Crescendo Magazin – Massimo Giordano: “Totally free”
On his new album the Italian tenor Massimo Giordano sings about “Love and Pain”. Has he thus fulfilled his dream?A private conversation despite 650 miles away? With Skype it would be no problem – if Massimo Giordano would not have changed his plans. Because instead of staying with his laptop in Florence, where the Italian tenor had sung Verdi’s “Don Carlo” on the eve of the interview, at the Maggio Musicale under the baton of Zubin Mehta, he decided to drive to his family in Trieste after the performance. On the day of the appointment, ¾ of a day later he’s back on the road again with his packed suitcases, to drive back to Teatro Comunale in Florence for the next gig. “Frequent relocation is a necessary part of my work,” so commented the father of two children via mobile phone, who seems to be admittedly suffering from this balancing act between work and private life. And who rejoices if the distance is just as in this case “only a few hours in Italy,” “because otherwise one can easily feel like a sailor who is continuously far away from home, while the kids are getting bigger in his absence.” But in no case he wants to renounce his about 40 to 60 shows per year, to which his wife Alexandrina and their children only rarely accompany him. His enthusiasm for all is far too to big, finally being able to shine on the place which always seemed “unreachable” for him: the opera stage.
“My father was passionate about singing Neapolitan folk songs. That was all that I received as musical base from my family who lived a moderate live”, recalls Giordano, born in 1971 in Pompeii, near Naples. A “new world” opened to him as senior Giordano gave up his job as a stonemason in a southern Italian marble factory and became a caretaker at the Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Tartini in Trieste. Because there were free places in the flute classes, Massimo first learned this instrument. By chance he discovered his true talent with 18: “A fellow Czech pianist encouraged me to try my voice with his piano accompaniment. His only comment was, “You must, must, must go on with it”. What followed was a series of “happy coincidences” and on the other hand the result of a lot of “sweat and sacrifice”. After applying to the singing class, to which he came unprepared and won a place against nearly 100 competitors, Giordano graduated as ambitiously as attending singing competitions, which were rewarded with first engagements. Step by step those engagements brought him closer to a repertoire he is singing now, especially to Belcanto, which for the first time he is now presenting on his CD.
“The Albun is called Amore e Tormento” which since early May is produced by BMG and sold by Naxos, as his debut album with arias of the Italian composers Francesco Cilea, Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, Umberto Giordano and Amilcare Ponchielli. “The 14 selected pieces from ‘Manon Lescaut’ to ‘Tosca’ and ‘Simon Boccanegra’ to ‘Turandot’ show in a kind of dramatic development feelings like jealousy, revenge and madness which love is accompanied by” Giordano explains his artistic concept. He developed it in “total freedom” and very consciously concentrated on the “Italian way” because he didn’t want to move too far away from tradition and his roots. Content wise as well as vocally Giordano has developed a range he feels comfortable with. And with which he wants to reach a different audience, than his usual one which hangs on his lips worldwide. “Dolce notte misteriosa” is the bonus track from the wonderful ‘Marcella’ from the opera of his namesake Giordano, of which the director Marisa Crawford made a film on the Amalfi Coast near Naples. “With this video, I want to show a new approach to opera, which is supposed to present me in a different way as the classical tenor,” said Giordano, who with a nicely trimmed stubble and semi long black gelled hair, dreams of a seductive beauty and who drives with her out to the sea and at the end leaved with her on a Vespa, all in black and white images of the 50s.
Apart from this excursion (see his website www.massimogiordano.com), he feel very connected to the field he is coming from: On the 19th and 21st of June, he will sing at the Deutsche Oper Berlin Attila in the Opera “Foresto” and from the 3rd to 12th September Alfredo in “La Traviata” at the Vienna State Opera, which is followed in December 2013 and January 2014, by a series as Cavaradossi in “Tosca” at the Bavarian and the Vienna State Opera.
He only has respect for his most important asset, his voice, “We are our own instrument and thus very fragile,” he knows from his long experience. His plan is to take care of himself and of his exceptional voice. While continuing to work on the fulfillment of yet unfulfilled dreams: “With ‘Amore e Tormento’ I was able to realize a long-cherished dream,” said Massimo Giordano happily. Now he’s only missing the matching concert tour.