An up-and-comer on both sides of the Atlantic, Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni will make his Houston Grand Opera debut in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro during an April 15-30 run that marks his debut in the role of Count Almaviva. Pisaroni has already made a name for himself in the opera’s title role, having been the Figaro of choice for three new music directors this season: Nicola Luisotti at San Francisco Opera, Philippe Jordan at Opéra National de Paris, and Franz Welser-Möst at the Vienna State Opera.
Switching roles in Mozart’s subversive comic masterpiece – from Figaro to his nemesis, the Count – is a “thrilling opportunity,” Pisaroni says:
“After 100 performances as Figaro, it will be so interesting to play his opponent. I love Figaro, and this role will stay in my repertoire for many years, but it’s time to explore the opera’s other major male character. Mozart wrote fantastic music for the Count. Especially the second act and the beginning of the third act, which are so rich in drama that I dove into the score all over again to study and explore all the different emotions the Count goes through in such a short period of time. I also see this debut as the first stone in my process of building the bridge between roles like Figaro, Leporello, and Guglielmo – which are closer to my personality – and the ultimate goal, which is Don Giovanni.”
Making his Houston Grand Opera debut is another exciting prospect, Pisaroni explains:
“Houston has such a great tradition as one of the most active opera companies in the country. It’s particularly impressive, the list of operas that were premiered in Houston – A Quiet Place, Nixon in China, Little Women, and Brief Encounter, to name a few. I hope to get the chance to participate in a project like this at some point in my career. Singing in a world premiere is one of the most fascinating musical adventures I can imagine.”
Born in Venezuela and bred in Verdi’s hometown of Busseto, Italy, Pisaroni has established himself as one of the most captivating singers of his generation – from his debut at the Salzburg Festival at age 26 with the Vienna Philharmonic under Nikolaus Harnoncourt to his successful run as Leporello last summer in a hit new production of Don Giovanni at the Glyndebourne Festival.