Recognised as a byword in comic opera and bel canto repertoire, Bruno de Simone is one of the most valued singers-actors on the international opera scene. Born in Naples, he combined his university degree with study in music and singing with Sesto Bruscantini and began to distinguish himself as the ideal performer of dramma giocoso from the 18th and 19th century and comic opera, especially Rossini – with seventeen roles – and Donizetti repertoire. He is currently confirmed as an indispensable singer in this sphere. He has also made a name for himself in the world of comic opera with works by the likes of Galuppi, Pergolesi, Paisiello and Cimarosa, and is now considered to be the leading singer in this field, being the most prolific performer of this repertoire.
From the beginning of his career he has taken the lead role in important revivals of little-known compositions from the 18th century, outstanding among these was Lo frate ‘nnamorato, by Pergolesi (Teatro alla Scala, Milan 1990), with which he garnered great personal success. He is habitually engaged by the most respected opera houses, musical institutions and international festivals: Milan La Scala, Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Maggio Musicale in Florence, Regio in Turin and Parma, Comunale in Bologna, Arena in Verona, La Fenice in Venice, San Carlo in Naples, Carlo Felice in Genoa, Teatro dell’Opera in Rome and the Accademia Nazionale Santa Cecilia; he performs regularly in Wien (Staatsoper), Paris (Opéra), Tokyo, Barcelona (Liceu), Madrid (Teatro Real), Washington, San Francisco, Amsterdam, A Coruña (Festival Mozart), Berlin (Deutsche Oper and Staatsoper), Zürich, Münich, Génève, Sevilla, Liège, Tel Aviv and many others. He has worked with the greatest conductors of the last decades, from Abbado to Campanella, without forgetting Chailly, Gatti, López Cobos, Metha, Muti, Renzetti and Zedda and with directors as Cobelli, De Ana, Martone, Ronconi, Pizzi, Sagi, Servillo and Zeffirelli.
His work as a specialist in Rossini repertoire has been awarded with the Rossini d’Oro Prize (2007), being recognized as the ideal performer of the role of Don Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Magnifico in La cenerentola, Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri, Raimbaud in Le Comte Ory, Germano in La scala di seta, Pacuvio in La pietra del paragone and the poet Isidoro in Matilde di Shabran.
His appearances in Mozart operas are also outstanding – particularly in Da Ponte’s Trilogy: Le Nozze di Figaro (Figaro and Conte), Così fan tutte (Don Alfonso) and Don Giovanni (Leporello) – as well as in Donizetti repertoire: he took part in numerous productions of Don Pasquale, in the title role and also in the role of Dott. Malatesta, whilst in L’elisir d’amore his Dulcamara and his Belcore are famed.
His vocal and dramatic range is such that as well as the comic roles in his repertoire he has incorporated others from serious and semi-serious genres: Marcello and Schaunard from La Bohème, Lescaut from Manon Lescaut, the lead in Gianni Schicchi (Puccini), Le Roi in L’amour des trois oranges (Prokofiev), Varbel in Lodoïska (Cherubini), Kyoto in Iris (Mascagni), Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilèa) and, in the Verdi ambit, Falstaff, both in the title role and that of Ford, and Fra Melitone in La forza del destino.
In conjunction with his numerous artistic engagements, from the beginning Bruno de Simone has been very aware of young talents, giving master classes to help them develop their technique and performing skills. In 2009 he became the artistic and educative architect of the relaunch of the Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Academy attached to the Maggio Formazione Opera House in Florence). In January 2011, he staged L’elisir d’amore with a selection of his students at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, taking the role of Dulcamara himself. His masterclasses are always appreciated by young students, journalists, conductors, theaters managers and many music experts: he is the excellent guide in singing skill and interpretation for young singers.
In 2012 season he made many important debuts: at Liceu in Barcellona – Linda di Chamonix (Marchese di Boifleuri), Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur and Fra’ Melitone in La Forza del destino – then Leporello at Arena Summer Season in Verona, first performer as Leporello in Don Giovanni on that historic stage. During the winter, at the Opéra in Paris, he performed a great Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola.
During 2013 season he was Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’amore at Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, Fra’ Melitone in La Forza del destino in Bilbao (ABAO) and then Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia in Berlin and at Teatro Real in Madrid. he held a Masterclass in Bilbao (Arriaga).
In 2014 he took part in a new production of La Cenerentola at Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège, then he performed Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Teatro San Carlo in Naples, in Lausanne and in Berlin. He was again Gamberotto (reprise) in the rare opera L’equivoco stravagante by Rossini, directed by Emilio Sagi, in Bilbao.
In 2015 he took part in “Il Viaggio a Reims”, in the role of Baron Trombonok at the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam. He starred as Dulcamara in “Elisir d’amore” at the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv and at the Cagliari Opera House. He represented Don Bartolo in the Arena Festival and Don Magnifico is the Bremen Music Festival and the Reate Festival, conducted by Fabio Biondi. He also held a Masterclass at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie.
In 2016 he played the Count Gil in “Il segreto di Susanna” of E. Wolf-Ferrari and later, with La Fenice of Venice she toured in Oman with “L’Elisir d’amore” in the lucky role of Dulcamara. He played the role of the Doctor in “La cena delle beffe” of U. Giordano at Alla Scala and then returned at the Rome Opera with the Marquis of “Linda di Chamounix”. After the highly successful Barber of Seville in La Coruna will follow in the near future other interesting titles Rossini and Donizetti.
In the same year Bruno has played as a teacher: his master classes have always large following of students and appreciation by insiders who recognize Bruno de Simone technical guidance and interpretation of excellence for new generations. Among the recent commitments in this field it is worth mentioning the effort at the improvement of the Academy of the Opera Theatre in Florence.
He has made numerous recordings of CDs and DVDs for major record labels: EMI, Decca, Sony BMG, Naxos, TDK, Arthaus MUSIK, DYNAMIC.
During his long career he has been awarded the Tiberini d’Oro (2005), the Rossini d’Oro (2007), the Alfredo Catalani – City of Lucca (2008) and the Domenico Cimarosa (2009) and, recently, the prestigious Le Muse Award in 2013 (Euterpe), delivered at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, in a solemn ceremony alongside personalities of the world of Art, Culture and entrepreneurship.
Last edited January 2021