Carlo Rizzi (conductor)

Carlo Rizzi (born 19 July 1960, Milan, Italy) is an Italian conductor.

Rizzi studied music at the Milan Conservatory. He later was a conducting student of Vladimir Delman, in Bologna, and with Franco Ferrara in Siena. His opera conducting debut was in 1982, with Donizetti's L'ajo nell'imbarazzo. In 1985, he won the first Toscanini Conductor's Competition in Parma.

Rizzi made his UK conducting debut at the 1988 Buxton Festival with Donizetti's Torquato Tasso, and subsequently conducted productions at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Opera North. In August 1992, he became music director of Welsh National Opera (WNO), and served in the post through 2001.[1] He learned to speak Welsh during his tenure.[2] In 2004, following the sudden resignation of Tugan Sokhiev, Rizzi's successor at WNO, Rizzi returned as WNO's music director, which was expected to be initially for a period of 2 years.[3] He remained in the post through 2007.[4]

In 2005 Rizzi conducted (filling in for the late Marcello Viotti) the Vienna Philharmonic in Willy Decker's new staging of La Traviata at the Salzburg Festival.[5] The role of Violetta was sung by Anna Netrebko, the tenor role Alfredo Germont was played by Rolando Villazón. The seven scheduled performances are said to have been heavily overbooked with tickets having been traded for more than 2000 Euros.[6] Whilst Netrebko and Villazón were reviewed largely positively by critics, some reviewers (of the live performance as well as of the recording) criticized Rizzi's conducting.[6][7]

Rizzi's recordings include an English-language version of Leoš Janáček's Káťa Kabanová (Chandos),[8] and a DVD set of La Traviata (Deutsche Grammophon).[9]


  1. Rupert Christiansen (2001-05-15). "Crunch time in Cardiff". Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
  2. Charlotte Higgins (2005-02-21). "Welsh opera has a home at last". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
  3. Charlotte Higgins (2004-08-21). "Welsh National Opera's music director quits after discord in company". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
  4. Vivien Schweitzer (2007-05-09). "Welsh National Opera Music Director Steps Down for Second Time". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
  5. George Loomis (2005-08-24). "'Traviata' soars at Salzburg". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  6. Eleonore Büning (2005-08-09). "Der schöne Tod". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  7. Robert Levine (2006-06-28). "Verdi: Traviata/Netrebko/Villazon DVD". Retrieved 2018-08-14.
  8. Tim Ashley (2007-10-12). "Janacek: Katya Kabanova, Barker/ Henschel/ Brubaker/ WNO Chorus and Orchestra/ Rizzi". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
  9. Tim Ashley (2005-11-25). "Verdi: La Traviata, Netrebko/ Villazon/ Hampson/ Vienna State Opera Chorus/ VPO/ Rizzi". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
Preceded by
Charles Mackerras
Music Director, Welsh National Opera
Succeeded by
Tugan Sokhiev
Preceded by
Tugan Sokhiev
Music Director, Welsh National Opera
Succeeded by
Lothar Koenigs
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