When did you start singing?
I have been singing singing since I was small boy. However, my first official voice lesson was in September of 1977. The teacher's name is Dr Robert White Jr. I have studied with him for 38 years.
Why did you start singing?
It was pointed out to me that I had something valid and that I should pursue it seriously.
Which singer inspired you most when you were young?
Caruso, Gigli, Björling, McCormack, Gedda, Araiza… Pavarotti.
Which singer do you most admire?
It depends on the repertoire they embraced. I would have to say that the voice that excites me the most these days is Franco Corelli.
What's your favourite role?
What role have you never played but would have liked to?
What's your favourite opera to watch?
Who is your favourite composer?
Who is your favourite writer?
I'm afraid I don't really have one. I read all kinds of things. I have leaned towards books that are spiritual in nature.
Who is your favourite theatre or film director?
Who is your favourite actor?
Who is your favourite dancer?
What is your favourite book?
Whatever I am reading at the time.
What is your favourite film?
Lawrence of Arabia.
Which is your favourite city?
New York City.
What do you like most about yourself?
My ability to see a goal or task through to its completion.
What do you dislike about yourself?
I hold on to things too long and I retreat inward when the world is too overwhelming.
What was your proudest moment?
My wedding day in 1982.
When and where were you happiest?
I am happiest at home.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife Carolyn is the love of my life.
What is your greatest fear?
That people will never learn to recognize that the only way we can achieve the healing of the planet is through working together.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
From a physical point of view I would like to be taller and still have a full head of hair. From a personal perspective I would like to be taken more seriously.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
That I stayed the course and did the best I could from time to time with what I have been given.
What is your most treasured possession?
What is your greatest extravagance?
Good Single Malt Scotch.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
On what occasion do you lie?
At a dinner party when the food is deplorable.
If you hadn't been a singer what would you have liked to be?
An artist: a painter, sculptor etc.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I am told that I am kind and generous. I never like to let people leave my house empty handed.
What quality do you most value in a friend?
My wife is my best friend. From the few friends I do have, I would just appreciate them not mistaking my kindness for weakness.
What quality do you most value in a colleague?
The ability to laugh internally no matter what the situation is. That great singing can be achieved with a light heart and that the workplace is not a competitive environment. We are doing this together.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Those who stood on the front-line, walking forward in spite of the oncoming danger and persecution they knew they must endure to make the world see things differently.
Which living person do you most admire?
What do you most dislike?
Cruelty in all forms, particularly towards the helpless. Violence towards women, children and animals.
What talent would you most like to have?
I'm satisfied with the ones I have.
What's your idea of perfect happiness?
I can only imagine what that would be like. But I would have to say that I have achieved great moments of happiness just sitting in a chair outside in the sun with a fantastic cigar and a glass of ice-cold IPA beer gazing at my lilac bush.
How would you like to die?
Peacefully. I would not like to be murdered.
What is your motto?
“I am what I am and that's all that I am.” – Popeye
Frank Lopardo – a biography
One of the leading lyric tenors of our day, Frank Lopardo is seen on a regular basis with prestigious operatic companies and orchestras around the world. He has collaborated with the world's finest conductors including Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Sir Georg Solti.
Among the many operatic roles Mr Lopardo has made his own are Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, the Duke in Rigoletto, Alfredo in La Traviata, and Lenski in Eugene Onegin. He has also won acclaim in the Mozart repertoire and the bel canto roles of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini. He has graced the stages of such prestigious houses as Teatro alla Scala, Opera National de Paris, Bavarian State Opera, Royal Opera—Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, Teatro Municipal de São Paulo, Santa Fe Opera, Salzburg Festival, and Glyndebourne Festival.
On the concert platform, Mr Lopardo has performed Verdi's Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra (which was televised), and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra; Mozart's Requiem with the Berlin Philharmonic at La Scala; Berlioz's Requiem, Carmina Burana, and Falstaff with the Boston Symphony
Orchestra in both Boston and at the Tanglewood Festival; Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival; Rossini's Stabat Mater with the Philadelphia Orchestra; and Carmina Burana with the Berlin Philharmonic.
Mr. Lopardo's discography includes Mozart's Requiem and Don Giovanni with Muti for EMI, Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia and L'Italiana in Algeri with Abbado for Deutsche Grammophon, Verdi's Falstaff with Sir Colin Davis for BMG, Rossini's Semiramide and Il Signor Bruschino with Jon Marin for Deutsche Grammophon, and Donizetti's Don Pasquale with Abbado for BMG. He has also recorded Orff 's Carmina Burana with André Previn for Deutsche Grammophon and can be seen on this label's video of Mozart's C Minor Mass with Leonard Bernstein. Mr Lopardo appears on the Deutsche Grammophon video of Falstaff conducted by James Levine. He can also be seen and heard as Alfredo in La Traviata (on CD and video) and Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte with Solti on Decca.
Frank Lopardo was born in New York and studied with Dr Robert White Jr. who remains his vocal mentor today.
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.