The Marcello Giordani Story

Since his debut in 1986, Marcello Giordani has emerged as one of the most prominent and sought after opera singers, and has been hailed by the magazine “Opera News” as “… arguably, the greatest leading tenor of his generation“. 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 and I Pagliacci.

Marcello Giordani’s calendar for the 2015-2016 opera season includes Un ballo in maschera at the Staatsoper of Berlin in October, Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera in November, and Manon Lescaut at the Staatsoper of Hamburg in December. Taking a break from his operatic schedule in November, he will travel to Sicily to preside over the “International Vocal Competition Marcello Giordani” which will take place in his native city of Augusta. In February 2016, he will return to the Metropolitan to sing Manrico in Verdi’s Il Trovatore. The month of April will find him on the stage of the New National Theatre of Tokyo as the protagonist in Massenet’s Werther, followed by Manon Lescaut at the Vienna State Opera in June, and Tosca at the Cincinnati Opera in July.

Marcello Giordani’s most recent appearances on the opera stage, include Tosca at the Vienna State Opera and at the Bavarian State Opera (2014); Aida at the Metropolitan Opera (2014-15); and Un Ballo in maschera at the Hamburg State Opera (2015). On the concert state, he appeared in a Gala Recital at Opera Tampa (Tampa, FL), where he also coached the Opera Tampa New Voices in a public master class (2015).

The 2013-14 season saw him as Paolo il Bello in Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini at the Metropolitan Opera; in the title role of Gounod’s Faust at the Staatsoper Hamburg; Radames in Aida at the Wiener Staatsoper and at the Metropolitan opera; and two reprises of his signature role of Caravadossi at the Metropolitan Opera and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. The summer 2013 saw him as Turiddo in Cavalleria Rusticana at the Mikhailovsky Theatre of St. Petersburg and in Turandot at the Festival Puccini of Torre del Lago.

Highlights of the 2011-12 seasons include Carmen at the Teatro Massimo of Palermo and at the Royal Opera House Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman, Ernani at the Metropolitan, Cavalleria Rusticana at the Opéra National de Paris, and his debut in Giancarlo del Monaco’s production of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West broadcast live as part of the Metropolitan “Live in HD” series. During the 2010-11 season he made his debut in three different roles: Vasco da Gama in Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine with Opera Orchestra of New York; Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana and Canio in I Pagliacci, in a double bill at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. During the 2009-10 opera season he appeared in 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. The Summer of 2010 also saw his debut as Pollione in Bellini’s Norma at the Salzburg Festival.

During the Met’s 2008-09 opera season, Giordani sang the title role in a new production of Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust. On November 22nd, after singing in the matinee performance of La Damnation de Faust, he appeared as Pinkerton in the evening performance of Madama Butterfly, adding his name to a handful of singers who have sung two leading roles on the same day at the Met. In April 2008, Giordani appeared before Pope Benedict XVI to sing César Franck’s “Panis Angelicus” during the Papal Mass at Yankee Stadium in New York. “A day I will never forget,” he declared.

Giordani opened the new season at the Metropolitan Opera in 2006 as Pinkerton in the company’s new production of Madama Butterfly by the late movie director Anthony Minghella. He opened the Met season again in 2007 as Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. The following year saw his debuts in the title role of Verdi’s Ernani at the Metropolitan, as Enée in 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.

To be noted are his performance in Adriana Lecouvreur with OONY in 2002 of which the New York Times wrote: “Marcello Giordani sang like a god”; his performances in the title roles of the Metropolitan Opera’s premiere productions of Bellini’s Il Pirata (2002) and of Berlioz’ Benvenuto Cellini (2003); his debut in 2004 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 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”.

Earlier 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 OONY at Carnegie Hall (2000).

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. In 1988 he made his debut at Teatro alla Scala as Rodolfo in La Bohème, and at the Metropolitan Opera as Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore in 1993.

Marcello Giordani’s discography includes the first studio recording of Verdi’s Jérusalem by Philips; a recording of Verdi’s Rigoletto with the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, available in MP3; a recent release of Berlioz’ Benvenuto Cellini registered live from the stage of the Metropolitan in 2003; and 3 solo recordings: Tenor Arias (Naxos), featuring arias by various Italian composers; Sicilia Bella (VAI) a collection of songs of authors from his native Sicily; and Ti voglio tanto bene, a CD of Neapolitan and Italian songs dedicated to the great Italian tenors of the past. He is also featured on Many Voices, a compilation of songs by composer Steven Mercurio.

On DVD, Giordani can be seen in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Madama Butterfly from the Arena di Verona (2004); La Bohème from the Opernhaus Zürich (2005); La Gioconda, from the Teatro Bellini of Catania (2006); La Forza del Destino by the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (2007), and in five Metropolitan Opera productions broadcast live worldwide from the scene of the Metropolitan: Manon Lescaut (2008), Madama Butterfly (2009), Turandot (2009), Simon Boccanegra (2010), and La Fanciulla del West (2011).  He was also featured in three additional Met Opera productions broadcast live as part of the Met’s “live in HD” series: Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust, Verdi’s Ernani and Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini.

[Updated September 2014]