State Opera; Il Trovatore at the Teatro Municipale Giuseppe Verdi of Salerno and at the Massimo Bellini of Catania; Carmen at the Teatro Massimo Bellini and at the Royal Opera House Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman; Verdi’s Ernani al Metropolitan; and Cavalleria Rusticana at the Opera National de Paris.
Of particular notice during the 2010-11 season was his debut in the role of the Mexican bandit Ramerrez, in Giancarlo del Monaco’s production of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West which marked the 100th Anniversary of the world premiere of the opera at the Met. Later in the year he made his debut in three different roles: Vasco da Gama in Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine in a concert version with Opera Orchestra of New York; Turiddu in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Canio in Pagliacci, in a Cav/Pag double bill at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. He finished the season as Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca at the Wiener Staatsoper.
Highlights of the 2009-10 opera season were a revival of the 1995 Giancarlo del Monaco’s production of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra at the Metropolitan Opera, where he performed the tenor role of Gabriele Adorno alongside Placido Domingo in the title role; a new production of Tosca by Luc Bondy, also at the Metropolitan, and a new production of Gounod’s Faust at the Teatro alla Scala. The Summer of 2010 also saw Giordani’s debut as Pollione in Bellini’s Norma at the Salzburg Festival. Off the stage, Giordani conducted Master Classes at the Manhattan School of Music in New York and at the Vero Beach Opera in Vero Beach, Florida.
A major event which took place in the Spring of 2010 was the inauguration in New York of the “Marcello Giordani Foundation”, a not for profit organization dedicated to the help and support of young opera singers.
Born in Augusta, Sicily, in 1963, Marcello Giordani began his voice studies in 1983 in Catania, and then in Milan. In 1986, he won the singing competition of Spoleto, and that same year he made his professional debut as the Duke in Rigoletto at the Festival of Spoleto in Italy. His debut in the United States was in the role of Nadir in Les Pêcheurs de Perles at the Portland Opera during the 1988-89 season. Two major debuts followed, Teatro alla Scala in 1988 as Rodolfo in La Bohème and the Metropolitan Opera as Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore in 1993.
Other early milestones of his career include his debuts as Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra at the Royal Opera of London under the direction of Sir Georg Solti (1997); in La Damnation de Faust (1999) with the Munich Philharmonic under the direction of Maestro Levine; and in Lucrezia Borgia with Opera Orchestra of New York (OONY) at Carnegie Hall (2000).
Of his performance as Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur with OONY in 2002 the New York Times wrote: “Marcello Giordani sang like a god”. Also to be noted are his performances in the title roles of the Metropolitan Opera's premiere productions of Bellini's Il Pirata (2002) and of Berlioz’ masterpiece, Benvenuto Cellini (2003); his debut in 2004 in the role of Enzo in a concert version of La Gioconda with OONY, where his interpretation of the aria “Cielo e mar” received a four-minute ovation and was declared “sensational” by the New York Times; and his performance in 2006 as Arnold in OONY’s concert performance of Guillaume Tell, where the audience stopped the show following his execution of the cabaletta "Amis, amis secondez ma vengeance".
In the Fall of 2006, Giordani opened the new season at the Metropolitan Opera as Pinkerton in the company’s new production of Madama Butterfly conceived and directed by the late movie director Anthony Minghella. He opened the Met season again in 2007 as Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, in a new production by Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman, and that same year he made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a concert performance of La Damnation de Faust conducted by James Levine. The following year saw his debuts in the title role of Verdi's Ernani at the Metropolitan; in the challenging role of Enée in a series of concert performances of Berlioz’ Les Troyens with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of James Levine; and in Puccini’s Edgar with Opera Orchestra of New York.
On April 20, 2008, Marcello appeared before Pope Benedict XVI to sing "Panis Angelicus" by César Franck during the Papal Mass at Yankee Stadium in New York. “A day I will never forget,” he declared.
During the 2008-09 opera season at the Met, Giordani participated in a pre-season performance of Verdi’s Requiem conducted by James Levine in memory of Luciano Pavarotti; sang the title role in Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust in a new production by Canadian director Robert Lepage; and reprised the role of Pinkerton in Minghella’s production of Madama Butterfly which was broadcast as part of the the Met’s “Live on HD” series. On November 22nd, after singing the title role in the matinee performance of La Damnation de Faust, he appeared as Pinkerton in the evening performance of Madama Butterfly, adding his name to those handful of singers who have sung two leading roles on the same day at the Met.
Marcello Giordani's discography includes the first studio recording of Verdi's Jérusalem for Philips, and 3 solo recordings: Tenor Arias (Naxos), featuring arias by Bellini, Bizet, Donizetti, Mascagni, Rossini, and Verdi, among others; Sicilia Bella (VAI) a collection of songs of authors from his native Sicily; and a new CD of Neapolitan and Italian songs titled of Ti voglio tanto bene dedicated to the great Italian tenors of the past and featuring classical Italian and Neapolitan songs. He is also featured on Many Voices, a compilation of songs by composer Steven Mercurio on Sony Classical.
On DVD, Giordani can be seen in Franco Zeffirelli's 2004 production of Madama Butterfly from the Arena di Verona (2004); in La Bohème from the Opernhaus Zürich (2005); in La Gioconda, from the Teatro Bellini of Catania (2006); in La Forza del Destino by the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, filmed live in HD from the stage of the Teatro Comunale of Florence, Italy, in 2007; and in five Metropolitan Opera productions filmed in HD and broadcast live on the HD international network, Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly, Simon Boccanegra, Turandot and La Fanciulla del West.
[Updated October 13, 2012 ]