Vincenzo La Scola, an Italian tenor known internationally as both an opera singer and a crossover artist, died on April 15 in Turkey, where he was giving a master class, from a heart attack. He was 53.
His manager, Silvana Sintow-Behrens said on her website:
It is with shock and greatest sadness that we must say farewell to Vicenzo la Scola. His sudden and totally unexpected death will leave a great void to all of us. He was not only a tenor with one of the most beautiful voices and a perfect technique but also a human being of great kindness and warmth. He died on April 15, 2011 during a masterclass in Turkey while passing on his experience to the young singers. He was only 53 years old. The international opera scene shall remember his numerous performances and concert appearances, many of which were luckily preserved on video and CD. We will miss him a lot. Our deepest condolences to his family.
He was most closely associated with the repertory of Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti and Bellini. He made his début at Teatro alla Scala in 1988 with “L'Elisir d'amore”, and with the Metropolitan Opera as Rodolfo in “Bohème” in 1993. He later appeared at the Met in “Rigoletto”, “Tosca” and “La Traviata”.
La Scola recorded the EMI “Rigoletto” with Riccardo Muti, and besides operatic recordings his discography includes the album “Vita Mia”, which contains several duets with the English pop star Cliff Richard.
Vincenzo La Scola was born in 1958 in Palermo, Sicily; as a boy he played guitar and flute. He discovered he had an operatic voice only at 19, he said, while he was an undergraduate studying biology and happened to sing along with a Luciano Pavarotti record. And it was Pavarotti himself who urged a 21 year old La Scola to study with his teacher Arrigo Pola in his hme town, Modena.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.