Artist Profile: Marcello Giordani, A Star Tenor At The Turn Of The 21st Century

By David Salazar

There was a time in the early through the mid-1990s when many opera experts considered there was a draught of high-quality tenors.

One of the few tenors to receive acclaim during that time was Marcelo Giordani, born on Jan. 25, 1963. He grew up in the Sicilian town of Augusta and took private voice lessons from an early age. At age 19 he quit his job at a bank to engage with voice study in Milan and made his professional debut in 1986 at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto.

Two years later he was at La Scala taking on the role of Rodolfo in “La Bohème.” In 1988, he made his U.S. debut and in 1993, he was at the Metropolitan Opera, where he would have a lengthy career of over 240 performances.

He faced some vocal troubles in the mid-1990s but retrained his voice and continued developing his career, becoming a fixture at a number of companies around the world.

In 2010 he established the Marcello Giordani Foundation to help young singers kickstart their careers; the first competition associated with the foundation took place in 2011.

Signature Roles

The tenor engaged with a wide range of repertoire throughout his career, though his most frequently performed operas were those of Puccini. At the Met, he performed “La Bohème” 36 times at the time followed by 21 appearances in “Madama Butterfly,” 19 in “Tosca,” eight in “Manon Lescaut,” nine in “Turandot,” eight in “La Fanciulla del West.” In sum, he took on 101 performances of Puccini operas with the company; Puccini accounted for 42 percent of his performances at the Met.

Read More on Giordani

His Essential Recordings

Watch and Listen

Here he is in a duet from “Madama Butterfly.”

Here is a recording of “Che Gelida manina.”

And another of “Nessun dorma.”


Opera Wiki