The Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni will take another featured turn on the Met stage as Caliban, alongside Plácido Domingo and Joyce DiDonato, in The Enchanted Island – the company’s freshly conceived Shakespearean tableau of music by Handel, Vivaldi, and Rameau, conducted by renowned Baroque authority William Christie (Dec 31-Jan 30). In the new year, Pisaroni makes his Chicago Lyric Opera debut, reprising his acclaimed portrayal of Argante for a new production of Handel’s Rinaldo (Feb 29-March 24).

The Enchanted Island is the Met’s version of the Baroque tradition of pasticcio – a light pastiche of operatic snippets woven into a dazzling tableau, this time with the lovers from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream stranded on his otherworldly island of The Tempest. Along with Pisaroni as Caliban, the cast features Domingo as Neptune and DiDonato as Sycorax, as well as Danielle de Niese as Ariel and David Daniels as Prospero. The new production’s director and librettist is Jeremy Sams, with design by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch (who created the Met’s staging of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha). To Pisaroni, portraying Caliban is a unique theatrical opportunity: “Portraying the ‘bad guy’ is always satisfying, and Caliban is a monster, so I will have to push my acting skills to the limit,” he says. “And even if the music is from the Baroque period, I’m excited to get the opportunity to sing in a ‘world premiere’.”

Luca Pisaroni

Born in Venezuela and bred in Verdi’s hometown of Busseto, Italy, Luca Pisaroni established himself as one of his generation’s most captivating singers with his debut, at age 26, at the Salzburg Festival with the Vienna Philharmonic under Nikolaus Harnoncourt. During his 2010-11 season, he was the Figaro of choice in productions of Le nozze di Figaro for three new music directors: Nicola Luisotti at San Francisco Opera, Philippe Jordan at Opéra de Paris, and Franz Welser-Möst at the Vienna State Opera.

Gaining renown for his dramatic versatility, Pisaroni made his house and role debut last spring at Houston Grand Opera as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro – this after more than 100 performances as Figaro in Mozart’s famous opera. 

Luca Pisaroni: upcoming engagements

Dec 31; Jan 4, 7, 12, 14, 17, 21, 25, 28, 30
New York, NY: Metropolitan Opera
The Enchanted Island (Caliban)
William Christie, conductor
Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch, director and designer

Feb 29; March 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24
Chicago, IL: Chicago Lyric Opera
Handel: Rinaldo (Argante)
Harry Bicket, conductor
Francisco Negrin, director

May 3, 6, 11, 13
Munich, Germany: Bavarian State Opera
Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Figaro)
Dan Ettinger, conductor
Dieter Dorn, director

June 3, 6, 9, 13
Vienna, Austria: Vienna State Opera
Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Figaro)
Louis Langrée, conductor
Jean-Louis Martinoty, director

July 14, 18, 27; August 2, 7, 16
Santa Fe, NM: Santa Fe Opera
Rossini: Maometto II (Maometto II) – world premiere of new critical edition
Frédéric Chaslin, conductor
David Alden, director

July 21
Santa Fe, NM: Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
J.S. Bach: Cantatas “Amore traditore” (BWV 203) and “Ich habe genug” (BWV 82)
Kathleen McIntosh, harpsichord

July 22, 23
Santa Fe, NM: Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival
Schubert: Four songs from Schwanengesang: “Der Atlas,” “Aufenthalt,” “Ihr Bild,” “In der Ferne”
Jon Kimura Parker, piano