Ruggero Raimondi was born in Bologna and began his musical studies at the "G. Verdi" Conservatoire in Milan, continuing them in Rome under the guidance of Teresa Pediconi and M° Piervenanzi. He made his international début at the Opera House of Rome after calling him to stand in for the role of Procida in the production of I Vespri Siciliani
, where he was acclaimed by both the public and the critics.
He soon became a world-famous personality, being one of the very few artists who can combine exceptional vocal qualities with a great stage presence and the expressive talent of a great actor. These characteristics acknowledged by top conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Herbert von Karajan, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel and Riccardo Chailly among and directors such as Piero Faggioni, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Luca Ronconi and Giorgio Strehler.
He has recorded with some of the worlds’ best conductors, from Rossini (Il Barbiere di Siviglia
, L’Italiana in Algeri
, Il Viaggio a Reims
, Mosè In Egitto
) to Verdi (all main roles from the bass repertoire), Puccini, Mozart, the French and Russian repertoires. His most important recent interpretations include Philip II in Verdi's Don Carlo
(he also recorded the rare complete French version conducted by Claudio Abbado), and Massenet's Don Quichotte
in a historic production by Piero Faggioni conducted by George Prêtre in Paris. Ruggero Raimondi also appeared in the famous cinema productions of Don Giovanni
directed by Joseph Losey, Carmen
directed by Francesco Rosi and Boris Godunov
directed by Andrej Zulawski. In 1992 he was Scarpia in the version of Tosca
produced by Andrea Andermann and conducted by Zubin Mehta, which also saw the appearances Plácido Domingo and Catherine Malfitano and which was filmed live in the original places and times in Rome.
In June 1994 he took part in an extraordinary concert in the Sarajevo National Library conducted by Zubin Mehta, performing Mozart's Requiem
alongside José Carreras, a concert dedicated to the victims of the tragedy of ex-Yugoslavia and broadcasted by more than 30 television networks of the world. In March 1996 another important début followed, as he played the role of Jago in Otello
at the Salzburg Festival under the baton of Claudio Abbado.
In 2001 he took part in the celebrations of Verdi in Parma, where he sang an extraordinary “Verdi 100
” concert with Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, José Cura, Marcelo Alvarez, Daniela Dessì, Barbara Frittoli, Mariella Devia, Luciana D’Intino, Leo Nucci and many other artists conducted by M° Zubin Mehta. In 2006 he recorded Pizzetti’s L’Assassinio nella Cattedrale
with “UNITEL” and “DECCA”.
In 2008/09 season he sang also in I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata
at the San Carlo in Naples, Tosca
at the Festival in Macerata and at the Wien State Opera. He will sing Tosca
also at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, L’Italiana in Algeri
at the Opernhaus in Zurich, Falstaff
and Boris Godunov
In the 2006 summer opera festival at the Arena he performed the part of Scarpia in Tosca