Digital Recital Series

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The Opera Festival of Chicago is excited to announce our new online series of digital recitals showcasing the amazing talent that will be part of the festival.

Our first event will be May 21st and the video will be released at 6:00pm CST.


P. Mascagni: Ed anche Beppe amò, from L’amico Fritz – Gioavnni Formisano, tenor
G. Verdi: Dall’infame banchetto/Tu del mio Carlo, from I Masnadieri- Valeria Rodriguez, soprano
G. Verdi: Dio di Giuda, from Nabucco – Franco Pomponi, baritone
Join us on May 21st to watch the premiere on!
Performers include:
Giovanni Formisano, tenor

A native of Torre del Greco (Naples) Italy mr Formisano began his vocal training here in the US and was quickly recognized for his sense of legato and also for specializing in the Classical Neapolitan repertoire. Winner of the “Talents of the World” voice competition in Boston MA, mr Formisano was featured in a tribute concert in honor of world renowned baritone Dimitri Hvorostovsky at Carnegie Hall, alongside the world recognized mezzo soprano Nino Surguladze and many others.
Roles and concerts include Soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, Don Josè in Carmen by G. Bizet with the Commonwealth Lyric Theater,
the Solo Tenor in “the Verdi Requiem” with the Paul Madore Chorale and Salem orchestra in Salem MA, Alfredo in “la Traviata” by G. Verdi with Opera Providence, The Young Gypsy in “Aleko by S. Rachmaninoff with the Commonwealth Lyric Theater, Camille in F. Lehar’s “The Merry WidoW” with Opera Providence and Rodolfo in G. Puccini’s “La Boheme” with Boston Opera Collaborative. Mr. Formisano’s past roles Soloist in “Beethoven 9th Symphony” with Amherst College in Amherst MA, (Nemorino) in G. Donizzetti’s
Elisir D’amore with Center

City Opera in Philadelphia and Opera del West, (Arturo) in G. Donizzetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor with Commonwealth Opera,
(Cavaradossi) in G.Puccini’s Tosca with the Lowell House Opera, (Pong) in G.Puccini’s Turandot with the Connecticut Grand Opera and Lowell House Opera, (Spoletta) in G.Puccini’s Tosca with the Cape Cod Opera and the role of (Ruggero) in G.Puccini’s La Rondine with the Longy school of music.

Franco Pomponi, baritone

The expressive beauty and powerful virility of internationally acclaimed baritone and Chicago-native, Franco Pomponi, has brought him to many of the world’s most prestigious opera houses and concert halls. He trained at the Juilliard Opera Center under Frank Corsaro and was awarded the prestigious DeRosa Prize. After, he joined the elite Lyric Opera of Chicago Young Artists Center.
His European debut came as Hamlet at the Liceu in Barcelona. That same season he created a sensation as Pentheus in The Bassarids of Henze at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris which brought him worldwide acclaim. Franco’s Chicago debut was as Germont in La Traviata with the Grant Park Symphony.
He has sung over 60 roles gracing the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, L.A. Opera, New York City Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Spoleto Festival, San Diego, Boston, Dallas, Bolshoi Moscow, Opernhaus Zürich, Grand Theatre Geneva, Lausanne, Opéra Comique, Royal Theatre Versailles, Montpellier, Opéra Nice, Opéra du Rhin Strasbourg, Tours, Vichy, Den Haag, Rotterdam, Teatro Massimo Palermo, Cagliari, Madrid, Greek National Opera, Hungarian State Opera, Budapest, Finnish National Opera, and many others. His Carnegie Hall debut was with the Philadelphia Orchestra as a soloist in the Eighth Symphony of Mahler and has also appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Orchestre du Paris, Orchestre Radio France, Qatar Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble, Orquesta Nacional de España.
Valeria Rodriguez, soprano

Valeria Rodríguez, soprano, is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina. This season, she will sing Countess in Le nozze di Figaro and Kate Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly for the Mediterranean Opera Studio and Festival in Sicily. She will also sing Magda de Civry in La Rondine with Varna International Opera Academy in Bulgaria.

Last summer, Ms. Rodriguez sang Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro and Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte with Manhattan Opera Studio. She was also a soloist in a Carnegie Hall concert with MOS.

Ms. Rodriguez has participated in “The Naked Voice Institute” at the Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois in 2016 and 2017. There she studied with W. Stephen Smith and Gene B. Roberts, and performed selections from Manon and La Traviata in the closing gala concert at Mary B. Galvin Hall.

A current voice student of W. Stephen Smith, Ms. Rodriguez has coached with Carol Mannen Smith, Ken Smith, Damian Roger, Susana Cardonnet and G. A. Ópitz. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of the Arts, U.N.A. in Buenos Aires major in Voice where she studied with Professor Eduardo Cogorno, specialist in Spanish music.

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