Riccardo Angelo Strano - Countertenor
Italian countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano was born in Catania in 1988 and he graduated in Opera Singing at the prestigious Royal Conservatoire of The Hague (Holland) in 2012, after having began singing and hobo studies at Musical Institute “Vincenzo Bellini” in Catania.
He faced his operatic debut in 2009, at only 21 years old, in the opera Agrippina by G.F.Haendel, with the role of Nero, at the Koninklijke Schouwburg in The Hague (Holland) and at L. Pavarotti Theater in Moderna (Italy).
Among his recent most successful debuts with audiences and critics can be counted the concert at Queen Marie Antoinette Theatre for the Festival Chateau de Versailles (2016), the recital Heroes y Amantes for the “Countertenors from the World” Festival held by Oficina Leo Brower where he also was a jury member at the “Secundo Certamen Mundial de Contratenores”(La Habana, Cuba - 2016); the recital at the Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara in Mexico (2015) and the operatic roles performed at the Festival della Valle d’Itria of Martina Franca: Bacco / Tirsi in Bacchanali by A. Steffani (2016), Acheloo in La lotta d’Ercole con Acheloo by A. Steffani and Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice by C.W. Gluck (2014).
He collaborated with conductors such as Alessandro De Marchi, Jonathan Webb, Hilary Griffiths, Alevtina Ioffe, Hernan Schwartzman, Stefano De Micheli, Francesco Cilluffo and with stage directors as Laurie Feldman, Juliette Dechamps, Rudolf Frey, Floris Visser, Chiara Muti, Benedetto Sicca, Maria Paola Viano, singing at the side of artists like Sonia Prina, Jessica Pratt, Sara Mingardo, Maria Grazia Schiavo, Giorgio Caoduro.
He has been regularly invited to perform in important auditoriums and festivals in Italy and abroad such as the Tonhalle in Zurich and the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern for the Festival der Jungen Stimmen 2014, Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma (role of the Spirit in Dido and Aeneas by H.Purcell), Teatro Regio di Torino (Nireno in Giulio Cesare in Egitto by G.F.Haendel), Copenhagen Renaissance Music Festival, Teatro GB Pergolesi in Jesi (The Innocent in L’Arlesiana by F. Cilea), Luglio Musicale Trapanese (Medoro in Orlando G.F.Haendel), Early Music Centre Pietà de ‘Turchini in Naples (Palaemone in Gli Orti Esperidi by N.Porpora ), Teatro Massimo “V. Bellini “in Catania (Swan in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and unique soloist in La Nona, dal caos il corpo, new contemporary production of Zappala Dance Company, replicated at the Teatro” A. Ponchielli “in Cremona), International Baroque Festival “Magie Barocche” (Catania), Festival Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, Grandezze&Meraviglie Festival in Modena, Ravenna Festival 2021 Dante (Sicut Umbra by L. Dallapiccola). In addition, among the sacred music repertoire, he performed Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater in Genova with the Ensemble Solisti di Genova, going so far even to Rossini’s Stabat Mater (soprano II) in Florence, directed by Paolo Ponziano Ciardi.
The intent of promoting baroque repertoire in his land, Sicily, brought him to sing for the main concerts’ associations of the isle: in 2014, with the Baroque Ensemble Les Elements, he performed in a concert tour in Catania for the Associazione Musicale Etnea, in Palermo for the Association for Early Music Antonio il Verso, in Messina for the Filarmonica Laudanum and in Trapani for Amici della Musica and he debuted in Catania Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus; he also played the role of Medoro in the Orlando by G.F.Haendel for the Luglio Musicale Trapanese Opera Festival, and in 2015 he presented, for the Società Catanese Amici della Musica, a solo recital of arias written for the famous castrato Farinelli, obtaining a great success.
In September 2016, the British label Toccata Classics, released his first solo CD, a world premiere recording of cantatas and ariettas for solo voice and continuo composed by Nicola Fago (1677-1745) and performed with the Santa Teresa dei Maschi Baroque Ensemble (Bari, Italy). Future releasing include L ‘Arlesiana by F.Cilea (for Dynamic, July 2015) and the upcoming La lotta d’Ercole con Acheloo by A. Steffani (for Bongiovanni) and Baccanali by A. Steffani (for Dynamic).
Among the prizes obtained: II prize at the the International Baroque Singing Competition “F.Provenzale” organized by the Early Music Center Pietà de’ Turchini (Neaples, 2012); Best Singer Prize for two consecutive years at the baroque singing masterclass held by Sonia Prina, his actual teacher (Bari, Italy– 2013/2014); “Honorary distinction” at the VII International Baroque Singing Competition “Principe Francesco Maria Ruspoli” organized by the “Centro Studi Santa Giacinta Marescotti” in Vignanello (Italy, 2015); III prize at the XVIII International Competition for Opera Singers “Città di Alcamo” (Italy, 2015); Special Prize “National Forum of Music & Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra” at the 3rd International Early Music Vocal Competition “Canticum Gaudium” in Poznan (Poland, 2015). Moreover, he was a finalist at International Sacred Music Vocal Competition in Rome (2011) and at the International Baroque Singing Competition in Froville (France, 2015).
Future engagements include: debut of the role of Ruggiero in the opera Alcina by G.F.Haendel al Luglio Musicale Trapanese Opera Festival (Trapani, November 2016); concert in Wroclaw (Poland) at the National Forum of Music, with Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra (December 2016); soloist in F.Cavalli Requiem conducted by Leonardo Garcia Alarcon at Festival de Namur (Belgium, March and July 2017); soloist in La Nona, dal caos il corpo by Compagnia Zappala Danza at Teatro Comunale in Bologna (September 2017).