Obituary: Marcello Giordani Passes Away At 56

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Kristin Hoebermann)

Marcello Giordani has died at the age of 56.

The tenor born in Augusta, Italy on Jan. 25, 1963, died of a heart attack in Monte Tauro after lunch in his home.

The tenor was 19 when he quit his job in a bank and began singing lessons with with Nino Carta.

He went on to make his professional operatic debut in 1986 as the Duke in “Rigoletto” at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto and from there would make his debut at the Teatro alla Scala in the role of Rodolfo in “La Bohème.”

He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1993 as Nemorino in a Parks performance of “L’Elisir d’Amore” but didn’t actually sing on the stage of the famed theater until 1995 in the role of Rodolfo. He woud go on to make a prominent career at the Met where he sang 241 performances with the company in works by Puccini, Verdi, Massenet, Bizet, Berlioz, and Zandonai. He was featured in the company’s Live in HD series eight times. He also sang the Met premieres of “Benvenuto Cellini” and “Il Pirata.”

The tenor suffered vocal issues in 1994 and retrained with Bill Schuman in New York but did not cancel his engagements. During his career he sang at the Royal Opera, Opernhaus Zürich, Vienna State Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Houston Grand Opera, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Regio di Parma, Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania, Arena di Verona, the Verbier Festival, and the Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago.

In 2008 he appeared at the Olympic Games and was appointed as Artistic Director for Musical Events at Città della Notte.

In 2010, he also created the Marcello Giordani Foundation to help young opera singers at the beginning of their careers and held the annual Marcello Giordani Vocal Competition in 2011.

He left numerous recordings including DVDs of “La Forza del Destino,” “Simon Boccanegra,” “Manon Lescaut,” “Madama Butterfly,” “La Fanciulla del West,” and “La Bohème.”

Giordani died on Oct. 5, 2019 and leaves his wife and two children behind. 

Here he is in “Turandot”

and in “Manon Lescaut.’