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 flourishing career as a stuntman; working in several films including Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, ABC’s Empire, and HBO’s Rome.
His 2016⁄2017 season include his role debut as Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut at the Berlin State Opera and at the Bol’šoj Theatre in Moscow, his return to the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Radamès in Aida, and as Calaf in Turandot at the Cologne Opera and his debut at the New National Theatre Tokyo as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly.
In the 2015⁄2016 season Massi returned to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London as Cavaradossi alongside Angela Gheorghiu’s Tosca; he also appeared at the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour (Opera Australia) as Calaf in Turandot, at the Melbourne Arts Center (again for Opera Australia) where he debuted the role of Rodolfo in La bohème, sang Radamès in at the Teatro Regio of Turin, Calaf at the Bregenz Festival and at the Zurich Opernhaus, and Cavaradossi at the Semperoper Dresden. Furthermore, he appeared at the Barbican Hall in London in a concert performance of Leoncavallo’s Zazà as Milio, which he also recorded for Opera Rara.
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, Cavaradossi and Don Alvaro in La forza del destino for Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, Don José in Carmen at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Pollione in Norma 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. He subsequently made his Glyndebourne Festival debut as Malcolm in Macbeth, his German operatic debut in October 2010 as Cavaradossi at the Staatsoper Berlin, his North American debut in Tosca with the Palm Beach Opera and then at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland for Tosca conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.