Vittorio Grigolo

born 19 February 1977 Arezzo

Raised in Rome, Grigolo sang in the boys' choir of the Sixtine Chapel, and started his vocal studies immediately after change of voice, making his debut in 1999 in Cagliari as Don Ottavio. His Scala debut in 2003 was the initial spark for a first-rate international career, which he mixed with regular ventures into pop music.

What has always hampered his career is his reputation for being capricious and difficult to work with; in 2019, he was even fired from both Covent Garden and the Met after allegations of sexual harassment.

Before I had heard Grigolo on stage, I was convinced he was a crooner, and voiceless. I was wrong. His voice is anything but small, and it carries well. Now his musical approach is certainly not devoid of crooning, and his vocal technique (his teacher was Italian basso Danilo Rigosa) is shaky, with a marked caprino, and placement of notes being largely a matter of good luck. Nonetheless, he is one of the rather more enjoyable singers of the early 21st century, for one reason: he knows how to heat up an audience, he is passionate, and he never bores; and he is, in this early 21st century, the only tenor for whom this is unrestrictedly true. His best role is probably Alfredo, but he is also good at French opera, because he masters both the language and the style well. Of course, he is a singer who has to be seen on stage; only listening to his recordings is less than satisfactory due to his technical shortcomings.

Picture source: Grigolo's website

Vittorio Grigolo sings La traviata: Questa donna conoscete, with Patrizia Ciofi

Vittorio Grigolo sings Les contes d'Hoffmann: Il était une fois à la cour d'Eisenach

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