Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni will make his house debut at La Scala in 2017 as Leporello. It will be only the second opera he has sung in Italy. The performances of Don Giovanni are just before his 42nd birthday. Astonishing: a prophet is not without honour save in his own country.

“I grew up musically outside Italy. I began my career outside and for some reason I have only performed in Italy very rarely. I can’t invite myself, so there’s nothing I can do. I don’t think that the theatres really ‘know’ me. I certainly haven’t had hundreds of offers and always said ‘no’, and sometimes when they ask me nowadays it is for next season and I’m all booked up.

Of course, to be honest, I’m not happy about it, not only because it is my home country but also because Italy is the home of opera, so not to be asked is not pleasant, but I can’t complain because I’ve been fortunate to sing in some of the most wonderful opera houses in all the world.”

Q: He certainly has: the Met, tick. Covent Garden, tick. Zurich, Vienna, Paris, Chicago, Salzburg, tick tick tick tick tick. The last of these, Salzburg, is where I caught up with him for a chat during his back to back performances in Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro. It was also where the seeds of his La Scala debut were sown when Alexander Pereira was overseeing his last season before taking over in Milan.

“Yes, he got Milano while we were doing Don Giovanni in Salzburg and when he asked me if I’d like to do Leporello at La Scala I thought it was the perfect role to make my house debut with.”

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