Massimo Cavalletti: Communication begins with words and, with opera, words are amplified by the music.

With his rich, robust baritone voice and compelling acting, Massimo Cavalletti has quickly established himself on the stages of the most prestigious opera houses and festivals worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, the Berlin State Opera, the Zurich Opera House, and the Salzburg Festival.

Massimo Cavalletti was born in Lucca, where he began his vocal studies with Graziano Polidori before attending the Academy of La Scala in Milan, where he refined his vocal technique with Luciana Serra. In October 2004 he made his operatic debut at Teatro Donizetti of Bergamo in Parisina in a production by the Academy of the Teatro alla Scala. In 2005 whilst still studying at the Academy, he made his debut at La Scala, where he has since starred in over 100 performances and over 10 different roles.

2019/2020 season engagements included Belcore in L’Elisir dAamore, Conte di Luna in a new staging of Il Trovatore, and De Siriex in a new production of Fedora at the Teatro alla Scala, a new staging of Il Trovatore at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa and at the Teatro Verdi of Salerno, where he also performs Marcello in La Bohème. He also made his role debut as Carlo V in Ernani at the Teatro Coccia of Novara and in Pisa, returns to the Teatro Regio of Turin as Marcello and sings Conte di Luna in Il trovatore at the Macerata Opera Festival.

First of all, Massimo, thanks a lot for accepting my invitation to take part in the anniversary issue of our Magazine! We had the chance to chat the evening before the first performance of Il Trovatore in Las Palmas during an IG Live, but since we never run out of subjects to talk about, here we are… Last year had a particular effect on our lives, of course. What were your first thoughts when all this started?

2019 finished for me with a performance of La Bohème in Salerno on the 30th of December with Daniel Oren. That production should have been sort of a general rehearsal of the one we should have had in Turin in March 2020, and I remember that I was very excited about the schedule of 2020, with the two new productions at Teatro alla Scala and many other engagements abroad. I remember that I didn’t celebrate the New Year’s Eve as it is supposed to, because me and Annalisa travelled by train from Salerno to Lugano and we arrived home too late to go out to celebrate, but we were about to travel on January 2nd to Milan for the new production of Il Trovatore. If we had had any idea about what was about to happen in 2020, we would have lived the night between the years differently. There have been years I spent running from one production to another, never resting, always having something to do… so I was absolutely not ready for a long break. I have to be honest in the end I felt it like a trauma. I remember how we were watching the news from China and we were sure that it was another echo of the previous pandemic situations such as H1N1 or the avian flu that scared the entire world in the past, but never created so many problems for all of us.   Then, suddenly, we woke up in this nightmare. I left Milan on February 24th going to Turin where I was supposed to start the rehearsals of La Bohème, because I was sure that the schedule would go on anyway. I was sure that in a couple of weeks everything would have been solved and instead…

And instead, three months of lockdown in Italy, and a situation that is pretty much ongoing for the arts. Where did you spend these three months and what has changed for you since then?

During the lockdown I spent three very special months and a half home in Lugano, and I took advantage of this period to restart studying seriously and constantly, and to finally enjoy my relationship with my significant other, Annalisa. I also started studying with Marco Berti, with whom I have formed a beautiful friendship. Of course, as soon as I knew that I was about to sing again I started counting the days until that moment, which was in Macerata in July. 

Read the entire interview & many other interesting articles here, in the one year anniversary issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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