Why did you start singing?
I started singing because it felt so natural.
Which singer inspired you most when you were young?
Which singer do you most admire?
Thomas Hampson for his curiosity and for his vast repertoire.
What's your favourite role?
I don't have a favourite role but if I have to choose I'd say Rossini's Maometto II.
What role have you never played but would like to?
Filippo II in Verdi's Don Carlo.
What's your favourite opera to watch?
Don Carlo and Otello.
Who is your favourite composer?
Who is your favourite writer?
Dan Brown. I thought The Da Vinci Code was brilliant.
Who is your favourite theatre or film director?
Who is your favourite actor?
Who is your favourite dancer?
What is your favourite book?
Umberto Eco Il nome della Rosa.
What is your favourite film?
Gran Torino by Clint Eastwood.
Which is your favourite city?
What do you like most about yourself?
My ability to laugh about myself.
What do you dislike about yourself?
That I am a hypochondriac.
What was your proudest moment?
Singing Bach's Cantatas at the Musikverein with Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
When and where were you happiest?
Experiencing a sunset at the Grand Canyon
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife Catherine.
What is your greatest fear?
Having to rebuild my 450GB iTunes library… it took me years to rip all my CDs.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Not being afraid of flying.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having sung Maometto II at 7,000 feet above sea level.
What is your most treasured possession?
Lenny and Tristan.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Collecting fountain pens.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Getting up early… I don't like mornings!!
On what occasion do you lie?
I am Italian… I always lie 😉
If you hadn't been a singer what would you have liked to be?
What is your most marked characteristic?
I never shut up.
What quality do you most value in a friend?
Flexibility to adjust to my crazy schedule.
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
Being a little bit unpredictable on stage.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Which living person do you most admire?
What do you most dislike?
What talent would you most like to have?
Being able to conduct an orchestra.
What's your idea of perfect happiness?
Walking the doggies on a deserted beach.
How would you like to die?
At 38 I don't really want to think about death…
What is your motto?
Follow your inner voice.
Luca Pisaroni – a biography
Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni has established himself as one of the most captivating and versatile singers performing today. Since his debut at the Salzburg Festival at age 26 with the Vienna Philharmonic under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, he has performed at many of the world's leading opera houses and concert halls.
After a highly successful return to the Salzburg Festival for Guglielmo in Così fan tutte under Christoph Eschenbach, Pisaroni begins the 2013/2014 season with his début at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in the title role of Le Nozze di Figaro. He will then go on to perform the role of Enrico VIII in Anna Bolena and the tile role of Le Nozze di Figaro at the Wiener Staatsoper. In the spring of 2014, Luca Pisaroni returns to the Metropolitan Opera to sing Caliban in the baroque pastiche The Enchanted Island and Alidoro in La Cenerentola. On the concert stage Pisaroni will appear in Schumann's Faust Scenes with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the Orchestre National de France with Daniele Gatti and he will sing Haydn's Die Jahreszeiten at the Musikverein Wien under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. He takes his celebrated recitals to Hamburg's Laeiszhalle, London's Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Concertgebouw, the Heidelberg Frühling Festival, Vienna's Musikverein and the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg.
After a triumphant debut in the title role of Rossini's Maometto II at Santa Fe Opera last summer, Pisaroni sang Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Opéra National de Paris, Enrico VIII in Anna Bolena with the Wiener Staatsoper in Japan and sang Leporello in Don Giovanni in Baden-Baden. He toured with the English Concert under Harry Bicket as Tiridate in Radamisto, returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra for Bach's Matthäus Passion under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, sang Paolo in Simon Boccanegra, as part of the “Great Voices” series at the Vienna Konzerthaus, performed Haydn's Die Jahreszeiten with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra and Bach's Cantatas under the direction of Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Concentus Musicus.
His diverse repertoire includes performances of Le nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra National de Paris, San Francisco Opera, Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival; Leporello at Glyndebourne, the Metropolitan Opera and at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony under James Levine; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte at Glyndebourne; Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées; Tiridate in Radamisto at Santa Fe Opera; Conte Dorval in Martin y Soler's Il Burbero di Buon Cuore at Teatro Real; Enrico in Haydn's L'Isola Disabitata at Vienna's Musikverein and Douglas D'Angus in Rossini's La Donna Del Lago in Salzburg. He sang Argante in Rinaldo at Chicago Lyric Opera, the title role in Cavalli's Ercole Amante with De Nederlandse Opera, and Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas for the Wiener Festwochen.
In concert, Pisaroni has performed Hasse's I Pellegrini al Sepolcro di Nostro Signore and Cherubini's Missa Solemnis under Riccardo Muti; Schumann's Das Paradies und die Peri with Sir Simon Rattle and the Philadelphia Orchestra; Zebul in Händel's Jephtha with the Berlin Philharmonic under Nikolaus Harnoncourt; Haydn's Il Ritorno di Tobia with Adam Fischer at the Vienna Konzerthaus; and Bach's St. John Passion at the Théâtre du Châtelet. He has also sung Beethoven's Ninth Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas and Jaap van Zweden, Rossini's Stabat Mater under Franz Welser-Möst, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with John Nelson, Mozart's Requiem with Yuri Temirkanov for the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem under Edo de Waart and Händel's La Resurrezione with Il Giardino Armonico.
Besides his activities in opera and concert, Pisaroni is an ardent and dedicated recitalist, having performed at Carnegie Hall, the Ravinia Festival, the Concertgebouw, the Edinburgh Festival, the Frankfurt Opera and Wigmore Hall, among other major venues.
Recent recordings include EMI DVDs of Don Giovanni and Rinaldo from the Glyndebourne Festival, Le Nozze di Figaro from Opéra National de Paris, a Deutsche Grammophon recording of Don Giovanni with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin and a Decca recording of Simon Boccanegra alongside Thomas Hampson and Joseph Calleja.
Luca Pisaroni lives in Vienna with his wife, Catherine. Their golden retriever, Lenny 2.0, and miniature dachshund, Tristan, are the singer's constant traveling companions.
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.