“I Pagliacci” at theTeatro Regio di Parma: the renowned tenor as Canio

“Theater and life are not the same thing”. The words sung by Canio foretell the tragic ending of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. The opera, a production of the Teatro Regio of Parma, will have as its protagonist tenor Marcello Giordani who made his debut in the role in 2011.

What made you decide to add Pagliacci to your repertoire?
“This opera fits well into my vocal development: the voice matures, and at 45-50 years of age, it is natural to progress toward a more veristic and dramatic vocality.”

How do you approach this role?
“It is a role that I approach with great respect and humility, but I don’t think I’m imitating anybody: my Canio is obviously very different vocally from Corelli’s, Del Monaco’s, Domingo’s. Immediately after the dress rehearsal I received a compliment from one of my colleagues that gave me much pleasure. She found my interpretation elegant, not at all vulgar. This is what I strive for: never to fall into vocal exaggeration, even when the action is so dramatic and emphatic that it may lead to overdo the dynamics.”

What is your opinion of the director Federico Grazzini’s idea to draw inspiration from the neo-realistic cinema?
“I think his idea is correct: the story of Pagliacci is so relevant today that it could have taken place in the 21st century. The themes of betrayal, passion and femicide are real and timely.”

What do you think of the decision to combine Pagliacci with Gianni Schicchi rather than Cavalleria Rusticana?
I believe it’s an interesting experiment, and that the tradition can be debunked. This way you go from tears to smiles, that’s exactly what theatre is about.

You have created The Marcello Giordani Foundation, can you explain what it’s about?
“The objective of the foundation is to help young singers at the beginning of their careers with scholarships, contracts, financial support. It’s always been my dream. It was created in the United States in 2010 simply because in the US there is less bureaucracy, but its scope is international. That is also the objective of The Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition which is in its 4th edition this year. There no admission fee, and the prizes include engagements in addition to money.”

What are the advantages and disadvantages of singing in America as much as you do?
“I think I was very lucky to begin my career in America, which I consider my second artistic homeland. Undoubtedly, the work and the professional level there have greater precision and pragmatism than in Italy, and the scheduling is always long term.”

What are your future engagements?
“In the next months I’ll be in Berlin for Tosca, in Dresden for Carmen, in Bilbao for Turandot and at the Met for Aida.”

La Gazzetta di Parma

Jan 17, 2014