Paolo Gavanelli is represented by Rayfield Allied sundry territories.

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Paolo Gavanelli


  • But there's no question about who is boss in this production: Gavanelli dominated the stage and projected immense power as the hunchbacked jester.
  • Italian Baritone, Paolo Gavanelli, described by the eminent British classical music critic Hugh Canning as “the foremost Verdi baritone of his generation” (Opera, 2008).

    Paolo Gavanelli is renowned by critics and audiences alike for his signature roles: Rigoletto, Nabucco, Macbeth, Simon Boccanegra and Falstaff.  With a repertoire of over 50 roles and a career that has spanned almost 30 years, Mr. Gavanelli has appeared at The Metropolitan Opera, New York, The Royal Opera House, San Francisco Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Deutsche Opera, Berlin, Canadian Opera Company, Vienna State Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, The New National Theatre Tokyo, National Finnish Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Semperoper, Dresden, Hamburg State Opera, the Arena of Verona and the opera theatres of Genoa, Turin, Florence Rome and Naples.

    Recent successes include Count di Luna Il Trovatore in Salerno under the baton of Daniel Oren and Barnaba La Gioconda for NPS Zatertag Matinee, Holland.  Mr. Gavanelli made his house debut at Israeli Opera, in the twin roles of Alfio and Tonio in the double billed Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci, revived Père Germont La Traviata at Royal Opera House and returned to Los Angeles Opera as Paolo/Simon Simon Boccanegra.  He made his debut in the title role Don Pasquale in London, Don Geronio Il Turco in Italia in Los Angeles and more performances as Rigoletto at Dallas Opera and in London.

    Previously, Mr. Gavanelli appeared at Oper Leipzig as Amonasro Aida in a new production by Peter Konwinchny and made his debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Dulcamara L’elisir d’amore, a role he also sang in the highly popular production by Laurent Pelly in London and at Bastille, Paris.  He made his Il Trittico debut in the roles of Gianni Schicchi and Michele at San Francisco Opera, Gusmano Alzira at St. Gallen Festival in Switzerland, and his company debut at Canadian Opera Company in the title role of Simon Boccanegra, performances for which he received standing ovations every night and for which he won Canada’s equivalent of a Tony award, the Dora Mavra Moore Award, for Most Outstanding Performance in Opera.  In 2005, he was awarded Germany’s highest honour for an opera singer by the Munich Ministry of Culture, the title of Kammersänger for his outstanding work at Bavarian State Opera.

    Paolo Gavanelli can be heard on CD recordings of Nabucco, La Boheme, Beatrice Di Tenda, Alzira, and Poliuto.  His highly-acclaimed performance as Rigoletto in a new production by David McVicar at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, was committed to DVD in 2001, and the production was awarded the Diapason Prize as best DVD of the Year.  It also achieved the status of bestselling opera DVD of the year.

    Mr. Gavanelli made his professional debut as Leporello Don Giovanni at Teatro Donizetti, Bergamo, in 1985.  Within five years, he made debuts at the Metropolitan Opera as Count de Luna Il Trovatore, Teatro alla Scala as Père Germont La Traviata, Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu as Valentin Faust, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich as Renato Un Ballo in Maschera, and at Teatro la Fenice in Venice as Marcello La Boheme.  Other roles in his illustrious career include Gerard Andrea Chenier, Amonasro Aida, Alfio Cavalleria Rusticana, Sharpless Madama Butterfly, Enrico Lucia Di Lammermoor, Iago Otello, Bartolo Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Ezio Attila, Posa Don Carlos, Scarpia Tosca, Riccardo I Puritani, Nottingham Roberto Devereux, Miller Luisa Miller, Jack Rance La Fanciulla del West, and Lescaut Manon Lescaut.

    • Simon Boccanegra, Los Angeles Opera
      February 2012

      From Paolo to Paolo, Gavanelli’s Albiani has exceptional uplifting vibrato, despite an ironic sheet for such an evil character.
      Christie Grimstad, Concertonet
      Paolo Gavanelli was admirable as Paolo Albiani, the villainous plebian king-maker (actually, doge-maker; this was Genoa, after all).
      Chris Pasles, Los Angeles Times
      On the bad guy side, Paolo Gavanelli gave one of his always remarkable performances as Paolo Albiani, infusing a character that can take a back seat in some stagings with real pathos.
      Brian, Out West Arts
      When Gavanelli voice rises, there's a thrilling knife-like quality that cuts the music as this darker-sounding instrument ascends the scale.
      Robert Hofler, Variety
    • Pagliacci, The Israeli Opera
      December 2011

      Paolo Gavanelli, as Alfio in Cavalleria and Tonio in Pagliacci, displayed a forceful, hollering baritone, as appropriate for these disagreeable characters.
      Ury Eppstein, The Jerusalem Post
    • L’Elisir d’Amore, Glyndebourne
      June 2011

      Paolo Gavanelli was great fun as the elixir purveyor.
      William Hartston, Express
      But into that space stepped Paolo Gavanelli as Dr Dulcamara (unbelievably making his Glyndebourne debut!) His performance was a delight from start to finish, not only in terms of his stage presence (helped by a hyperactive assistant with a bag of tricks, played by James Bellorini) but above all in terms of class singing. Gavanelli's voice fills much larger theatres than the Glyndebourne auditorium: as a result he sang – gloriously – within himself, projecting humour, vocal colour, nuance, in a warm bath of top quality baritonal sound. The stage lit up whenever Gavanelli made his appearance.
      Mike Reynolds, MusicalCriticism
      On the bad guy side, Paolo Gavanelli gave one of his always remarkable performances as Paolo Albiani, infusing a character that can take a back seat in some stagings with real pathos.
      Andrew Clark, Financial Times
      It is the warmth of the show that lingers more than the laughs, though that's not to say it isn't funny. In fact, in that respect this revival holds a trump card in the rotund form of Paolo Gavanelli, who takes a break from sombre Verdi antiheroes to lavish vocal finesse on the snake-oil salesman Dulcamara. Without seeming to try, he manages to upstage even his tattooed assistant, mimed by James Bellorini.
      Erica Jeal, The Guardian
      Paolo Gavanelli is a marvellously larger-than-life Dulcamara.
      Jessica Duchen, The Independent
    • Rigoletto, Royal Opera House
      Oct 2010

      But there's no question about who is boss in this production: Gavanelli dominated the stage and projected immense power as the hunchbacked jester. Even in my seat high up in the Amphitheatre, the house shook with his voice.
      David Karlin, Bachtrack
    • Tosca, Royal Opera House
      May 2008

      As the lecherous police chief Scarpia, rotund Italian baritone Paolo Gavanelli borders on the definitive ...
      Anthony Holden, The Observer
      Gavanelli makes an insidiously vile Scarpia, quietly sadistic but utterly ruthless in pursuit of his perverted appetite.
      Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
      Gavanelli makes a tremendous Scarpia, so odious from the minute he walks on that it is no surprise Tosca physically recoils from him. For once here is a melodramatic villain who really sends a shudder down one’s spine, a two-faced monster, now singing with the sweetest oily legato, now barking out with a voice like a bludgeon.
      Richard Fairman, The Financial Times
      We flinch from its dissonances, just as we are drawn into the horror of Paolo Gavanelli's Scarpia. No caricature of embittered evil here. This Scarpia is a lumbering brute, padding across the stage. His voice has a chillingly gentle underside which he can suddenly heat and recharge into a snarl in a change of rhythm or inflection. Gavanelli's Scarpia has a lot of the Iago in him too: his tormenting of Tosca strikes vibrant chords with his counterpart in Verdi's Otello.
      Hilary Finch,The Times
      Paolo Gavenelli is a scrupulously musical Scarpia who's not afraid to take risks with his voice. There's plenty of light and shade which make his character all the more malevolent and it's a joy to hear him relish the Italian text as only a native speaker can.
      Keith McDonnell,
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