Carlo Colombara is today considered to be an exemplar for bass repertoire. His incursions into romantic bel canto and into the French creative scene have received unanimous applause from audience and critics alike. Some of his most acclaimed triumphs have been for his work performing Verdi as he is recognized as one of the most perfect interpretors of the Italian composer’s music. His tone is powerful, wide, dark, agile and has a sensitive power to communicate and this, coupled with his convincing acting skills, has brought him to the top of the contemporary operatic scene.
After a two decade long career and having worked with the most important conductors and directors in the international panorama, Carlo Colombara continues to widen his repertoire, which juxtaposes Monteverdi with Puccini or Stravinsky with Montemezzi – he is constantly pushed by his restless artistic spirit and his enormous vocation for singing and the theatre. In the last two years he debuted in Boito’s Mefistofele at the Savonlinna Festival, in Bizet’s Carmen as Escamillo at the Festival of Caracalla, the four roles of bass-baritone in Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, in Don Pasquale at the Festival of Peralada (Spain), the first Opera buffa for the Italian bass and finally the long-awaited debut in Don Giovanni at the Teatro del Giglio of Lucca.
At the age of nine he fell in love with the operatic genre after seeing a production of Carmen in the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, his city of birth. He began his training at twelve with piano classes and started singing from the age of fifteen. In 1986 he won the prize for the best Italian singer in the G. B. Viotti competition and the following year he won the As.Li.Co competition before debuting in the Teatro dell´Opera in Rome with Silva in Ernani (Verdi). In the 90s he became recognized as one of the most outstanding singers of his generation and his acclaimed debut as Procida in I vespri siciliani, conducted by Riccardo Muti in Milan’s La Scala in 1989 contributed to his reputation. He will come back to the Milanese Theater with I maestri cantori di Norimberga, Requiem, Lucia di Lammermoor, Nabucco and opening a season with Macbeth, conducted by Muti.
Some of the decisive points in his career in the last few years have been his performances in Don Carlo in Seville and Bologna, Simon Boccanegra in Paris, Aida in London, Florence, Barcelona and New York, Ernani in Madrid, Macbeth in Munich, Norma in Chicago, Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Tokyo, La Gioconda in Verona and Barcelona, La Bohème en Naples (directed by Franco Zeffirelli with whom he has collaborated on many other occasions), Turandot in the Bolshoi, I Lombardi in Zurich, I Puritani in Palermo, Seramide in Venice, Attila en Genoa and Macerata, Nabucco in Vienna and many more.
As well as his operatic activity, Carlo Colombara is well known for giving concerts, having performed Verdi’s Messa da Requiem more than a hundred times in cities such as Florence, Rome, London, Naples, Paris and Modena (this last one was in memory of Luciano Pavarotti, which whom he shared the stage the last time the famous tenor sang this work). Together with Zubin Mehta he performed in the spectacular open air production of Turandot which was recorded at the forbidden city of Beijing and was broadcast all over the world and is available on CD and DVD.
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Southbank Centre: Royal Festival Hall
|An outstanding Verdi Requiem from the Philharmonia and Gatti|
|Every once in a while, I hear a concert that grips me from the first note and doesn’t let go until the very last. Daniele Gatti and the Philharmonia’s performance of Verdi’s Requiem at the Royal Festival Hall was such a concert.
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Konzerthaus: Großer Saal
|A musical thrill at the Wiener Konzerthaus: Simon Boccanegra recorded live|
|With the business situation in the recording industry being what it is, studio recordings of operas are more or less ruled out. The positive side of this is that the general public gets the chance to be part of concerts that are recorded and enjoy the tension such an event creates more often.|
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|La bohème in Salzburg with Netrebko and a tenor surprise|
|When Salzburg Festival director Alexander Pereira stepped onto the stage of the Großes Festspielhaus last night to announce that one of the cast members of La bohème was sick and unable to sing, he faced a chorus of hisses from the audience. Soprano Anna Netrebko, the festival’s biggest non-conductor star, was feeling fine (though as Mimì she would shortly die of consumption). But the excellent tenor Piotr Beczala had decided a mere ten minutes earlier that his vocal cords would not be up to singing Rodolfo that night. We would have to wait forty minutes for a replacement.|
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