Luca Pisaroni Kicks Off 2011-12 Season as Leporello in Met’s New Don Giovanni>

Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni looks forward to a stellar 2011-2012 season, beginning with two starring turns at the Metropolitan Opera. Pisaroni plays Leporello under Fabio Luisi in the Met's new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni (October 13-November 11). Then he appears as Caliban alongside Plácido Domingo and Joyce DiDonato in The Enchanted Island, the Met's freshly conceived Shakespearean tableaux of music by Handel, Vivaldi and Rameau, conducted by William Christie (December 31-January 30). He makes his Chicago Lyric Opera debut in February 2012, reprising his acclaimed portrayal of Argante for a new production of Handel’s Rinaldo (February 29-March 24). After playing a signature role – Mozart's Figaro – in Munich and Vienna in the spring, Pisaroni returns to the U.S. next summer to take on the title role in the Rossini rarity Maometto II at Sante Fe Opera, a world premiere of the score's new critical edition.

Pisaroni turned heads as Leporello in a lauded 2010 Glyndebourne production of Don Giovanni that was documented on an EMI Classics DVD, released this spring. BBC Music magazine extolled the DVD as one to have listeners "shivering with the best of them," adding that "Gerald Finley as the Don and Luca Pisaroni's nimble Leporello play a thought-provoking double act."

Underscoring the nuances of what has become one of his favorite Mozart roles, Pisaroni says: "I particularly enjoy Leporello’s relationship with his master. When this ‘duo act' is developed fully, it’s one of the most gratifying acting experiences a singer can have on stage. The role is challenging dramatically because of the vast range of emotions that need to be portrayed. Leporello lives in his recitatives – especially the ones with his master. These recitatives have to be as conversational as possible. I follow Mozart’s instructions in the score and try to make the audience believe they are listening to a conversation that is happening at that very moment. Leporello is proud of being the keeper of the catalog of his master’s conquests, and he knows that his services are invaluable. Leporello is Don Giovanni’s biographer – without him the tales of the Don’s tumultuous adventures would not be remembered."

Pisaroni is drawn to darker characters, too. He explains, "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 are completely different than you. I love to play the crazy, evil, broken characters. …Portraying Caliban in The Enchanted Island will be a unique theatrical opportunity. Portraying the bad guy is always satisfying, and Caliban is a monster, so I will have to push my acting skills to the limit. And even if the music is from the Baroque period, I'm excited to get the opportunity to sing in a world premiere."

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