Obituary: Tenor Marco Panuccio Dies at 48

By Francisco Salazar

Cincinnati-based tenor Marco Panuccio has passed away at 48 after a short illness.

Widely admired by his colleagues, Panuccio was an EMMY nominated singer who performed more than 25 major roles that showcased a diverse repertoire from the baroque to the contemporary as well as the Romantic Era.

Highlights included Rodolfo in Puccini’s “La Bohème;” Des Grieux in Massenet’s “Manon;” Edgardo in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor;” Alfredo in Verdi’s “La Traviata;” Duke in Verdi’s “Rigoletto;” Pinkerton in Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly;” the title role in Bernstein’s “Candide;” and Bégearss in Corigliano’s “The Ghosts of Versailles.”

Other roles that Panuccio took on included Don José in Bizet’s “Carmen;” Des Grieux in Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut;” Don Ruiz di Padilla in Donizetti’s “Maria Padilla;” and the title role in Harbison’s “The Great Gatsby.” Panuccio was also known for his portrayal of Anthony in Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” which performed at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro Comunale Luciano Pavarotti a Modena, Teatro Rossini a Lugo, and Teatri Comunali di Piacenza.

Panuccio appeared at many of the great theaters including Grange Park Opera, Portland SummerFest, Opera Holland Park, Florida Grand Opera, Arizona Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Teatro La Fenice, Cleveland Operam, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, among others. He was an in-demand concert performer who worked with London Symphony Orchestra, Beijing Symphony, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, and Lebanon Symphony Orchestra.

The tenor went on to become the President & CEO of his nonprofit organization “Marco Panuccio Presents” which connected and enriched communities across America through diverse classical music and opera performances and created experiences that inspired.