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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.

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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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Franco Vassallo wurde in Mailand geboren und entdeckte seine große Leidenschaft für klassische Musik und Oper bereits sehr früh.

Noch während seiner Schulzeit wurde er, in den Gängen der Schule singend, von einem Lehrer entdeckt, der sein außergewöhnliches Talent erkannte. Er stellte ihn seinem Vater, dem vom großen Carlo Tagliabue unterrichteten Bariton Carlo Meliciani vor.

Der begeisterte Meliciani begann Franco zu und ermutigt ihn sich in der inzwischen Claudio Abbado gewidmeten Musikschule in Mailand einzuschreiben.

Voller Leidenschaft für humanistische Studien kombiniert Vassallo sein Musikstudium mit Literatur und Philosophie an der Universität Mailand.

Die Liebe zur Operndramaturgie und dem Bewusstsein, wie schauspielerische Fähigkeiten die Ausstrahlung der Bühnencharaktere intensivieren können, führt Vassallo zu intensive Studien der Stanislavski-Methode.

1994 gewann er den internationalen Wettbewerb As.Li.Co in Mailand mit seinen Darstellungen als David in Mascagnis L‘AMICO FRITZ und Belcore in Donizettis L’ELISIR D‘AMORE.

Sein Sieg beim Wettbewerb der Arena Verona 1997 brachte ihm die Rolle des Ford in Verdis FALSTAFF mit Renato Bruson in der Titelrolle. Auf diese folgte wiederum eine Rolle in Rossinis IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA am Teatro La Fenice in Venedig. Es war sein erster Figaro.

Sein außerordentlicher Erfolg öffnete ihm die Türen zu den großen Häusern der Welt und machten ihn für viele Jahre einen Referenz-Figaro.

Außerdem debütierte er eine Vielzahl an Rollen wie etwa Lord Enrico Ashton in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR und Sharpless in MADAMA BUTTERFLY zusammen mit Raina Kabaivanska.

In den darauffolgenden Jahren interpretierte er Bellini, Donizetti und sein restliches breit gefächertes Repertoire am Teatro alla Scala Mailand, der Wiener Staatsoper und der Metropolitan Opera New York unter 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 frühen Jahren seiner Karriere experimentierte er mit Rolle des Verdi-Repertoire, wohlwissend, dass er sich diese Phase für die spätere stimmliche Reife und dabei stets die Aspekte der alten italienischen Schule des „ canto sul fiato“ im Kopf bewahren muss.

Heute ist Vassallo, trotz seiner Treue gegenüber seinen Belcanto-Anfängen, ein vielfach gerühmter Interpret von Rollen wie SIMON BOGGANEGRA, RIGOLETTO, MACBETH, NABUCCO, LA FORZA DEL DESTINO (Don Carlos), OTELLO (Jago), LA TRAVIATA (Germont), ERNANI (Don Carlos), ATTILA (Ezio), UN BALLO IN MASCHERA (Renato) und DON CARLO (Rodrigo) an Häusern wie dem Teatro alla Scala, der Opèra de Paris, der Bayerischen Staatsoper München, der Deutschen Oper und der Staatsoper Berlin, der Wiener Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zürich, Metropolitan Opera in New York oder dem Royal Opera House in London.

2018 wird er an der Hamburgischen Staatsoper sein Debüt als Scarpia in TOSCA geben.

Als letzter Nachkomme des Marquis von Brignano in Tortona wurde Franco Vassallo vor kurzem als Ritter des Rechts in die spanische Adelsgesellschaft „Capitulo Noble de Fernando VI“ sowie als königliche Wache Seiner königlichen Hoheit, dem Herzog von Braganza, Thronfolger von Portugal, willkommen geheißen.

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