“Cristiano Cremonini has a timber recalling that of the young Pavarotti”
Stephen Hastings – Music
Cristiano Cremonini (1974) is an Italian tenor born in Bologna. Ever since childhood he has shown striking skills in drawing, painting and music. He began taking private piano classes, and at the age of seventeen he was admitted to opera classes at the G. B. Martini Conservatory in Bologna.
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Upon receiving the Scientific High School Leaving Certificate, he continued studying opera at the Singing Academy of Maestro Angelo Bertacchi. At the same time he enrolled in the courses held at the Faculty of Drama, Arts and Music Studies (DAMS) with a specialisation in music, and he also was admitted at the Scenic Design courses at the Bologna School of Fine Arts. At twenty-one years of age he made his professional opera debut in Verdi’s Don Carlo at Teatro Sociale of Mantova (Araldo Reale).
Initially his repertoire encompassed eighteenth century music. Then gradually it stretched to the whole nineteenth century music spectrum and to twentieth century and contemporary music. His main roles are as follows: Rinaldo in Galuppi’s Il Filosofo di Campagna, Paolino in Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto, Arbace in Mozart’s Idomeneo (at the Opéra de Vichy), Almaviva in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and Nemorino in Rossini’s L’elisir d’amore, Arturo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (at the Zurich Opera House) and Beppe in Donizetti’s Rita (at the Ópera de Vigo), Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata (at the Siri Fort Theatre in New Delhi), Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff and Cassio in Verdi’s Otello (at the Royal Opera of Wallonia in Liège), Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème (at the Stadttheater St Gallen), Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Edmondo in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut (Puccini Festival at Torre del Lago), Prunier in Puccini’s La Rondine (at Teatro Politeama Palermo) and Pang in Puccini’s Turandot (at Circuito Lirico Lombardo), Arlecchino in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, l’Innocente in Musorgskij’s Boris Godunov (at Teatro Comunale in Bologna), Tanzmeister in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos (at the Royal Opera of Wallonia in Liège), Camille de Rossillon in Franz Lehár’s Die Lustige Witwe, Chevalier de la Force in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites (at Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania), and Commendatore in Rota’s La notte di un nevrastenico (at Teatro Sociale of Como).
He has sang Puccini Senior’s oratorio Il martirio di San Valentino (1754) for the first time in contemporary times, Michael Haydn’s Requiem in Do Minore, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (at the Gran Teatro de Córdoba, next to soprano Mariola Cantarero). He made his debut with Verdi’s Messa di Requiem at the Main Lecture Hall of La Sapienza University in Rome; later he sang the Messa at the Municipal Theatre of São Paulo in Brazil next to soprano Carmen Giannattasio. He also made a world debut with John Debney’s The Passion of Christ Symphony (based on the famous soundtrack from Mel Gibson’s film) at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, interpreting the voice of Christ.
Theatres & Artistic Joint Ventures
He has worked with main theatres and concert halls such as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden, the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, the Municipal Theatre of São Paulo in Brazil, the Monnaie Theatre in Brussels, the Bunka Kaikan of Tokyo, the Teatro Massimo “Vincenzo Bellini” in Catania, the Gran Teatro de Córdoba, the Carlo Felice Theatre in Genova, The Royal Opera of Wallonia in Liège, La Scala Theatre in Milan, the Teatro Regio in Parma, the Opera House in Rome, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Stadttheater of San Gallo, the Opéra de Vichy and the Opera House of Zurich.
He has worked with several orchestra conductors such as Maurizio Arena, Paolo Arrivabeni, Maurizio Benini, Massimo de Bernart, Daniele Gatti, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Paolo Olmi, Kazushi Ono, Renato Palumbo, and Ralf Weikert. He has also worked with opera stage directors such as Irina Brook, Robert Carsen, Alberto Fassini, Micha Van Hoecke, Davide Livermore, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Maurizio Scaparro, Toni Servillo, Bob Wilson, and Franco Zeffirelli.
He has performed in recitals and concerts in various venues such as the Teatro Comunale of Bologna halls, the Teatro Auditorium Manzoni in Bologna, in La Pergola, in Palazzo Pitti and Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, in the Auditorium Conciliazione in Rome and at the Teatro Comunale in Modena. He has worked with singers such as Patrizia Ciofi, Mariella Devia, Cinzia Forte, Mirella Freni, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Elena Mosuc, Leo Nucci and Michele Pertusi.
CDs and World First Recording of Old Arias
In April 2009 he launched his first record at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna. The CD, whose title is “Quel Lontano Canto Era d’Amore”, is a compilation of chamber and opera arias composed in Bologna at the end of the nineteenth century, recorded in a CD (Edizioni Bongiovanni) and thereby launched to a wide audience for the first time in history.
In 2013 he made a successful national debut as Don Sandrino Ferraù (leading role) in Giorgio Battistelli’s contemporary opera Divorzio all’Italiana directed by David Pountney at the Teatro Comunale of Bologna; this opera was based on Pietro Germi’s famous film of the same name, with Marcello Mastroianni as protagonist. In December that year he sang Verdi’s Inno delle Nazioni at the Auditorium Paganini in Parma, from the concert “Giuseppe Verdi nell’Italia del Risorgimento” by the Toscanini Foundation with Philip Gossett as speaker.
In the spring of 2015 will be the artistic director and host of the closing concert of the 63 th National Congress of Lions Clubs, to be held at the Teatro Manzoni in Bologna.
In May of 2015 he will be Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore at the Royal Opera of Wallonia in Liège under Bruno Campanella’s direction.
Commitments and official trips
Cremonini has been invited to be a delegate of Italian culture and arts in Italy and abroad during several important official events organised by authorities and institutions such as ministries, embassies and consulates in various cities such as, among others, Baghdad, Berlin, Brussels, Istanbul, Mumbai, New Delhi, Rome and São Paulo.
- 2004 Mumbai and New Delhi, India: “Verdi’s La traviata – Festa Italiana 2004” organised by the Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and by the Consulate General of Italy in Mumbai, before the former President of the Italian Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. Cremonini performed with Valeria Esposito and Paolo Coni, under Paolo Olmi’s direction. The opera staged at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre in Mumbai.
- 2006 Berlin, Germany: BDI 2006 National Industry Celebration (Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie) opening ceremony, held before President Angela Merkel.
- 2011 Brussels, Belgium: Christmas Concert organised by the Italian Embassy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Brussels as well as by the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development (ENEA).
- 2011 Istanbul, Turkey: “Italian gala – a soprano and three tenors” with soprano Cinzia Forte and tenors Giuseppe Talamo and Alessandro Liberatore at the theatre of the Italian Cultural Institute in Istanbul.
- 2011 São Paulo, Brazil: Verdi’s Requiem “Momento Italia/Brasile 2011-2012″ at the São Paulo Municipal Theatre with soprano Carmen Giannattasio and the Italian Embassy in Brazil.
- 2012 Baghdad, Iraq: “Culture, an Instrument of Peace”, held at the Iraqi National Theatre under the organisation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Minerva, in what constituted the very first delegation of Italian artists in Iraq after Saddam’s fall.
- 2012 Rome, Italy: at the Olympic Stadium of Rome, he sang with world-renowned soprano Katia Ricciarelli during the inauguration of the Italy-New Zealand match at the World Rugby Championship.
Debut in jazz and pop music
His vocal dexterity has allowed him to perform in numerous musical genres, regularly scoring success. This has allowed him to become a fully-fledged crossover artist.
In 2010 Andrea Mingardi invited Cremonini to sing Lucio Dalla’s extremely popular song Caruso next to renowned Italian pop artists such as Gianni Morandi, Lucio Dalla, Luca Carboni and Dodi Battaglia. The concert was the Maxiconcerto per la Basilica di Santo Stefano, a charitable event held at the Futurshow Station in Bologna (now known as Unipol Arena). National newspaper Il Resto del Carlino promoted the event, which aimed at raising funds to complete the restoration of the ancient basilica. In that occasion Cremonini met famous producer and composer Fio Zanotti with whom he began an intense artistic collaboration. He took part in numerous concerts along with Fio Zanotti, such as the 2013 Christmas Concert presented by famous presenter Paolo Bonolis at the Auditorium Conciliazione of Rome. There he sang Zanotti’s “Canto del sole inesauribile” song, obtaining vast success. The lyrics were by Pope Karol Wojtyła.
Assignments and project in the social and cultural sphere
In 2005 he is voted vice-president of the non-profit music association “Conoscere la Musica”, which has run concerts and festivals held at the Auditorium Sala Bossi of the Conservatory G. B. Martini in Bologna.
In 2006 he founds and becomes president of the “Progetto Cultura Teatro Guardassoni”, which is a cultural association that ensured the reopening of the ancient Bolognese “Alessandro Guardassoni” chamber theatre (1879) located at the Istituto Collegio S. Luigi. The theatre reopened with Il Macco, a dramma giocoso by Ferdinando Ranuzzi (first representation in contemporary times, with Paolo Valerio as director of scenes and Massimiliano Caldi as director).
He is president of the “Concorso lirico internazionale Città di Bologna”, which is a singing competition established in Bologna in 2007, sponsored by the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, the Municipality of Bologna and the Lions Club of Bologna. The competition has been under the artistic direction of Paolo Coni (2007 to 2009) and Cinzia Forte (2010 to 2013).
In 2008 he conceived and promoted the show “Festa Indiana a Bologna – A woman’s profile, La Donna nell’opera di R. Tagore”, held at the Teatro Guardassoni in Bologna, with the assistance of the Fondazione del Monte. The show was held before Consul General of India Sarvajit Chakravarti, with the assistance and sponsorship of the Consulate General of India in Milan and the Bologna Municipality.
In March 2012 he organised and became the artistic director of the Concerto per San Luca, in partnership with the Lions Club and the Church of Bologna. The event aimed at raising funds to restore the cloister of the Madonna di San Luca Sanctuary.
Prizes and honours
During the Fondazione ANT’s thirtieth anniversary held at the Church of Santa Cristina in 2007, President Franco Pannuti granted Cremonini the title of “Grande Sostenitore ANT”.
On 10th June 2008 the Committee on Culture of the Bologna Lions Club granted him the prize “37° Premio Nettuno d’Oro 2007” as the most prominent Bolognese artist of the year.
In 2012, Bologna’s CNA (Confederazione Nazionale Artigiani e Piccole e Medie Imprese) grants him the prize “Eccellenza Bolognese per la Creatività e la Cultura”. He received this prize along with renowned singer Francesco Guccini, with film director Giorgio Diritti as well as with flutist Massimo Mercelli.
In 2006, during the opening ceremony of the ancient chamber theatre Alessandro Guardassoni located at the Istituto Collegio San Luigi in Bologna, he made his debut as set designer under the direction of Paolo Valerio, artistic director of the Teatro Stabile in Verona. The opera was the first national representation in contemporary times of the dramma giocoso Il Macco by Ferdinando Ranuzzi.
In 2008 he designed the sets of G. Holst’s chamber opera “Savitri” during Bologna’s Teatro Guardassoni opera season, along with Fondazione del Monte and G. Frescobaldi Conservatory in Ferrara.
In 2009 he designed the sets of Verdi’s La Traviata for the 130th anniversary of Teatro Guardassoni (1874) in Bologna.
His first poetry collection named “L’Ultima Rosa” (Lalli Editore, October 1999) received awards at the first Guido Gozzano National Poetry and Narrative Competition held in Acqui Terme in 2000. His poetry collection was presented at the Accademia dei Rozzi in Siena. Cremonini later published three surrealistic operettas named “Il Visconte del Deserto, eccetera, eccetera…” (Lalli Editore, November 2001).
Lately he has published a book named “Tenore all’opera – Profili seri e divertenti di grandi maestri del Melodramma” (Pendragon Edizioni). The book was presented in Foyer Respighi and in the Teatro Comunale in Bologna by two musicologists of nation-wide fame: Marco Beghelli and Piero Mioli.
Omar Ghiani – traduttore
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