Stories » On 'Arrivederci,' exciting young Tenor: Vittorio Grigolo gives us his personal take on Italy's musical heritage

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On 'Arrivederci,' exciting young Tenor: Vittorio Grigolo gives us his personal take on Italy's musical heritage

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Hailed by the Independent as "the most exciting young male talent in opera today," Vittorio Grigolo follows up his Sony Classical debut album, The Italian Tenor, with his second release, Arrivederci - a fresh and personal take on Italy's exceptional musical heritage. Also on November 6, Vittorio will also make his west coast operatic debut at the LA Opera, starring as Roméo in Shakespeare's classic, Roméo et Juliette.
 
While The Italian Tenor was devoted to a purely classical operatic repertoire, Vittorio's new album, Arrivederci, combines his selection of beautiful arias with songs from the past century that are steeped in the Italian tradition. Recorded with Pier Giorgio Morandi conducting the Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Parma, the album is a deeply personal homage to the music with which the great tenors of the past have thrilled generations of music lovers for years. 
 
Vittorio chose the title Arrivederci for a specific reason. As Vittorio explains, Arrivederci means ‘see you again soon,' it holds the promise of a time when our eyes will meet again," and it offers the opportunity to "revisit the values and colors of an Italian tradition which often get brushed aside by a faster pace of life." Taking his precedent from the musical culture of his country at the turn of the 20th-century, Vittorio's fashioning of arias together with songs gestures back to a time when opera and popular song were merging on both the opera stage and Italian streets.
 
The album picks up where The Italian Tenor left off, with incomparable arias such as Verdi's "La donna è mobile" (Rigoletto), Cilea's "Il lamento di Federico" (L'arlesiana) and Giordano's "Amor ti vieta" (Fedora), before moving on to greatly loved Italian songs that tenors such as Enrico Caruso, Beniamino Gigli and Mario Lanza introduced to a 20th-century audience.
 
Along with the Mediterranean sun-drenched voice and instinctive Italian flair, Vittorio also brings a beautifully refined, fresh and sensual interpretation to these great Italian songs. To the quintessentially Neapolitan tunes of "Core 'ngrato" (Cardillo), "Non ti scordar di me" (De Curtis), "Mattinata" (Leoncavallo) and "Torna a Surriento" (De Curtis), Vittorio Grigolo adds gems, familiar from his childhood in Rome: "Chitarra romana" (di Lazzaro) and "Arrivederci, Roma" (Rascel) – both reflecting the sounds and musical tradition of a period in Vittorio's life he will never forget. With the songs on this album spanning the whole of the last century, the final expression of this musical heritage can be found in Dalla's popular hit "Caruso."
 
The last twelve months have been very busy and exciting for Vittorio. In June 2010, singing the role of Des Grieux alongside Anna Netrebko's Manon in the new production of Massenet's famous opera, he made "the most sensational debut to be heard at Covent Garden for some time" (Guardian). His first album on the label, The Italian Tenor topped the US Billboard classical charts and earned Vittorio the French Diapason's "Discovery of the Year" Award. Successful debuts at the New York Metropolitan Opera and Berlin's Deutsche Oper followed.  Vittorio also embarked on his first solo concert tour through Germany and Switzerland earlier this year.
 
On November 6, Vittorio will make his West Coast operatic debut at the LA Opera in Shakespeare's timeless tragedy of star crossed lovers, Roméo et Juliette, starring as Roméo, with the enchanting Nino Machaidze returning as Juliette. Plácido Domingo conducts one of LA Opera's landmark productions, directed by Ian Judge. As Frère Laurent, the magnificent bass, Vitalij Kowaljow returns for his first LA Opera appearance since his performances as Wotan in the Ring cycle. Baritone Vladimir Chernov, a Company favorite, returns as Count Capulet.  Performance dates are November 6, 9, 12, 17, 20 and 26.
 
Vittorio Grigolo, born in Tuscany and raised in Rome, became a soloist in the choir of the Sistine Chapel at the age of nine, sang the role of the shepherd boy in Puccini's Tosca in the Rome Opera alongside Luciano Pavarotti at thirteen, and at twenty-three was the youngest tenor ever to debut at La Scala in Milan. Now thirty-four years old, he is taking opera houses around the world by storm.