Mattia Olivieri graduated Conservatorio di Musica Giovan Battista Martini in Bologna and the continued his preparation under the guidance of the baritone Maurizio Leoni with whom he still studies in the present.
In 2009 he joined the Italian Opera School of the Teatro Comunale in Bologna and began collaborating with musical institutions such as the Martina Franca Festival and the Dresden Semperoper. In the summer of 2012, he participates in the Rossini Academy of the ROF and in September he joins the Center de Perfeccionament of the Valencia Opera where among other activities he will be Schaunard in La bohéme (Chailly-Livermore). In autumn 2015 he began his collaboration with the Teatro alla Scala where he made his debut as Schaunard in the historical production of La bohème by Zeffirelli directed by Dudamel and at the same time as Belcore in L’Elisir d’amore by Asagarov directed by Luisi who also organised a Flash Mob live on RAI1 at Malpensa airport. His path then continues with Masetto in Carsen’s Don Giovanni with Järvi, again Schaunard with Pidò, Malatesta in the new production of Don Pasquale by Livermoore directed by Chailly, Nardo in La finta giardiniera in the show of Glyndebourne by Wake-Walker directed by Fasolis who Dandini will also go on tour in Shanghai in the historic production of La Cenerentola di Ponnelle / Asagarov directed by Dantone. In the upcoming season he will appear as Tybalt in Romeo et Juliette, a production of Sher directed by Viotti and as Prosdocimo in Il turco in Italia, a production of Andò directed by Fasolis, while in the following one in a project under the direction of Mehta.
Among the roles played Marcello in La bohème in Athens, Sao Paulo, La Fenice and Amsterdam and Schaunard in Valencia and at La Scala, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte in Valencia, Nice and Rome, Cherubini in Zarzuela El duo de la africana in Valencia, protagonist in Don Giovanni in Palermo, Trieste and in the tour in Dubai of the San Carlo in Naples, Ping in Turandot at the Verona Arena and at the Bregenz Festival where he also took part in Donizetti’s Requiem, Nardo in La finta giardiniera in Glyndebourne Tour, at La Scala and in their tour in Shanghai and at LAC in Lugano, Escamillo in Carmen in Genoa, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore in Cagliari, at La Scala and Valencia, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia in Nice, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with the Circuito Lirico Marchigiano, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor in Padua, Parmenione in The occasion makes the thief in the ROF tour in Oman, Alphonse in La Favorite in three different squares over a year (at the Teatro del Maggio Fiorentino with Luisi, at the Liceu di B Barcelona and Massimo in Palermo), Malatesta in Don Pasquale and Dandini in La Cenerentola alla Scala and Ford in Falstaff, Verdi’s debut at NNTT in Tokyo. Among his recent and upcoming engagements, other important debuts: the German one at the Bayerische Staatsoper with Ping in Turandot, a role reprized at the Münchener Festspiele with that of Belcore, Conte in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino where he will return for other projects, Silvio in I clowns in Amsterdam, at the LAC in Lugano and at the Shanghai Opera, at La Scala with two new titles, at the Macerata Festival, at the Monnaie in Brussels, the USA debut in Houston, the return with a new Rossinian role at the Glyndebourne Festival and the debut at ROH Covent Garden.
As regards your training, when you were very young you started studying singing at the G. B. Martini Conservatory in Bologna and G. B. Pergolesi in Fermo, then perfecting yourself with Maestro Maurizio Leoni in Bologna. You won numerous scholarships and in 2009 you joined the Scuola dell’Opera Italiana in Bologna. But 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 started, everyone has a particular moment and reason that led them to love this job. Another focal point in the training of a professional is the course of study and the personalities he encounters, even among teachers. How important is the relationship with your singing teacher?
The passion for music was passed on to me by my parents. Since I was a child, my mum has always encouraged me to sing and also to play different musical instruments. After trying to study transverse flute, piano and guitar I realized that this was not my way and I concentrated only on singing. Although coming from the land of Luciano Pavarotti and Mirella Freni, two myths recognized all over the world, opera singing did not attract my attention. Pop music fully reflected my teenage nature. I liked singing the great hits of Italian and international pop and I won numerous competitions thanks to my workhorse, Massimo Ranieri’s “Perdere l’amore”. At the age of eighteen, Raffaella Vitiello, my pop singing teacher, advised me to enter the conservatory to deepen my musical training. Attending the Bologna Conservatory allowed me to meet a person who changed my life, Renata Nemola, accompanying pianist in the singing class. At the time, I was studying opera singing without having a concrete idea of what the real profession of the singer was. Having never seen an opera live, Renata wanted to give me a great gift, taking me to see a performance of The Barber of Seville at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. The historic staging of Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, the orchestra, the voices and the music of Rossini, aroused in me a series of indelible emotions, which convinced me to give my all to reach that stage. Through Renata I had the good fortune to meet my current singing teacher, Maurizio Leoni, a fundamental figure in my training. The relationship with your teacher is extremely important, since the trust one has to place in him is total. Maurizio, in addition to giving me solid technical foundations, represents for me a continuous reference for my human and artistic growth.
It is said that a singer never stops studying, partly for the new roles to debut and partly also to continually perfect the technique (and not only that, but also his/her own bases of musical theoretical knowledge). In this regard, you have just begun to review the fundamentals of harmonic analysis, a study that I could say unusual nowadays for a career artist like you, but truly admirable. Based on your experience, if you could give advice to all young singing students, what would you say to them about the vocal instrument and their all-round artistic training?
Over time, I realized that the vocal aspect is not the only factor to focus on, but in order to become a complete Artist, the elements to be put together are many. Hand in hand with the development of vocal technique it is very important not to lose sight of the study and deepening of the subjects that make up musical training. Furthermore, to be a 360 ° Artist, I would suggest to all those who undertake this path, to attend acting and dance courses to become aware of their body and how to use it to the fullest. The theatrical field of recent years has been strongly influenced by the cinema one. Today’s directing is really stimulating for a “singer-actor” but just as complex and articulated, so I recommend that personal preparation be as complete as possible, so as to be able to implement the director’s instructions so that the singing and the scene found in perfect union.
Read the entire interview & many other interesting articles, in the 1st/2021 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.0