Riccardo Zanellato: The most important thing is respect for the talent that is given to you, the ability and the pleasure to develop this gift.

Riccardo Zanellato begins his vocal training in 2000 with Maestro Bonaldo Giaiotti. This collaboration will be fundamental for the journey of his career. In fact, with the Maestro he prepares one of the most complex characters for a bass: Zaccaria del Nabucco. He made his debut in 2001 in the Villa Pallavicino in Busseto and from that moment many productions have seen him performing in the role, making him an absolute point of reference today. His extended and soft vocality leads him to be an interpreter of Verdi’s repertoire as well as that of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini. Among the most important works we can remember: AttilaRigolettoOtelloSimon BoccanegraNabuccoAidaTrovatoreMacbethLuisa MillerMaria StuardaAnna BolenaLucia di LammermoorNorma, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, I Puritani. During his career, an important point is certainly represented by the meeting with Maestro Riccardo Muti who chooses him for Iphigenié en AulideNabuccoMoïse et PharaonMacbethSimon Boccanegra. One of Riccardo’s favourite works is Verdi’s Requiem and one of his dreams comes true when he sings this piece conducted by the great Maestro. The beginning of 2020 celebrates his meeting with Maestro Riccardo Muti, this time in Vienna, for Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, alongside with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In February, he returns to the Teatro Regio di Torino for Nabucco and in early March, in Bamberg, for Verdi’s Requiem, followed by a Vocal Technique and Interpretation Masterclass in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, organized by OPERA Charm Magazine with the help of our friends from AteLiDra – Lyric-Dramatic Studio.

First of all, I want to thank you again for the honour of having this interview for OPERA Charm Magazine! I will start our conversation remembering a very important moment, the 2019 Edition of the George Enescu Festival, the moment of your first visit to Romania, but also the moment that created the opportunity for your return here. Being one of the biggest classical music festivals in this part of Europe, the Enescu Festival brings in Romania the most important artists, among who we were lucky to have you performing the Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem alongside with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Choir and Orchestra. For us, an amazing concert! How did you perceive the experience of George Enescu Festival? Unfortunately, the time was limited, everything happened very quickly and, therefore, I didn’t have the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy the Enescu Festival in its depth and as fully as I would have liked, and for this I am very sorry. However, I was pleasantly impressed by what I managed to admire there, which is the concentrations of arts in a short period. It is certainly an experience that I would like to repeat with more tranquillity, in order to appreciate at the fullest, seeing the wonderfulness of this initiative.

Anticipating my next question, you mentioned the Masterclass that will take place in Cluj in March this year. Thank you again for the kindness of accepting my invitation to do this Masterclass! We are all very grateful to have you with us for a few days and to have the opportunity to learn from such a great artist, the winner of last year’s Oscars della Lirica for the best bass. How do you feel about all this, the invitation, the Masterclass and your next visit to Romania, and what do you expect to find among the young Romanian singers? During the masterclass in Cluj I will try to transmit all what I have learned and I am still learning throughout my career to young Romanian singers, who start or want to start the same artistic path. This thing flatters me a lot and I hope to be able to fully honour the trust that was given to me. I know that in Romania there are some great and beautiful voices. I know some colleagues with whom I collaborated and I found a very good quality both from a vocal and interpretative point of view. For this reason, I am convinced there is a very good singing school and this makes me assume that I will meet special talents among the participants. I expect to find both exceptional vocal qualities, but above all, the desire to know, assimilate and understand.

Read the entire interview here, in the 1st issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.


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