Artistic Director – Opera Rara
Conductor Laureate – Welsh National Opera
Managed in association with Nicholas Mathias Ltd.
Carlo Rizzi holds a long-standing reputation as one of the world’s foremost operatic conductors, in demand as a guest artist at the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals. Equally at home in the opera house and the concert hall, his vast repertoire spans everything from the foundation works of the operatic and symphonic canon to rarities by Bellini, Cimarosa and Donizetti to Giordano, Pizzetti and Montemezzi. Combining a deep expertise in the vocal art with theatrical flair and the practical collaborative skills honed over decades of experience in the world’s finest theatres, he is acclaimed by singers and audiences alike as a master of the operatic craft.
Born in Milan, Rizzi studied at the city’s conservatoire, and following his graduation was employed as a repetiteur at the legendary Teatro alla Scala. He launched his conducting career in 1982 with a production of Donizetti’s L’ajo nell’imbarazzo, and has now performed over a hundred operas, with a broad repertoire that is rich in Italian works in addition to the major titles of Mozart, Wagner, Strauss, Britten, Mussorgsky, Martinů and Janáček.Read more
In September 2019 he was appointed Music Director of Opera Rara, the UK-based company devoted to resurrecting and returning to the repertoire undiscovered and undervalued works from opera’s celebrated and neglected composers. In 2021 they undertake a new recording of Donizetti’s Il Furioso all’Isola Santo Domingo, and future seasons will see performances and recordings of rarities by Offenbach, Leoncavallo and Halevy. Since 2015, Rizzi has been Conductor Laureate of the Welsh National Opera, following his tenure as Music Director (1992-2001 and 2004-8) during which he was widely credited with overseeing a dramatic increase in the company’s artistic standards and international profile. He also has held long-standing relationships with the Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and his career has seen him leading numerous productions at the most distinguished operatic addresses including the Opera National de Paris, Teatro Real Madrid, the Rossini Opera Festival of Pesaro, the Netherlands Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the New National Theatre Tokyo, Opernhaus Zürich, Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie, Brussels.
Rizzi is also critically acclaimed as a symphonic conductor with distinguished orchestras around the world including Halle, the London Philharmonic, the Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Netherlands Philharmonic, Orchestra i Pomeriggi Musicali, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and the orchestra of the National Arts Centre, Ottawa.
Rizzi’s recent highlights include opening the Canadian Opera Company’s 19/20 season with a new production of Turandot, his debut with the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Firenze, in performances of Un Ballo in Maschera and La Traviata, his debut at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia for La Cenerentola, concert performances with the Halle and the Antwerp Symphony, new productions of Les Vepres Siciliennes for Welsh National Opera and Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini for Deutsche Oper Berlin, and his debut at the Norwegian Opera in Oslo in a new production of Rigoletto. In the 21/22 season he opens the Welsh National Opera season with a production of Madama Butterfly, conducts symphonic concerts with the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, and also returns to the Metropolitan Opera with productions of Tosca and La Bohème; and to the Bayerische Staatsoper with a production of Tosca.
Carlo Rizzi’s extensive discography includes complete recordings of Gounod’s Faust, Janáček’s Katya Kabanova (in English) and Verdi’s Rigoletto and Un ballo in maschera, all with Welsh National Opera; a Deutsche Grammophon DVD and CD of Verdi’s La Traviata recorded live at the Salzburg Festival with Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazon and the Vienna Philharmonic; numerous recital albums with renowned opera singers including Joseph Calleja, Juan Diego Florez, Edita Gruberova, Jennifer Larmore, Ernesto Palacio, Olga Borodina and Thomas Hampson, and most recently a pair of Gramophone Award-nominated discs for Opera Rara with Joyce El-Khoury and Michael Spyres. He has also made recordings of symphonic works by Bizet, de Falla, Ravel, Respighi and Schubert with orchestras including the London and Netherlands Philharmonics.
Carlo Rizzi and Lawrence Brownlee Return to European Opera Stage with La Cenerentola December 10 – 23
Maestro Carlo Rizzi and tenor Lawrence Brownlee will return to the European opera stage with Rossini’s La Cenerentola at Valencia’s Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía. The Laurent Pelly production, with performances running from December 10th to 23rd, marks Rizzi’s debut...
The distinguished Italian conductor Carlo Rizzi has been appointed Artistic Director of Opera Rara, with his tenure beginning in September 2019.The brain-child of Patric Schmid and Don White, and now under exclusive worldwide distribution by Warner...
IMG Artists announces the representation of the distinguished Italian conductor Carlo Rizzi. A native of Milan, and known well to UK audiences from his long and greatly acclaimed tenure as Music Director of the Welsh National Opera, where he now holds the post of...
“Carlo Rizzi conducted, and his ability to generate tension within a single phrase even as he drives the music forward in taut, gleaming paragraphs, made the whole thing gripping.”
Conductor Carlo Rizzi , who hails from Milan and works in the world’s largest opera houses, plays a decisive role in this, skillfully directing the singers. From the dramatic beginning of the overture with the Scarpia motif to the dying away of the last notes in Act 3, the orchestra is in top form, displaying dynamism and variety, forming a powerful soundscape for the singing. Maestro Rizzi conducts passionately with flowing, expressive movements, evoking the feeling of loving and suffering with the protagonists in the orchestra pit. Bravo!
“Former music director Carlo Rizzi, given a hero’s return, conducted a searing account of Verdi’s score right from the ebullient rendition of the barnstorming overture. He drew magnificent playing from the WNO Orchestra, [and] also secured big, whole-hearted singing from his cast.”
“Rizzi has Verdi in his blood, and from his cracking account of the celebrated overture to its final seraphic cadences, he conducts a fast-paced and vividly coloured account of the score, played with exceptional clarity by WNO’s wonderful orchestra.”
“All are sustained immaculately by Rizzi’s conducting, which exudes respect for the score in every bar.”
“Carlo Rizzi knows exactly what Puccini needs and he draws wonderful colours from Welsh National Opera’s orchestra. The pacing is precise, the playing supple and gripping. I could listen many times over to the hot-blooded brass, muscular strings and the despairing regret of the clarinet…”