Bass-Baritone Luca Pisaroni Stars as Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo at Glyndebourne and BBC Proms

“Pisaroni exudes complete authority and magnetism.” – Houston Chronicle


Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, who has proven to be an up-and-coming vocal and dramatic draw on both sides of the Atlantic, looks forward to capping his season with a high-profile European summer schedule. He returns to the U.K.’s Glyndebourne Festival to make his role debut as Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo (July 2 – Aug 22), as well as appearing in the same production at London’s world-famous BBC Proms festival on August 25. As Leporello, Pisaroni appears on a new, star-studded EMI Classics DVD of Don Giovanni, recorded last summer at Glyndebourne; anticipating his Metropolitan Opera role debut as Leporello next season, he also plays the part this summer at Germany’s Baden-Baden Festival under Yannick Nézet-Séguin (July 18-24).

Rinaldo was the opera with which Handel made his sensational London debut, as well as being the first Italian opera written specifically for the British stage. Glyndebourne’s first staging of Rinaldo sees Pisaroni starring as “the bad guy” Argante alongside Sonia Prina in the title role of the heroic crusader and Anett Fritsch as his beloved, Almirena. The production features the period-instrument Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, conducted by Ottavio Dantone. Pisaroni offered his insights into playing Argante in an interview for the Glyndebourne Festival newsletter.

“Very much. He is the Saracen King of Jerusalem plotting with Armida against Rinaldo. He is a classic anti-hero. One of the fascinating aspects of being a stage performer is that you are able to ‘walk in someone else’s shoes’ for a couple of hours. There are two kinds of roles: the ones close to your own personality – in my case that could be Figaro – or the ones completely different than you. I love to play the crazy, evil, and broken characters. In summer 2008, I had the chance to play both Figaro and Tiridate [in Handel’s Radamisto] at Santa Fe Opera. While Figaro is fun, lively, and in love, Tiridate is abusive, controlling, and violent. It was great fun to explore such different personalities simultaneously. When asked if it’s more fun to play the good or the bad guy, I would say definitely the bad guy – in life you never get away with being the bad guy! On stage, you do and everyone loves it. So, I am really looking forward to being the ‘evil’ King of Jerusalem at Glyndebourne.”

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