Carlo Rizzi was re-appointed Music Director of Welsh National Opera for the second time in August 2006 having held the position between 1992 and 2001. Named as ‘one of the leading conductors of his generation’ he has appeared in an extensive repertoire (from Gluck to Berio) with many orchestras in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and St Louis, Dallas and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de France, NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, the Rotterdam and Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestras, the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, Montreal Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Stockholm Philharmonic and Gothenburg Symphony and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala of Milan.
As Musical Director of Welsh National Opera where he was engaged in an extensive repertoire including such opera as Fidelio, Boris Godunov, Peter Grimes, Tristan und Isolde, The Turn of the Screw, Der Rosenkavalier, Katya Kabanova, Salome and the most important titles by Verdi, Puccini, Rossini, Mozart. In the UK, as well as conducting the four independent London Orchestras, he has conducted the BBC Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Halle Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra. In the 100th season of the Proms in 1994 he conducted the Orchestra of the WNO in their first symphonic Promenade concert. During his conductorship the Orchestra also won many awards including that of the Royal Philharmonic Society. Since 1996, he has been a regular guest in concerts at the Edinburgh International Festival.
In the opera house, he appeared at the Teatro alla Scala (Madama Butterfly, Turandot), Parma (La traviata), Turin (Un ballo in maschera), Rossini Opera Festival of Pesaro (La pietra del paragone, Semiramide), Covent Garden (La traviata, Madama Butterfly, Così fan tutte, Otello, Aroldo, Il trovatore), the Metropolitan (new productions of Lucia di Lammermoor, Il trovatore, Norma, revivals of Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, La traviata, Cavalleria rusticana, Pagliacci, Aida, Turandot, Nabucco), Opéra Bastille (Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra, La Cenerentola), Deutsche Oper Berlin (L’italiana in Algeri, Macbeth), Munich (La Bohème, La traviata), Zurich (Tosca, I vespri siciliani).
Recently he conducted Nabucco and Tosca in New York, Cavalleria rusticana in Amsterdam, Andrea Chénier and Il Trovatore on a Japan tour with the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Turandot at the Teatro alla Scala, Un ballo in maschera at the Teatro Regio di Torino, Madama Butterfly in Seville, Cavalleria rusticana in Amsterdam, Don Carlos at the Zurich Opernhaus, I Puritani e La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, Aida at the Houston Grand Opera, La Bohème at the Zurich Opernhaus.
Concerning his discography, he has worked closely with Teldec conducting Respighi’s Tone Poems and L'Arlésienne by Bizet with the London Philharmonic Orchestra among many other projects. He has recorded various operas including La Traviata, Rigoletto, Faust, La Cenerentola and Un ballo in maschera for Teldec. He has also recorded for EMI, Philips, Sony, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon. The CD La Traviata with Thomas Hampson, Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón (DGG) received the Grammy Award Nomination 2006 as “Best Opera Recordings”.
In past seasons he has debuted with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, while returning on the podium of the Sydney Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, ORT-Orchestra della Toscana (with whom he toured the Asia with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist), Stockholm Philharmonic, RTVE Orchestra Madrid, Malmo Symphony, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia of Rome, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano “Giuseppe Verdi”.
Highlights of his recent engagements include La Juive, La Traviata, La Bohème, Simon Boccanegra, Les Pecheures des Perles and Don Carlo at the Zurich Opernhaus; La Rondine at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Falstaff and Un Ballo in maschera at the Welsh National Opera during 2008, a recital with Kiri Te Kanawa in Cardiff, Matilde di Shabran in London, Lulù at the Welsh National Opera and Aida in Bregenz, Don Carlo at the Opéra National de Paris.
Projects include Simon Boccanegra, La Juive, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, La Traviata, Les pecheures de perles,Simon Boccanegra at the Opernhaus in Zurich, Oberto conte di San Bonifacio and La Fanciulla del West in Paris, Il Trittico in Copenaghen, L’Italiana in Algeri in Houston; Salome, Manon Lescaut in Brussels. A series of concerts in Ottawa, Indianapolis, Hong Kong, La Coruna, Naples, Milwauke, Brussels.