Image: Giuseppe Sabbatini
by Jean Peccei
Giuseppe Sabbatini was born in Rome, on May 11, 1957. His original music
training at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome was as a double bass
player. However, towards the end of his training in 1986, encouraged by his
family and friends, he began studying voice with Silvana Ferraro, and won
the international competition in Spoleto in 1987 with his performance as
Edgardo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.

His operatic repertoire includes the leading tenor roles in Idomeneo,
Mitridate, re di Ponto, Don Giovanni, Linda di Chamounix, La favorita,
L'elisir d'amore, Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, Roberto Devereux,
Lucrezia Borgia, I puritani, Rigoletto, La traviata, Falstaff, La
Bohème, Eugene Onegin, Auber's Fra diavolo. He also performs with distinction
in the French repertoire - Massenet (Werther, Manon and Thaïs),
Berlioz (La damnation de Faust and Benvenuto Cellini), Offenbach (Les
contes d'Hoffmann and Orphées aux enfers), Bizet ( Les pêcheurs de
perles), Gounod (Faust).

In February 2001, he made his debut at the New York Metropolitan Opera
in Massenet's Manon after singing for over twelve years in the world's
leading opera houses, including the Vienna Staatsoper, La Scala and the
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. His performance proved somewhat of a
revelation to the New York critics. As Howard Bushnell wrote in
Classical Singer Magazine...

"The timbre is leaner and perhaps dryer than one would expect, beautiful
in every respect, and capable of a most remarkable dynamic range. His
pianissimi were glorious; no singer now before the public can diminish
the sound without diminishing the tone as he can. His singing and acting
throughout this role, which could have been written for him, were
exemplary. His was an important and much-overdue debut."

Although he has won many national and international voice competitions -
the Jussi Björling Prize in 1987, the Caruso and the Lauri Volpi Prizes
of 1990, the 1991 Abbiati Prize for Vocal Interpretation, and the 1996
Tito Schipa Prize - Sabbatini is not a 'star system tenor', nor has his career
been particularly promoted by recording companies. However, he has been
long admired in Europe for a voice which combines vocal refinement with
an Italianate masculinity and a definite dramatic edge. In a review of La
Traviata at the Royal Opera House in 2001, Tom Sutcliffe of the London
Evening Standard characterized Sabbatini's style as "noble and elegant,
his phrasing and agility moulded with precision - aquiline, like his
looks. Words feel meant."

A musicianly singer by both training and temperament, Sabbatini has
performed with distinction in oratorio as well as opera - Rossini's
Stabat Mater and Messa Solenne, Donizetti's Requiem, Bach's Mass in B
minor, Mozart's Mass in C minor and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. In 2002
he performed in the Verdi Requiem in New York, Salzburg and Boston.

Sabbatini's forthcoming opera engagements include performances in
La traviata in Verona and Les contes d'Hoffmann at the Teatro alla Scala.
On April, 25th 2003 he was honoured with the title of Kammersänger by the
Vienna State Opera.

See also:

Sabbatini's Discography
Schedule of Sabbatini's current and future performances
Index of Sabbatini Press Reviews
Index of Sabbatini Press Articles.


The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition
Prima Artists
'Un certo tenore di vita' by Carlo Boschi, GRTV, 5 February 1998
'Italian Tenor Sabbatini Rocks Met' byV erena Dobnik, Los Angeles Times, 12 February 2001
'Manon: Metropolitan Opera', by Howard Bushnell, Classical Singer Magazine May, 2001


This page was last updated on: June 1, 2004