Opera News

Luca Pisaroni’s musical and dramatic commitment reshapes every opera in which he sings. When the bass-baritone took on the role of Leporello in Michael Grandage’s then-new production of Don Giovanni at the Met in 2011, Pisaroni’s catalogue aria stood the entire opera on its head: watching his Leporello engage Elvira was a bit like witnessing Anthony Hopkins’s Hannibal Lecter torment Jodie Foster from behind a glass screen. The gorgeous malice with which he intoned the phrase “Voi sapete quel che fa” came across as the apogee of the psychological violence on display that evening.

Pisaroni’s two-decade career has been crowded with breathtaking moments that have arrived by way of sidestepping the predictable. Instead of merely projecting brawn, the virtuoso rage of his rendition of “Sibillar gli angui d’Aletto,” from Glyndebourne’s Rinaldo, left his desperate Argante on the verge of mental collapse. His urbane version of “Là del ciel nell’arcano profondo,” as Alidoro in 2014 Met performances of Cenerentola, worked not by divine will but by something closer to paternal common sense.

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