Franco Vassallo is one of Italy’s leading baritones and has been acclaimed there at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Teatro La Fenice, Venice, Teatro San Carlo, Naples, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Teatro Comunale in Firenze, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and at the Arena di Verona. In recent seasons he has also made several significant international debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, SemperOper, Dresden, Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Zurich Opera as well as in Bilbao, Amsterdam, Paris, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
Franco Vassallo returned to the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2012 as Di Luna in Il Trovatore. He then starred in the new production of Rigoletto at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. Vassallo performed the new production of Macbeth at the Teatro alla Scala under Valery Gergiev and sings Amonasro in Aida at the Berlin State Opera under Zubin Mehta. He will also sing this role at the Arena di Verona in the summer of 2013. Prior to that, Vassallo will sing opposite Edita Gruberova in a new production of Bellini’s rarely staged La Straniera at the Zurich Opera.
In the fall of 2011 Vassallo returned to the Hamburg State Opera and SemperOper in Dresden as Rigoletto. He sang Iago for the Zurich Opera and then sang Di Luna in Il Trovatore at the Teatro alla Fenice in Venice. Vassallo subsequently returned to the Vienna State Opera in January / February 2012 as Iago in Otello and as Gerard in Andrea Chenier. He then performed Macbeth in Munich and Hamburg and made his debut in the title role of Nabucco for his first appearance at the Washington National Opera. Future engagements also include Il Trovatore and Falstaff at the Metropolitan Opera, a new production of Rigoletto in Munich, Macbeth at the Teatro alla Scala under Valery Gergiev, Aida at the Berlin State Opera under Daniel Barenboim. Vassallo will return to the Zurich Opera to partner Edita Gruberova in a new production of Bellini’s rarely heard La Straniera.
In the fall of 2010, Vassallo sang his first Iago in Otello with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in concert performances at the Festspilehaus Baden-Baden, the Philharmonie Luxembourg, Konzerthaus Dortmund and the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. He also appeared at the Hamburg State Opera as Germont in La Traviata and as Amonasro in Aida. In January 2011, Franco Vassallo made his debut at the Grand Theatre de Geneve as Riccardo in I Puritani. The artist performed two Verdi roles at the Teatro Regio in Turin; as the title role of Rigoletto and as Montfort in I Vespri Siciliani. In June of 2011, Vassallo sang Marcello in La Bohème for the Rome Opera after which he returned to Munich for Lucrezia Borgia.
Born in Milano in 1969, Franco Vassallo studied singing under the guidance of one sole teacher, baritone, Carlo Meliciani, who remains his pedagogue today. In January 1994 he was the winner of the “As.Li.Co. International Competition” of Milan which led to his, he made his débuts in some of the most important theatres of Northern Italy, such as David in L’Amico Fritz and Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore at the Teatro Coccia of Novara. In 1997 he won the “Budapest Contest” organized with the cooperation of the Arena di Verona, after which he made his début at the Teatro Filarmonico of Verona as Ford in Falstaff alongside Renato Bruson. In the same year he made his début as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Palafenice in Venice, subsequently returning for his débuts as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, as Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro and as Malatesta in Don Pasquale. Vassallo’s other important Italian debuts followed in rapid succession. He appeared as Di Luna in Il Trovatore at the Teatro Bellini of Catania and at the Teatro Regio of Parma, in L’Elisir d’Amore at the Teatro La Fenice of Venice and in new productions of Lucia di Lammermoor, Ernani, La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, and Faust at the Teatro San Carlo of Naples. Vassallo made his debut at the Teatro alla Scala as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, a role he also sang at the Teatro Comunale in Florence.
Vassallo made his debut in Vienna in Lucia di Lammermoor, in Zurich in Don Carlo, and in Paris in Giovanna D’Arco in I vespri Siciliani in Bilbao. Vassallo made an especially auspicious debut at the Bavarian State Opera as Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2005 in the title role of Il Barbiere di Siviglia and has also sung Lucia di Lammermoor at the Los Angeles Opera and in La Traviata and Don Carlos for the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
Vassallo returned to the Bavarian State Opera as Rodrigo in Don Carlos in the fall of 2006 and also appeared in Munich as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Germont in La Traviata and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly. He was heard as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin sang his first Don Carlos in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa under the direction of Daniel Oren in April 2007, and made his made his debut at the Arena di Verona in the summer of 2007 in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and as Germont in La traviata.
Franco Vassallo returned to the Metropolitan Opera in the 2007-2008 season as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, was also heard at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich as Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera and as Germont in La traviata, returned to Genoa in Verdi’s I Vespri Siciliani at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa and subsequently sang Carlo in Verdi’s Ernani at the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste. In July of 2008 Vassallo made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Marcello in La Bohème. In September of 2008 Vassallo made his debut at the SemperOper in Dresden .as Posa in Don Carlo and also debuted in Baden Baden in Barbiere. He sang his first performances of the title role in Rigoletto for the Greek National Opera in Athens, after which he returned to the Bavarian State Opera in Munich as Don Alfonso D’Este in the new production of Lucrezia Borgia. Vassallo returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Belcore in L’Elisir D’Amore and made his first appearances at the Hamburg State Opera, first as Germont and then as Ezio in concert performances of Verdi’s Attila under Simone Young. Vassallo was also heard in Gala Concerts for the Teatro San Carlo in Naples. Other recent engagements for Mr. Vassallo include Riccardo in the revival of Bellini’s I puritani with Anna Netrebko at the Metropolitan Opera, which his performance was seen in cinemas internationally as well as on television as part of the Live from Lincoln Center Series.
Franco Vassallo began the 2009/2010 season singing Don Alfonso in Lucrezia Borgia at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and returned later in the season in the title role of Verdi’s Macbeth. He was heard at the to the Metropolitan Opera as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia and as of Ezio in the new production of Atilla. At the Semperoper in Dresden he was heard in the title role of Rigoletto, as Amonasro in Aida in Salerno as well as in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Vassallo also returned to the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in a new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia in July of 2010.
Other performances have included his debut at the Teatro Sao Carlo in Lisbon in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the new production of Un Ballo in Maschera under Riccardo Chailly in Leipzig as well as La Traviata at the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste under Daniel Oren. Mr. Vassallo has returned to Vienna for I Puritani and La Favorita, to the Zurich Opera for Salieri’s rarely performed of Axur Rè D’Ormus as well as for Lucia di Lammermoor and to the Deutsche Oper Berlin in I Puritani.