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234th Season

Carlo Colombara


Born in Bologna, Carlo Colombara studied with Paride Venturi. He first caught the public's attention in 1986 when he was designated as the best Italian singer at the "G.B. Viotti" Competition in Vercelli. The following year, he won the "As.Li.Co." Competition in Milan and made his debut at some of Italy's most prestigious opera houses in quick succession. He portrayed Silva in Verdi's Ernani at the Teatro dell’Opera in Roma, Seneca in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, and Creon in Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex at the Teatro La Fenice in Venezia. Soon called upon to make international guest appearances in cities such as Tokyo, Pekin, New York, Chicago, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, he rapidly carved a reputation for himself as one of the leading opera singers of his generation. He made his acclaimed debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milano in 1989 as Procida in I vespri siciliani under the direction of Riccardo Muti. This was followed by further successful roles at Italy's leading opera houses, including Arcibaldo in Montemezzi's L'amore dei tre Re in 1995, Zaccaria in Nabucco in 1996 and, again under Muti, Banco in Macbeth for the opening of the 1997 season.

He worked with the most renowned conductors, such as Bruno Bartoletti, Gary Bertini, Myung-Whun Chung, Colin Davis, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Carlo Maria Giulini, Eliahu Inbal, Vladimir Jurowski, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Oren, Antonio Pappano, Michel Plasson, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Sir Georg Solti.

Thanks to the dark timbre and colourful diversity of his voice, Carlo Colombara has become one of the most popular basses of our time. Critics in Italy and abroad have repeatedly underscored his stylistic versatility and interpretive suppleness, thanks to which Colombara portrays all the major bass roles of the Italian repertoire: Giorgio in Bellini's I puritani, Don Basilio in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, Colline in La Boheme, as well as the central Verdi roles such as Filippo II, Fiesco, Padre Guardiano, Zaccaria, Ramphis, Giovanni da Procida.

Past highlights of Colombara's career have included acclaimed performances in Don Carlo in Zurich, Seville and Bologna; Simon Boccanegra in Paris, Zurich and Munich; Aida at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Metropolitan Opera; Ernani in Madrid, Zurich and Vienna; Macbeth in Naples and Munich; Norma at the Chicago Lyric Opera; Il barbiere di Siviglia at the New National Theatre in Tokyo; La Boheme at the Arena in Verona and at the New Israeli Opera. In 1997 he sang the role of Timur in a spectacular open-air production of Turandot under the baton of Zubin Mehta in the Forbidden City of Beijing. The performance was broadcast around the world and it's documented on CD and DVD. Parallel to his career as an opera singer, Carlo Colombara frequently appears as a concert singer as well, and he is a frequent guest in Verdi's Requiem.

During the last seasons he sang, among others, Lucia di Lammermoor (Raimondo) in Cagliari, Macbeth (Banco) in Madrid, La Gioconda (Alvise Badoero) in Barcellona, Norma in Tokyo. In 2006 season he appears at the Zurich Opernhaus in La Favorita (Balthazar), Simon Boccanegra (Jacopo Fiesco), Nabucco (Zaccaria), at the Athens Concert Hall in Don Carlo (Filippo II), at the La Coruna Opera in Norma (Oroveso), at the Opera de Lyon in La Sonnambula (Conte Rodolfo). He opens his 2007 season singing Don Carlo at the Zurich Opernhaus, followed by Rossini Stabat Mater in Lugano. In May 2007 he sang Luisa Miller at the Bayerische Staatsoper. Subsequently he has been engaged at the Arena in Verona and at the Zurich Opernhaus in Nabucco (Zaccaria), in La Coruna singing La Boheme. He successfully appeared at the Metropolitan Opera and at the Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona in Aida. He recently sang in Nabucco at the Berlin Deutsche Oper, Zurich Opernhaus, Luisa Miller at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Verdi’s Requiem with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, and with Orchestre du Capitole and Togan Sokhiev conductor in Toulouse and in a French tour with Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai and Juanjo Mena conductor in Cuenca. He recently sang La forza del destino in Brussels, Macbeth in La Coru?a, La Sonnambula at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova.

Among his forthcoming opera projects are I Puritani at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Aida at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, Mefistofele at the Opera Festival in Savonlinna, Don Carlo at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Siviglia and La Boheme at the Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcellona,; at the Metropolitan Opera in New York he will sing in Aida and Nabucco. He will sing Verdi’s Requiem with with Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai and Juanjo Mena conductor in Brussels and Stuttgart.

Carlo Colombara made CD recordings of many of his opera and concert roles, and also taken part in different television broadcasts and video productions from the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Teatro San Carlo in Naples.

He won several renowned prizes such as the Premio Lauri Volpi in 1994, the Premio Orazio Tosi in 1995, the Premio Cappelli in 1999 and the Premio Matassa d'Oro in 2002.

Recently his recording of La Sonnambula by Virgin Classics conducted by Evelino Pido was acknowledged by Diapason d’Or and Le Monde de la Musique. Among his future projects it is worth mentioning a CD of French Mеlodies conducted by Rani Calderon.

Mariinsky Theatre:
1 Theatre Square
St. Petersburg
Mariinsky-2 (New Theatre):
34 Dekabristov Street
St. Petersburg
Mariinsky Concert Hall:
20 Pisareva street
St. Petersburg

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