Tenor James Valenti to Star in Austin Lyric Opera's DON CARLO, 11/16-24
Austin Lyric Opera (ALO) has announced that internationally acclaimed American tenor James Valenti will take on the title role of its season opener, "Don Carlo".
Valenti has been praised by critics for having a voice of Italianate luster and is continually compared to some of the greatest tenors of the post-World War ll era. The sought after 6'5" tenor has built a global reputation for his elegant musicianship, commanding stage presence and ardent vocal style. Valenti replaces tenor Richard Crawley, the tenor originally cast for the role.
"We could not be more pleased that James is stepping in to kick off our new season," says General Director Joseph Specter. "His performance will add to the artistic excellence ALO strives for with every production, and his Hollywood good looks, powerful voice and stage presence will thrill Austin audiences."
Both Specter and ALO Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Richard Buckley have worked and performed with Valenti before. "James is a world class artist in high demand!" says Buckley. "We are so fortunate that he has agreed to add this engagement to his already busy schedule. His voice and artistry are sublime, and I am excited that we will be able to present him in Austin."
Valenti adds, "I'm thrilled to make my debut in Austin and perform this role in my first fully staged production. I look forward to collaborating with Maestro Richard Buckley."
The New Jersey native made his professional debut at age 25 at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma where he played Rodolfo in the Franco Zeffirelli production of "La Bohème." Since his debut, he has scored one triumphal role after another and has had the opportunity to perform in many of the most celebrated citadels of opera in the world, including Teatro alla Scala Milan, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House London, Opera National de Paris, Sydney Opera House, Opera House Munich, Salzburg Festival, Deutsche Opera Berlin, San Francisco Opera and Opernhaus Zürich.
He has showcased his vocal ability and acting versatility in a variety of roles such as Alfredo Germont in "La Traviata," Duke of Mantua in "Rigoletto," Lt. Pinkerton in "Madama Butterfly," Maurizio in "Adriana Lecouvreur," Edgardo in "Lucia di Lammermoor," Werther in "Werther," Roméo in "Roméo et Juliette" and Doctor Faust in "Faust." Valenti has also had the pleasure of working alongside some of the greatest opera voices and maestros in the industry, including Anna Netrebko, Angela Gheorghiu, Dimitri Hvorostovsky, Thomas Hampson, Simon Keenlyside, Placido Domingo, Leo Nucci, Maestro Gustavo Dudamel, Maestro Antonio Pappano, Maestro Daniele Gatti and Maestro Carlo Rizzi to name a few.
Valenti has received a number of accolades in his young career including the New York City Opera's Outstanding Debut Artist Award in 2008, the Maria Callas Debut Artist Award in 2009 and the Richard Tucker Award in 2010. Valenti also gives of his time and funds to many organizations close to his heart such as Children International, UNICEF, Greenpeace, PBS and NPR.
Valenti recently took on the challenging title role in Verdi's "Don Carlos" at the Caramoor Festival in July, which The New York Times noted his "dark-centered, expressive tenor."
Currently, Valenti is expanding his musical repertoire and preparing for a number of exciting roles. In March of 2014, he will be making his debut as Italian film star, Rudolph Valentino in the new biographical opera, "Dream of Valentino." He is also scheduled to perform as Cavaradossi in "Tosca," Don Jose in "Carmen" and will be singing in some fantastic venues such as the Lyric Opera House of Chicago and will make his triumphant return to the Metropolitan Opera as he performs in "Madama Butterfly" in April 2014.