Artist of the Week: Francesco Meli

Italian Tenor Opens Teatro alla Scala for the Sixth Time

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Brescia e Amisano)

On Dec. 7, 2023, the Teatro alla Scala is set to open its 2023-24 season with a new production of Verdi’s “Don Carlo.” The opera, which has opened the theater on numerous occasions is one of the most beloved at the theater. For this special night, the company has enlisted an all-star cast including Francesco Meli.

This opening night will mark the Italian tenor’s sixth time opening the legendary house. He previously opened with Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” Puccini’s “Tosca” and the gala “Riveder le Stelle.” Additionally, he sang Verdi’s “Giovanna d’Arco” and “Macbeth.”

Meli is widely touted as a Verdi specialist who has performed many of the composer’s important works including “Ernani,” “Un Ballo in Maschera,” “Aida,” “La Traviata,” “Il Trovatore,” “I Due Foscari,” “Nabucco,” “I Lombardi,” “Rigoletto,” “Giovanna d’Arco,” “Macbeth,” “Simon Boccanegra,” “the Requiem,” and “Don Carlo.”

With “Don Carlo,” Meli performed the opera at the Teatro alla Scala in 2017. On that occasion, he sang the five-act version which received rave reviews, and critics said, he had “full-throttle sound on full.” He recently performed the title role at the Teatro del Maggio in the four-act version.

When speaking about Carlo, Meli noted, “Don Carlo is a challenging role both from the interpretative and from the musical and vocal point of view. Verdi always puts his singers to the test, he is never satisfied.”

For those not in Milan for the sold out shows, the opening night performance will be broadcast worldwide. Meli will also perform at the Palau de les Arts, Teatro San Carlo, Teatro Carlo Felice, and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.


For those interested in hearing the tenor’s Verdi interpretations, Meli has two recordings of “I Lombardi” as well as two recordings of “I Due Foscari.” He also has numerous recordings of Verdi’s Requiem and recordings of “Un Ballo in maschera” and “Simon Boccanegra.” He also has recordings of “Giovanna d’Arco” and “Anna Bolena.”

Here are some clips from the Teatro alla Scala.


Artist of the WeekSpecial Features