Luca Pisaroni Reaps Universal Praise as Leporello in the Metropolitan Opera's New Don Giovanni
"Charismatic and compulsively watchable.” –New York Observer on Pisaroni's Leporello
In the first of several high-profile appearances this season, Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni earned universal acclaim for his star turn as Leporello in the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, which ran from October 13-November 11. The New York Observer deemed Pisaroni "charismatic and compulsively watchable," while the New York Times enthused: "The bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni was a dynamic Leporello, singing with a muscular voice, rich colorings and agility." He sang alongside such talents as Peter Mattei and Mariusz Kwiecien (as Don Giovanni), Barbara Frittoli (Donna Elvira) and Ramón Vargas (Don Ottavio), led by Met principal conductor Fabio Luisi. The Financial Times singled out his Leporello for special praise, saying, "Pisaroni ignored buffo clichés as Leporello, making the servant eminently serious, eminently sonorous and essentially clever." The Daily News went further, stating: "The evening really belonged to bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, as Don G's put-upon servant, Leporello. His performance packed sexiness and full-blooded zest."
For those who couldn't catch the Met's Don Giovanni, Pisaroni turned heads as Leporello in a lauded 2010 Glyndebourne production of the opera 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."
Next up for Pisaroni are his performances as Caliban – alongside Plácido Domingo and Joyce DiDonato – in The Enchanted Island, the Met's freshly conceived Shakespearean tableau 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). Of his performances in Rinaldo at Glyndebourne last summer, Opera Today wrote: "Argante can be a relatively small part, but Luca Pisaroni made it central, by the sheer force of personality in his singing." After playing a signature role – Mozart's Figaro – in Munich and Vienna in the spring, Pisaroni returns to the U.S. next summer to sing the title role in the Rossini rarity Maometto II at Santa Fe Opera, a world premiere of the score's new critical edition.