Italian tenor Riccardo Massi has rapidly achieved international recognition as one of the most exciting and accomplished interpreters of the Italian spinto repertoire, earning accolades worldwide for his interpretations of Puccini’s and Verdi’s heroes. As a specialist in the handling of ancient and medieval weapons, before pursuing his passion for opera, Massi enjoyed a career as a stuntman; working in several films including Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York”, ABC’s “Empire”, and HBO’s “Rome”.
The 2015/2016 season sees Massi’s returns to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as Cavaradossi in Tosca opposite Angela Gheorghiu, at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour (Opera Australia) as Calaf in Turandot, the Melbourne Arts Center as Rodolfo in Luisa Miller (role debut), the Teatro Regio di Torino as Radamès in Aida, and the Bregenzer Festspiele as Calaf, in addition to performances as Milio in Leoncavallo’s Zaza at Barbican Hall, Calaf at the Zurich Opera House and as Cavaradossi at the Semperoper Dresden.
Engagements of the 2016/2017 season include his role debut as Des Grieux in new production of Manon Lescaut at the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow and at the Berlin State Opera, his return to The Metropolitan Opera in New York as Radamès in Aida and Calaf at the Cologne Opera House.
Highlights of recent seasons include his 2014 Royal Opera House Covent Garden debut as Cavaradossi under the musical direction of Placido Domingo, his debut in the title role of Andrea Chénier at the Royal Swedish Opera, a 2014 gala concert with soprano Anna Netrebko at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Tosca at the Sydney Opera House, Verdi’s Requiem at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Un ballo in maschera at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, Don Alvaro in La forza del destino at the Sydney Opera House, Don José in Carmen at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Pollione at the Terme di Caracalla, and debuts as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at the Norwegian National Opera, Manrico in Il trovatore in Toronto and Calaf in Turandot opposite Nina Stemme at the Royal Swedish Opera.
Other career highlights include his 2012 Metropolitan Opera debut as Radamès in Aida (the same role with which he also debuted at the Houston Grand Opera in 2013), his debut as Enzo Grimaldi in a concert performance of La Gioconda at the Concertgebeouw opposite Eva Maria Westbroek, and debuts at Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper, Opéra Grand Avignon and the Berlin Staatsoper as Cavaradossi.
Massi developed his vocal technique in Rome with David Holst, who has also been his sole mentor. He was invited to join the Accademia della Scala, after which he made his operatic debut in December of 2009 as Radamès in Aida in Salerno under the baton of Daniel Oren.