Giulio Pelligra: Without music, theater, art, the world is certainly dry and gray.

Born in Catania, the Italian lyric tenor Giulio Pelligra is one of the most promising voices of his generation, appearing regularly on the stages of the most prestigious opera houses in Italy and abroad. Pelligra had his debut as Count Almaviva in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” at the age of 20, at the Manoel Theater in Malta. Since then, he remarkably enlarged his repertoire and had the chance to collaborate with important conductors, such as Roberto Abbado, Yves Abel, Asher Fisch, Daniel Oren, Renato Palumbo, Stefano Ranzani, Donato Renzetti, Riccardo Frizza, Daniele Gatti, Antonio Fogliani, Francesco Ivan Ciampa, Corrado Rovaris, Paolo Arrivabeni, Henrik Nánási, Andriy Yurkevych, but also with acclaimed stage directors as Graham Vick, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Damiano Michieletto, Leo Muscato, Henning Brockhaus.

At the age of 20, you made your debut at the Manoel theater in Malta, singing the role of Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Your very personal bond with singing, the one that made you say“this will be my job”, how did it come about? It’s always fun to read how it all began, everyone has a particular moment and reason that led him/her to love this job. 

Hi, Viviana! Thank you, Bianca and OPERA Charm Magazine! Congratulations for this beautiful reality: it is always nice to be able to read about colleagues and friends. It is really very interesting to answer such well-formulated and stimulating questions. Let’s do this! I made my debut at a very young age and, since I started singing the first sounds, the burning flame has already been in my heart. That immediately made me say “this will be my job, this is my dream, this is my life”. Before starting to study I had other passions. For example, I was a semi-professional dancer of standard and Latin dances, but, despite winning some awards, the love for singing was greater and, shortly after the start of my studies, I gave up dancing, even if the passion will always remain in my heart. I must admit that my other great love is medicine. I am a great enthusiast and I do not hide the fact that I would very much like to undertake a course of study parallel to my profession. I know it would be very difficult, but who knows? Never say never.

I’ll tell you a little anecdote that explains where it all started: my maternal grandfather, during family reunions, always sang an opera aria – making everyone move. I’ve always watched and listened with great interest and one day we were in Belgium, exactly in Liege (where they live), while my grandmother was cooking crepes, he started singing. I was only six years old and, out of nowhere, I started singing with him. Everyone looked at me with great surprise, because I was a child with a man’s voice. From that day, I still remember it as it was today, something inexplicable lit up in me and I’ve never stopped singing since then.

Read the entire interview here, in the 8th issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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