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Tuscan conductor Nicola Luisotti serves as Music Director of San Francisco and was recently appointed Music Director of Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, one of Italy’s oldest and most historic theaters. Recent triumphs include his La Scala debut with Attila in a new production by Gabriele Lavia and his leadership of Puccini’s rarely performed La fanciulla del West at the Metropolitan Opera in December of 2010. In conjunction with these 100th Anniversary performances Luisotti was awarded the Premio Puccini Award. In his third season as Music Director of San Francisco Opera, Luisotti will conduct Turandot, Carmen, Don Giovanni, and Attila. His operatic engagements for the 2011-2012 Season also include a return visit to La Scala for Tosca and appearances with Teatro di San Carlo in the rarely performed Verdi opera, I Masnadieri. Information on future plans with Teatro di San Carlo will be announced in the Spring of 2012. Critically acclaimed for his orchestral conducting, Luisotti will also make appearances with six great orchestras this season including San Francisco Opera Orchestra presented by Cal Performances, the Berliner Philharmoniker, Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Madrid’s Orquesta Nacional de España and the orchestras of Cleveland and Philadelphia. He has garnered enthusiastic praise from both audiences and critics for his work at Royal Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera, Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice, Venice’s Teatro La Fenice, Munich’s Bavarian State Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Stuttgart State Opera, Madrid’s Teatro Real, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Seattle Opera, Bologna’s Teatro Comunale, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. The Italian conductor has also led many of the world’s most acclaimed orchestral ensembles, including the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, Atlanta Symphony, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Budapest Radio Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Hamburger Philharmonic, Hessischer Rundfunk Orchestra, London Philharmonia, NHK Symphony, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Russian National Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, San Francisco Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, and Zagreb Philharmonic. Luisotti led special concerts in Beijing in conjunction with the 2008 Olympic Games. Maestro Luisotti’s discography includes a complete recording of Stiffelio (Dynamic), the critically acclaimed Duets (Deutsche Grammophon) and he is on the podium for the DVD recording of the Met’s La bohème (EMI). Updated: April 2012 Contact Karen Ames/PR Worldwide/


Tuscan conductor Nicola Luisotti serves as Music Director of San Francisco Opera. To celebrate the Verdi bicentennial and the 2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States, Maestro Luisotti conducted historic performances of Verdi’s Requiem featuring the combined musical forces of both San Francisco Opera and Teatro di San Carlo.

During the 2014-2015 season, Maestro Luisotti leads operatic performances with San Francisco Opera, Teatro di San Carlo, London’s Royal Opera House and orchestral concerts with Rome’s Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Turin’s Orchestra del Teatro Regio.

His San Francisco Opera performances are highlighted by the world premiere of Italian composer Marco Tutino’s La Ciociara based on the 20th century author Alberto Moravia’s novel of the same name. To launch the season, Luisotti conducts Bellini’s Norma in a new production from Kevin Newbury and David Korins and the company’s classic production of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. He returns to the Royal Opera House, where he recently led Turandot and the new Kasper Holten production of Don Giovanni, for performances of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. With Teatro di San Carlo he leads the orchestra in new productions of Verdi’s Il Trovatore (Michał Znaniecki) and Luisa Miller (Andrea De Rosa).

In demand as an orchestral conductor as well as an operatic leader, Luisotti has worked with many of the finest orchestras in the world including the London Philarmonia, Berliner Philharmoniker, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala and Orchestre de Paris. This season he returns to lead the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in performances of Rossini’s Stabat Mater and the Orchestra del Teatro Regio in a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 in D minor.

Recent triumphs have included successful co-productions of two Verdi works: Attila with La Scala and San Francisco Opera and Nabucco with La Scala and the Royal Opera House. Acclaimed for his work with The Metropolitan Opera, Maestro Luisotti most recently celebrated the 100th birthday of Puccini’s rarely performed La fanciulla del West and, following the anniversary performances, received the Fondazione Festival Pucciniano’s Premio Puccini Prize.

Maestro Luisotti’s discography includes a complete recording of Stiffelio (Dynamic) and the critically acclaimed Duets (Deutsche Grammophon). He is on the podium for the DVD recordings of Teatro di San Carlo’s I Masnadieri (Unitel Classica) as well as the Met’s La bohème (EMI) and its centennial production of La fanciulla del West (Deutsche Grammophon).

Born in the Tuscan village of Viareggio and raised nearby, Luisotti began studying music as a child, with lessons on the church organ; by age eleven he was the director of the church choir. He later trained as a pianist, with secondary degrees in composition, trumpet, and voice. Following completion of his formal study, Luisotti traveled between Milan, where he was a rehearsal pianist for La Scala, and Florence, where he was a member of the chorus of the Maggio Musicale Festival. His earliest full-time position was as chorus master for La Fenice in Venice. In addition to leadership positions with San Francisco Opera and Teatro di San Carlo, he also served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Symphony from 2009 to 2012.


Updated: July 2014

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"Conductor Luisotti splendidly drew out the difficult balance between lyricism and larger-than-life epic poetry which made the orchestra play in way that rarely happens at La Scala."

Carlo Lanfossi, Il Giornale della Musica

"Nicola Luisotti conducted, and one sensed a good understanding between him and the orchestra. He mined the score for its sumptuous colours and brazen extravagance, but also captured that nervous modern edge which makes the opera so much more interesting than mere orientalist pantomime. Altogether a most enjoyable evening."

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

"Maestro Luisotti finds drama, or emotive detail that illuminates the Mozart genius in sometimes unexpected and always immensely pleasurable ways."

Michael Milenski, Opera Today

"The company's increasingly renowned music director (Luisotti returns to Covent Garden next month for Don Giovanni) finds [...] a balance between scene-setting and momentum. He is particularly strong on differentiating Verdi's carefully calibrated palette of textures - the score sounds freshly minted [...]"

Neil Fisher, The Times

"Company music director Nicola Luisotti drew an ebullient reading from the orchestra, bringing to the force the evil forces that plague Rigoletto. The orchestral playing was unleashed and lush, culminating with an especially wild and effective storm scene."

CBS San Francisco

"[...] the orchestra played superbly for music director Nicola Luisotti; the low strings were especially resonant [...] Luisotti's tempos were spacious and then scampering, flexible yet on-point as the cast pattered through terrific quartets, quintets and tentets."

Janos Gereben, San Francisco Classical Voice

"The music director Nicola Luisotti is a champion of early Verdi, and in this June 28 performance he stirred his orchestra to surprising peaks of passion. There was a torrential force to this conducting although Luisotti remained flexibly attuned to the vocal line throughout. He favoured brilliant attacks from his cast and there wasn’t a dull moment."

Allan Ulrich, Opera Magazine

"Nicola Luisotti is evidently aware of the striking effect an all-embracing marriage of music and text has on the score. He evokes flexibility of form from the orchestra by focusing attention on dramatic recitatives rather than the obviously lyrical moments."

Stefano Valanzuolo, Il Mattino

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  • Nicola Luisotti

    La Bohème (Live from the Met) - Angela Gheorghiu, Ainhoa Arteta, Ramon Vargas, Ludovic Tezier, Quinn Kelsey 2008

  • Nicola Luisotti

    Anna Netrebko & Rolando Villazón: Duets - With the Dresden Staatskapelle - Deutsche Grammophone 2007

  • Nicola Luisotti

    Alexia Voulgaridou: A Portrait - Münchner Rundfunkorchester - Arte Nova Voices 2004

  • Nicola Luisotti

    Verdi: Stiffelio Dimitra Theodossiu, Marco Malagnini, Marco Vratogna, Giorgio Casciarri, Enzo Capuano Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste Complete Opera by Verdi for Dynamic 2001