Marcello Giordani, the Italian opera tenor, has died at the age of 56 following a heart attack in his hometown of Augusta, Sicily. Giordani’s passed away on October 5.
Giordani made his operatic debut in 1986 as the Duke in “Rigoletto” at the Festival de Due Mondi at the Spoleto festival in Milan. Giordani made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1993 as Nemorino in “L’Elisir D’Amore.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Giordani Is Survived by His Wife Wilma
In 2007, the Met’s general manager Peter Gelb called Giordani one the famed opera houses “most important singers.”
2. Reports in Sicily Say that Giordani Suffered a Heart Attack After Eating Lunch
Siracusa News in Sicily reports that Giordani suffered a heart attack after eating lunch with his family. A helicopter ambulance was dispatched to the scene but responders were unable to revive Giordani.
Italian politician Fabio Granata told Siracusa News, “With Marcello Giordani a star of the first magnitude of Italian opera disappears and a dear and affectionate friend. He gave our Syracuse special moments only a few weeks ago and not only at the Greek Theater with an unforgettable Turandot but also with concerts generously donated to the citizens of Mazzarrona and Piazza Archimede. This is a very serious loss and a serious loss for all of us.”
3. Giordani Established a Foundation to Help Young Singers in 2010
In 2010, Giordani established the Marcello Giordani Foundation. The charity aims to financially support young singers. According to the foundation’s website, “Under the guidance of Marcello Giordani, the Foundation will establish, organize and sponsor master classes, seminars, and summer programs in the U.S and abroad, as well as provide encouragement, training opportunities, career assistance and financial support, including scholarships and awards, to promising and talented young singers.”
In 2008, Giordani performed at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. Giordani sang with Salvatore Licitra and Ramon Vargas during the performance.
4. Giordani’s Father ‘Loved Opera’ & Hoped His Son Would Be a Singer
Giordani told the Los Angeles Times in January 1998 that he was 19 years old when his parents encouraged him to leave his job at a bank to study opera in Milan. During the interview, Giordani spoke about his debut in 1986 saying, “They applauded me because I was the winner and I was young. But inside I knew it was not really good. I was 22 years old. My technique was not so good. The Duke’s role is very, very difficult. But inside I knew it was not really good. I was 22 years old. My technique was not so good. The Duke’s role is very, very difficult.”
In a 2007 interview in the New York Times, Giordani said his father “loved opera.” The tenor continued saying, “He heard me singing all the time when I was a kid. Maybe he always dreamed that one of his sons would be an artist… God smiled on me in every sense. I was born a tenor.”
Giordani said in the same interview that he met his wife in 1988 while singing in Lucerne.
5. Giordani Is Being Mourned as One of Opera’s Greats on Social Media
As news of Giordani’s death spread, fans and fellow singers took to social media to express their condolences. Here are some of the most poignant tributes: