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Franco Vassallo is a native of Milan where at a very early age he discovered his great enthusiasm for Opera and Classical music.

His unusual singing talent was spotted by a teacher at school who heard him singing in the corridors. The teacher was able to introduce him to his father, the baritone Carlo Meliciani , who had studied singing with the great Carlo Tagliabue and who then became Vassallo’s teacher. Meliciani encouraged him to attend the Civic School of Music in Milan (which is nowadays dedicated to the memory of Claudio Abbado).

Vassallo understood that a developed artist must have broad interests, so later he devoted himself to the study of Literature and Philosophy at the State University of Milan. He was also aware of how very important is the dramatic structure of Opera and how much acting skills can contribute to the intensity of the art form. Accordingly he devoted much time to the study of Stanislavski’s Method.

His singing career really took off in 1994 when he won the international singing competition ‘As. Li. Co’ in Milan.

In 1997 he won the competition for the Verona Arena to sing Ford alongside Renato Bruson in Verdi’s Falstaff.

These performances quickly led on to an outstanding success in the title role in Rossini’s Barber of Seville. For a number of years Vassallo was the performer of choice in that role almost everywhere.

In the following years he specialised in the bel canto roles of Donizetti and Bellini that took him to la Scala Milan, the Staatsoper Vienna, and the Metropolitan Opera New York.
He performed under the baton of such maestri as Riccardo Chailly, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Daniel Harding, James Levine, Nello Santi, Jeffrey Tate, James Conlon, Fabio Luisi, Daniel Oren, Anton Guadagno, Marco Armiliato, Marcello Viotti, Michele Mariotti, and Gianandrea Noseda.

He worked as well with great directors as Robert Carsen, David McVicar, Hugo De Ana, Gianfranco De Bosio, Giancarlo Del Monaco, Claus Guth, Denis Krief, Christof Loy, Ermanno Olmi, Pierluigi Pizzi, Toni Servillo, Bartlett Sher, Ferruccio Soleri, Graham Vick, and Franco Zeffirelli.

In his more mature years Vassallo has stayed true to his belcanto roots while developing his career as an interpreter of the great Verdi baritone roles which include Simon Boccanegra, Attila, Un Ballo in Maschera, Don Carlo, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Nabucco, Otello, Il Trovatore and La Forza del Destino, with performances in all the great Opera Houses of the world.

In 2018 he will interpret Scarpi in Puccini’s Tosca for the first time at the Hamburgisches Staatsoper.

Franco Vassallo happens to be the last descendant of the Marquis of Brignano in Tortona and as such he was recently invested as Knight of Justice in the Spanish noblemen’s association “Capitulo Noble de Fernando VI“, and as Royal Guard of His Royal Highness the Duke of Braganza, the Pretender to the throne of Portugal.


Franco Vassallo es originario de Milán, donde a muy temprana edad descubrió su gran entusiasmo por la ópera y la música clásica. Su inusual talento de canto fue descubierto por un maestro en la escuela que lo escuchó cantar en los pasillos. El maestro pudo presentarlo a su padre, el barítono Carlo Meliciani, que había estudiado canto con el gran Carlo Tagliabue y que luego se convirtió en el maestro de Vassallo. Meliciani lo alentó a asistir a la Escuela Cívica de Música en Milán (que hoy se dedica a la memoria de Claudio Abbado).

Vassallo entendió que un artista desarrollado debe tener intereses amplios, por lo que luego se dedicó al estudio de la Literatura y la Filosofía en la Universidad Estatal de Milán. También era consciente de lo importante que es la estructura dramática de la Ópera y de cuántas habilidades de actuación pueden contribuir a la intensidad de la forma del arte. En consecuencia, dedicó mucho tiempo al estudio del Método de Stanislavski.

Su carrera como cantante realmente despegó en 1994 cuando ganó el concurso de canto internacional ““ en Milán. En 1997 actúa junto a Renato Bruson en la Arena de Verona interpretando a Ford en la ópera Falstaff de G.Verdi.

Estas actuaciones rápidamente le llevaron a un éxito sobresaliente en el papel principal del Barbero de Sevilla de G. Rossini. Durante varios años, Vassallo fue seleccionado por numerosos teatros para interpretar este rol.

En los años siguientes se especializó en los papeles de bel canto de Donizetti y Bellini que lo llevaron a la Scala de Milán, al Staatsoper de Viena y al Metropolitan Opera de Nueva York.

Ha actuado bajo la batuta de maestros tales como Riccardo Chailly, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Daniel Harding, James Levine, Nello Santi, Jeffrey Tate, James Conlon, Fabio Luisi, Daniel Oren, Anton Guadagno, Marco Armiliato, Marcello Viotti, Michele Mariotti , y Gianandrea Noseda.

También ha trabajado junto a grandes directores como Robert Carsen, David McVicar, Hugo De Ana, Gianfranco De Bosio, Giancarlo Del Monaco, Claus Guth, Denis Krief, Christof Loy, Ermanno Olmi, Pierluigi Pizzi, Toni Servillo, Bartlett Sher, Ferruccio Soleri, Graham Vick y Franco Zeffirelli.

En sus años más maduros, Vassallo se ha mantenido fiel a sus raíces bel cantistas mientras desarrolla su carrera como intérprete de los grandes papeles de barítono verdianos, que incluyen a Simon Boccanegra, Attila, Un Ballo en Maschera, Don Carlo, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Nabucco, Otello, Il Trovatore y La Forza del Destino, con actuaciones en todas las grandes casas de ópera del mundo. En 2018 debutará el rol de Scarpia en Tosca de Puccini por primera vez en la Ópera de Hambuergo. Sus próximos compromisos incluyen también Falstaff (Ford) en la Opera Nacional de París, Ernani (Don Carlos) en Riga, rol titular de Rigoletto en Frankfurt, Lucrezia Borgia (Don Alfonso) en Munich y Otello (Jago) en Hamburgo.

Franco Vassallo fue el último descendiente del Marqués de Brignano en Tortona y como tal fue investido recientemente como Caballero de la Justicia en la asociación de nobles españoles “Capítulo Noble de Fernando VI” y como Real Guardia de Su Alteza Real el Duque de Braganza, el pretendiente al trono de Portugal.


Franco Vassallo, gebürtiger Mailänder, entdeckt sehr früh seine Leidenschaft für Oper und klassische Musik.

Als Gymnasiast singt er in den Gängen seiner Schule eine Arie. Ein Professor hört es zufällig und entdeckt Vassallos außerordentliche Stimme. Er stellt ihn seinem Vater Carlo Meliciani vor, Bariton an der Mailänder Scala und Schüler des großen Carlo Tagliabue.

Meliciani ist begeistert und akzeptiert Vassallo als Schüler; er ermutigt ihn auch zum Eintritt in die Städtische Musikschule, die heute den Namen von Claudio Abbado trägt.

Aufgrund seiner Leidenschaft für humanistische Studien kombiniert Vassallo seine musikalische Laufbahn mit dem Studium von Literatur und Philosophie an der Staatlichen Universität Mailand.

Die Liebe zur Operndramaturgie und die Erkenntnis, dass schauspielerische Fähigkeiten zur Intensivierung der Ausstrahlung der Bühnencharaktere beitragen, motivieren Vassallo zu intensiven Studien der Stanislavski-Methode.

Im Alter von zwanzig Jahren gewinnt er 1994 in Mailand den prestigereichen Wettbewerb As.Li.Co., demzufolge er in den Opernhäusern der Lombardei in den Rollen des David in Mascagnis L’amico Fritz und des Belcore in Donizettis L‘elisir d’amore auftritt.

Im Jahre 1997 interpretiert er als Gewinner des von der Arena in Verona veranstalteten Wettbewerbs die Rolle des Ford in Giuseppe Verdis Falstaff, an der Seite von Renato Bruson, der die Titelrolle singt.

Dieser erfolgreiche Auftritt bringt ihm sofort die Verpflichtung für den Barbiere di Siviglia im Theater La Fenice von Venedig. Es ist sein erster Figaro!

Sein Erfolg ist enorm und öffnet ihm die Türen der großen Opernhäuser der Welt, jahrelang ist Franco Vassallo der Inbegriff des Figaro.

In der Zwischenzeit debütiert er in verschiedenen Rollen, wie etwa Lord Enrico Ashton in Lucia di Lammermoor und Sharpless in Madama Butterfly mit Raina Kabaivanska.

In den darauffolgenden Jahren singt er in Opern von Bellini, Donizetti und in anderen Werken seines reichen Repertoirs an der Mailänder Scala, an der Wiener Staatsoper, an der Metropolitan Opera in New York, unter der Leitung von großen Dirigenten wie Riccardo Chailly, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Daniel Harding, James Levine, Fabio Luisi, Anton Guadagno, Marco Armiliato, Marcello Viotti, Michele Mariotti, Gianandrea Noseda, Daniel Oren, Nello Santi, Jeffrey Tate, James Conlon…

Schon in den ersten Jahren seiner Karriere trat er in mehreren Rollen des Verdi-Repertoirs auf, im vollen Bewusstsein, dass sie ihm vor allem nach Erreichung der stimmlichen Reife großen Erfolg garantieren würden, nach den Gesetzen der traditionellen italienischen Schule des „Canto sul fiato.“

Da er der Tradition des Belcanto immer treu blieb, ist Vassallo heute ein geschätzter Interpret in den Opern Simone Boccanegra, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Nabucco, La Forza del destino, Otello, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Ernani, Attila, Un ballo in maschera, Don Carlo…Er singt diese Rollen mit großem Publikumserfolg in Opernhäusern wie Mailänder Scala, Opera de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper München, Deutsche Oper und Staatsoper Berlin, Wiener Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zürich, Metropolitan Opera New York, Royal Opera House London….

Im Jahre 2018 gibt er sein Debüt in einer großen Rolle des Verismus: er wird Scarpia in Tosca in der Hamburgischen Staatsoper interpretieren.

Als letzter Nachkomme der Marchesi von Brignano in der Gegend der norditalienischen Stadt Tortona wurde Franco Vassallo kürzlich als „Ritter der Gerechtigkeit“ in die spanische Adelsgesellschaft „Capitulo Noble de Fernando VI“ aufgenommen, und ebenso als „Guardia Nobile“ seiner königlichen Hoheit des Herzogs von Braganza, Prätendent des Thrones von Portugal.


Franco Vassallo nasce a Milano e, giovanissimo, scopre la grande passione per la musica classica e l'opera lirica.

Ancora liceale, accennando un'aria per i corridoi della scuola, viene per caso udito dal Professore di Architettura che, intuendo la straordinaria predisposizione per il canto del ragazzo gli presenta il padre, il baritono scaligero Carlo Meliciani, a sua volta allievo del grande Carlo Tagliabue.

Meliciani, entusiasta, diventa il suo Maestro e lo sprona a frequentare anche la Civica Scuola di Musica di Milano, oggi dedicata a Claudio Abbado.

Grande appassionato di Scienze Umanistiche, Vassallo affianca lo studio della musica a quello della Letteratura e della Filosofia presso l'Università Statale di Milano.

L'amore per la drammaturgia operistica e la consapevolezza di quanto le doti attoriali possano arricchire l'intensità scenica dei personaggi, avvicinano il baritono allo studio del Metodo Stanislavskij che approfondisce con dedizione.

Poco più che ventenne, nel 1994, vince il prestigioso concorso As.Li.Co. di Milano, grazie al quale debutta, nei teatri del circuito lombardo i ruoli di David ne L'amico Fritz di Mascagni e di Belcore ne L'elisir d'amore di Donizetti.

Nel 1997 vince il Concorso indetto dall'Arena di Verona per interpretare il ruolo di Ford nel Falstaff di Verdi, al fianco di Renato Bruson nel ruolo del titolo.

La performance gli garantisce subito una scrittura per il Barbiere di Siviglia al Teatro La Fenice di Venezia.

È il suo primo Figaro.

Lo straordinario successo gli apre le porte dei più grandi teatri del mondo, facendo di lui, per diversi anni, un Barbiere di riferimento.

Debutta nel frattempo diversi ruoli quali Lord Enrico Ashton in Lucia di Lammermoor e Sharpless in Madama Butterfly al fianco di Raina Kabaivanska.

Negli anni successivi porta Bellini, Donizetti e il proprio vasto repertorio belcantistico alla Scala di Milano, alla Staatsoper di Vienna, al Metropolitan di New York sotto la direzione di Maestri quali: Riccardo Chailly, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Daniel Harding, James Levine, Fabio Luisi, Anton Guadagno, Marco Armiliato, Marcello Viotti, Michele Mariotti, Gianandrea Noseda, Daniel Oren, Nello Santi, Jeffrey Tate, James Conlon…

Già nei primi anni di carriera sperimenta alcuni ruoli del repertorio verdiano, sapendoli riservare però soprattutto alla fase della maturità vocale, fedele ai dettami dell'antica scuola italiana del "canto sul fiato".

Pur mantenendosi fedele alle sue origini belcantistiche, oggi Vassallo è infatti un acclamato interprete di Simon Boccanegra, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Nabucco, La Forza del destino, Otello, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Ernani, Attila, Un ballo in maschera, Don Carlo… che porta con successo in teatri quali: Teatro alla Scala, Opera de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper di Monaco, Deutsche Oper e Staatsoper di Berlino, Wiener Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zürich, Metropolitan Opera di New York, Royal Opera House di Londra…

Il 2018 vede il debutto in un grande ruolo verista: sarà infatti Scarpia nella Tosca dell'Hamburgische Staatsoper.

Ultimo discendente dei marchesi di Brignano nel tortonese, Franco Vassallo è stato recentemente accolto quale cavaliere di giustizia nell'associazione nobiliare spagnola "Capitulo Noble de Fernando VI" e quale Guardia Nobile di Sua Altezza Reale il Duca di Braganza, pretendente al trono del Portogallo.

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