Massimo Zanetti

Conductor

Massimo Zanetti

“[The orchestra] played as if it was an extension of Zanetti’s baton. In an expertly paced interpretation, Zanetti found the ideal balance between giving the singers the structure they need to feel supported, but also the freedom they also need not only to breath, but to soar.” San Diego Union-Tribune

Massimo Zanetti

“Here we see Zanetti, always willing, thoughtful and expressive, with a natural connection to the spirit of Verdi scores, which he approaches with a considerate and wise mixture of tension and lyricism, of theatricality and more contemplative bel canto.” Codalario

Biography

Massimo Zanetti maintains a high-profile international career in the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls: a dynamic and accomplished presence, he is particularly noted for his expertise in the 19th century Italian repertoire.
Zanetti begins the 2015/16 season leading Verdi’s Don Carlos (French version) at the ABAO Bilbao and returns to the Berlin Staatsoper for Mozart’s Don Giovanni, directed by Claus Guth. He will conduct Puccini’s Tosca at the San Diego Opera, followed by Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu. Recent season highlights included a return to Teatro alla Scala di Milano conducting Carmen and Il barbiere di Siviglia, Verdi’s I due Foscari featuring Placido Domingo at Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona) and Verdi’s Otello at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Two highly acclaimed concert performances of Simon Boccanegra with the Wiener Symphoniker and Thomas Hampson in the title role at the Vienna Konzerthaus culminated in a live CD recording for Decca, as well as concerts with Anna Netrebko at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and at Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona.
As a guest conductor on the operatic stage, he has appeared with houses world-wide including Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Opéra de Paris (Bastille), Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro Regio di Torino, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House, Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona), Teatro Real de Madrid, ABAO Bilbao, and the NCPA Beijing, among many others. He held the position of Music Director of the Flemish Opera from 1999–2002, leading highly-acclaimed productions including Salome and Pelléas et Melisande, in addition to many symphonic concerts as part of the season.

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Reviews

“Massimo Zanetti holds the prime responsibility for the successful outcome of the evening, displaying a fluid and positive communication with the Liceu orchestra, which performed with much more vibrancy and cohesion than on recent nights. Zanetti is an electrifying and energetic conductor, who also understands how to charm with the most evocative lyricism. He understands voices and provided in all respects a thoroughly convincing Verdian score. Certainly, a man like Zanetti at the head of the orchestra could do great things for the Liceu”

Alejandro Martinez

www.codelario.com

“Un ballo in Maschera and Verdi’s Requiem were both a highlight not just for the year but for San Diego Opera as a company. The combination of the principal cast along with Maestro Massimo Zanetti in both Ballo and the requiem was stellar. Zanetti was the most dynamic conductor I’ve seen in San Diego at any performance, anywhere.”

Garrett Harris

San Diego Reader

More Reviews

“Massimo Zanetti holds the prime responsibility for the successful outcome of the evening, displaying a fluid and positive communication with the Liceu orchestra, which performed with much more vibrancy and cohesion than on recent nights. Zanetti is an electrifying and energetic conductor, who also understands how to charm with the most evocative lyricism. He understands voices and provided in all respects a thoroughly convincing Verdian score. Certainly, a man like Zanetti at the head of the orchestra could do great things for the Liceu”

Alejandro Martinez, www.codelario.com 

““Un ballo in Maschera and Verdi’s Requiem were both a highlight not just for the year but for San Diego Opera as a company. The combination of the principal cast along with Maestro Massimo Zanetti in both Ballo and the requiem was stellar. Zanetti was the most dynamic conductor I’ve seen in San Diego at any performance, anywhere.””

Garrett Harris, San Diego Reader

““It may sound absurd, but the outstanding singer in this rapturously-acclaimed premiere of Puccini’s “La Boheme” at the Deutsches Nationaltheater was in fact the Staatskapelle Weimar, inspired by the leadership of an Italian opera specialist on the podium. Massimo Zanetti was the ‘Spiritus Rector’, the guiding soul of the evening, and all eyes were glued on him. Some of Maestro Zanetti’s tempi may have unsettled more traditionally-minded listeners, but with (millimetre) precision he marshalled the minutely fluctuating tempo changes between sections, and achieved an intense flexibility of expression. In this atmosphere filled with energy, the Weimar Staatskapelle moulded this dialogue-heavy work into a single, grand aria, a multi-coloured soundscape…””

Thuringer Allgemeine, 8th September 2014, by Ursula Mieke

“Massimo Zanetti shone as the brightest star of the evening. The maestro gave a driving reading that never turned into bluster. Zanetti shaped, pushed and pulled, all while weaving together the musical fabric of the score which comprises so many colorful sonorities. It was a vision of the piece that was surprising in its inventiveness, but seemed dramatically organic. The clarity he brought to the ensemble, both vocally and instrumentally, betrayed a musically assured mind, intimately familiar with the score. The piece sounded fresh all while remaining fundamentally Verdi. Both orchestra and chorus were at their best and exceptionally attentive and inspired.”

Matthew Richard Martinez, ConcertoNet

“”Massimo Zanetti’s achievement with a focused Vienna Symphony Orchestra was hardly less than a stroke of a genius. With an agile baton, the Italian conjured blazing flames of passion and gloomy maelstroms of misfortune. The epic emotional narrative of Verdi’s orchestral accompaniment has rarely been better captured. ” “

derstandard.at

“Zanetti’s exceptional mental powers presented an irrepressibly Russian performance of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony: passionate, spirited, infused with supernatural soulfulness […] replete with al-fresco imagery and nervous intensity…”

Thüringische Landeszeitung, April 2014

“[…] everything fits together: no rushing, but no plodding either, the brooding atmosphere well caught by all concerned. Massimo Zanetti can spin a line that encompasses the relationships and personal stances of the characters. Even the hushed playing speaks volumes. […] Working well with the singers and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, he has drawn out the turmoil and intensity of this story of political clashes and personal animosity […] with an intensity of performance that is most telling.”

John T Hughes, International Record Review, February 2014

“As Massimo Zanetti demonstrated, it all starts and ends with the conductor. And right from the orchestra’s first response to Zanetti’s downbeat, you had the feeling this was going to be special. The San Diego Symphony sounded the most accomplished and responsive it has sounded all opera season, perhaps any opera season. It played as if it was an extension of Zanetti’s baton. In an expertly paced interpretation, Zanetti found the ideal balance between giving the singers the structure they need to feel supported, but also the freedom they also need not only to breath, but to soar.”

James Chute, San Diego Union-Tribune 

“[Zanetti’s] conducting is all the more impressive for being centered on Verdi’s rather than his own conceptions of the drama. [He] discloses a refreshing comprehension of Verdi’s scenic construction, shaping numerous passages with insightful use of portamento and […] paces each scene with recognition of its unique energy but without losing sight of the formal structure of the opera as a whole. All things considered, few performances—and even fewer recordings—of Simon Boccanegra in the past half-century have taken flight with the authentic spirit of Verdi as palpably coursing through the choral singing, orchestral playing, and conducting than this one.”

Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts, December 2013