He makes his role debut in Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” at LA Opera

Famed director Konstantin Stanislavski said, “There are no small parts, only small actors.” Norma Desmond, in Sunset Boulevard, responds to a question about her once having been big, says “I am big. It’s the pictures that got small.” Rising bass-baritone opera star Luca Pisaroni shares Stansilavski’s point-of-view and doesn’t have to worry, at this point in his career, of sharing Desmond’s.

“Yes, 100%,” he told me last week as we discussed his LA Opera debut in the role of Don Basilio in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. The production opens this Saturday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and runs through November 12th.

He continues, “I learned this very early in my career. I was 27 years old in Salzburg singing Masetto [in Don Giovanni]. And I thought, small role, I’m Italian, this is going to be a walk in the park. It turns out that between Nicholas Harnoncourt conducting and Martin Kušej director, I learned very quickly there is no such a thing as a small role. If you put enough effort, you can make something interesting in anything you sing. I’m very pleased that I had that chance, because it made the difference in my career right away.”