Marco Vinco: Culture cannot be considered a sector on a par with transport, tourism, sport. Culture is not a sector; it belongs to all sectors.

Marco Vinco is an Italian bass-baritone and journalist. Born in Verona in 1977, he studied singing privately with his uncle Ivo Vinco and graduated with honours from the Conservatorio Lucio Campiani in Mantua. He graduated with honours in Law and a Master in Entertainment Entrepreneurship from the University of Bologna. He is the principal interpreter of Rossini and Mozart roles at international theatres and festivals including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Opéra National in Paris, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Liceu in Barcelona, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the Semperoper in Dresden, the Staatsoper in Vienna, the Salzburg Festival, the San Francisco Opera, the New National Theatre in Tokyo, and, in Italy, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Gran Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, and the Fondazione Arena di Verona. He has collaborated with conductors such as Daniele Gatti, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Nicola Luisotti, Zubin Mehta, Marc Minkowski, Riccardo Muti, Alberto Zedda, Daniel Oren and with directors such as Robert Carsen, Dario Fo, Franco Zeffirelli, Mario Martone, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Hugo de Ana, Gigi Proietti, Luca Ronconi, Toni Servillo, Gabriele Lavia, Moni Ovadia. Specialising in Rossini’s repertoire, he has performed such titles as La pietra del paragone (Conte Asdrubale), L’Italiana in Algeri (Mustafà), Matilde di Shabran (Aliprando), Adina (Il Califfo), Il turco in Italia (Selim), La Cenerentola (Dandini and Alidoro), Il viaggio a Reims (Lord Sidney), L’equivoco stravagante (Buralicchio), Zelmira (Polidoro), L’inganno felice (Batone), Il barbiere di Siviglia (Don Basilio). He has also sung all the leading roles in the Da Ponte/Mozart trilogy: the title role and Leporello in Don Giovanni, Figaro and the Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo and Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte. Also active in the concert field, he has performed Franz Joseph Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Anton Bruckner’s Mass No. 3, Antonio Salieri’s Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Stabat Mater, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mozart’s and Verdi’s Requiems. Since December 2020 he has been Director of the Teatro Salieri in Legnago and since December 2018 he has been Director of the Polo Nazionale Artistico – Verona Accademia per l’Opera Italiana, created in 2008 on the initiative of MIUR-AFAM.

You have a parterre of university qualifications that is decidedly out of the ordinary – compared to your fellow singers and not only, I am even referring to managers and directors/presidents of theatre foundations. How did you experience, and I ask this as a law student, the experience of finishing law school and then pursuing the study of opera singing? Do you think that nowadays specializing in the legal, economic and administrative fields is a stage of study and, I would add, of personal culture that should be suggested to the artists of tomorrow?

I started studying opera singing at the age of seventeen. It was love at first sight. However, after finishing high school, I decided to enroll at university. I chose law for no particular reason: it was an interesting course and at the same time compatible with my musical studies. Soon, however, my first contracts as a singer arrived: Figaro at the Festival d’Aix en Provence, Don Giovanni at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, La Pietra del Paragone at the Rossini Opera Festival. For a few years I divided my time between orchestra rehearsals and university exams. It wasn’t easy, but in between debuts, I successfully completed my university studies and “put my degree in the drawer”. And I continued singing around the world for twenty years: enough time to understand the dynamics of the theatre world and to decide whether to dedicate the rest of my life to singing. At that point, the decision to leave the stage and turn over a new leaf, albeit thoughtful, was clear. I enrolled in a Master’s programme in Entertainment Business and, once I had obtained my degree, I won the competition for the position of Director of the Accademia per l’Opera di Verona. I immediately realised that my qualifications had not only been formally useful for entering the competition and obtaining the position, but that they would be fundamental for carrying out the role from then on. With hindsight, I think the choice of law was the right one, also because, since January of this year, in addition to leading the Accademia di Verona, I have also been directing the Teatro Salieri in Legnago.

In the course of your career as a soloist singer, has there been an encounter with a personality linked to the world of theatre who has enraptured you with his charisma and fascinated you, making you reflect on the conditions of performing arts in Italy today, on its destiny, and on the paths it can take through proper direction?

I have had the good fortune to work with many masters: conductors, singers, directors. However, my true guide was only one: my uncle Ivo, a master of singing and of life. A human relationship that shaped me as a person and as an artist, making me deeply aware of the dynamics and perspectives not only of my profession but also of the world of theatre in general. “Opera will never die”, my uncle told me, “It will certainly change, for the better in some ways, for the worse in others. But theatre and music have been, are and will be a timeless human experience”. I would say that these words are enough to reassure even the most convinced catastrophists.  

Read the entire interview here, in the 5th/2021 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.


You might also like