The Italian bass-baritone, Alessandro Calamai graduated from the L. Cherubini Music Conservatory of Florence, and he studied with A. Desderi, E. Schwarzkopf and R. Capecchi.
He has won many vocal competitions, among them the As.Li.Co. (Milan) in 1986 and the M. Battistini Competition (Rieti) in 1987, with the roles of Marcello and Schaunard in La Bohème
(Puccini). In 1988 he debuted with the roles of: Paolo in Simon Boccanegra
(Verdi) and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly
(Puccini) in Rome and Rieti, roles that has sung regularly since.
He also has a great interest in the music of the 18th century, and he has frequently performed roles such as Conte Robinson in Il Matrimonio segreto
(Cimarosa) - firstly in Cosenza - and Uberto in La Serva padrona
(Pergolesi) in Florence in 1989/90.
Highlights in Alessandro's career include performances in 1991 of Sharpless at the Rendano Theatre in Cosenza. The following year saw him at the Teatro Sociale di Mantova where he performed two important Donizetti roles, Dottor Dulcamara in L'Elisir d'amore
and Don Pasquale in Don Pasquale
. In 1993, he debuted in the role of Poliziotto in Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk district
(Shostakovich) at the Teatro Comunale of Florence under the direction of Semyon Bychkov. This production was revived in the spring of 1988.
In Pisa, one year later he sang the role of the Pilot in Il Piccolo principe
(Vavolo). In 1996, he performed in a production of La Serva padrona
that toured through Italy and Spain visiting such cities as Reggio Emilia, Verona and Arezzo and Avilès, Pontevedra, Vigo, Orense and Santander.
Important dates also include his performances in 1997 of Livietta e Tracollo
(Pergolesi) in Catania, Florence and Angoulème and Gasparo in Rita
(Donizetti) in Venice. In the same year he took part in the production of L'Orfeo
(Monteverdi) under René Jacobs and directed by Luca Ronconi, and the following year included performances of the Te Deum
by Charpentier at the Teatro Comunale of Florence. He also sang in a gala concert in Shanghai, sponsored by the Arena di Verona Foundation and performed the role of Manasse in Die Brautwahl
(Busoni) in Empoli.
Performances in the subsequent years include the roles of Gasparo in Rita
(Donizetti), Il Maestro di cappella
, Nardo in Il Filosofo di campagna
(Galuppi), Bogdanovich in The Merry widow
(Lehar) at the Arena di Verona, Livietta e Tracollo
, and the roles of Nerbulone and Tiferne in Eliogabalo
(Cavalli) and Conte Robinson in Il Matrimonio segreto
. In March 2000 he sang the role of Bellarosa in I Virtuosi ambulanti
(Fioravanti) and in the summer he took part in the first Festival Costa Azahar in Castillòn (Spain) in the role of Mustafà in L'Italiana in Algeri
(Rossini) and recently he made his debut in the role of Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia
(Rossini) in the city of Ferrara and Moralès in Carmen
(Bizet) at the Arena di Verona, conducted by Alain Lombard and directed by Franco Zeffirelli.
Alessandro Calamai's voice can be heard on numerous recordings including Il Filosofo di campagna
, I Virtuosi ambulanti
, La Romanziera e l'uomo nero
, Il Divertimento dei numi
and Livietta e Tracollo
on the Bongiovanni Label. He has also recorded the role of the Sacristan in Tosca
under Seiji Ozawa and performed in Zubin Mehta's recording of La Traviata
(both on the Philips Label). He has also recorded Die Brautwahl
by F. Busoni and Pergolesi's La Contadina astuta
, Messa da Requiem
of G.B. Girolami (for the Kicco Classic Label). Alessandro's extensive concert repertoire stretches from Baroque to contemporary music.