Carlo Rizzi

Conductor Laureate – Welsh National Opera


Carlo Rizzi ranks among today’s leading conductors. 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, and he is in high demand as a guest artist at the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals.

Carlo Rizzi discovered opera during his formative years in Milan, attending productions at La Scala and then working as a repetiteur with the company, following his graduation from the city’s conservatoire. Since launching his conducting career in 1982 with Donizetti’s L’ajo nell’imbarazzo, he has performed over a hundred operas, with a repertoire list that is rich in Italian works but also well stocked with the music of Wagner, Strauss, Martinů and Janáček.

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“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.”

Richard Bratby

The Spectator

“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.”

Mark Pullinger


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“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…”