With her “lush, creamy voice” and “giddy coloratura”, Italian-Canadian soprano Lucia Cesaroni is in demand as some of opera’s most coveted heroines, making new signature roles out of Verdi’s Violetta, Puccini’s Mimì, and Mozart’s Donna Anna. In 2022/23, she joined the roster of The Metropolitan Opera, where she covered Olga in Giordano’s Fedora, sang Violetta in La traviata with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and returned to Pacific Opera Victoria as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte. In the 2023/24 season, she is set to reprise Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Calgary Opera and Ava in Rocking Horse Winner with Tapestry Opera.
Her 2021/22 season saw Ms. Cesaroni sing the role of Donna Clara in Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg at the Enescu Festival in Romania, join North Carolina Opera as Mimì in La bohème, debut with both Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra as the soloist in Joe Hisaishi’s Princess Mononoke Suite and cover Violetta with the Canadian Opera Company.
In 2020/21, Ms. Cesaroni was slated to perform as Fiordiligi in Vancouver Opera’s Così fan tutte, Violetta in Saskatoon Opera’s production of La traviata, and Mathilde in Rossini’s Elisabetta Regina d’Inghilterra with Odyssey Opera (all cancelled due to COVID-19). That season, Ms. Cesaroni was able to sing the role of Ava in a cast recording of the award-winning opera by Gareth Williams and Anna Chatterton, Rocking Horse Winner, which was broadcast on CBC Radio’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.
In other recent seasons, Ms. Cesaroni made acclaimed role debuts, including Violetta and Mimì in Pacific Opera Victoria’s productions of La traviata and La bohème, as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Spoleto Festival under James Conlon, Micaëla in Carmen with Maine’s Bay Chamber Concerts, and Hanna Glawari in Vancouver Opera’s The Merry Widow. “Amazingly enough she even manages somehow to revolve about herself, coquettishly swivelling her svelte form in places where the rest of us aren’t even jointed…and then turn around and invest an old chestnut like Lehàr’s Vilja ballade with genuine feeling,” says Lincoln Kaye for The Vancouver Observer. A champion of Italian bel canto repertoire, Ms. Cesaroni has also joined Boston’s Odyssey Opera as Eleonora in Donizetti’s rarely performed opera, L’assedio di Calais.
Additional operatic credits include Donna Anna at the Teatro Aligheri di Ravenna and the Teatro Coccia di Novara, Musetta in La bohème with Opéra de Montréal, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro at the Spoleto Festival, Woglinde in Das Rheingold at Pacific Opera Victoria, Norina in Don Pasquale at Saskatoon Opera, Yum-Yum in The Mikado with Toronto Operetta Theatre, and Maria in West Side Story with Vancouver Opera.
As a concert artist, Ms. Cesaroni was a soloist for Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection”, with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI in Torino, a programme of duets and arias with Andrea Bocelli at the Columbus Citizens Foundation, NYC, Carmina Burana with the Berliner Symphoniker and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with The Victoria Symphony and the Montréal Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to her performing schedule, Ms. Cesaroni is the founder and principal at Cesaroni Consulting, offering workshops and coaching in the corporate and post-secondary sectors. She is passionate about articulating the value of artists outside of the performing arts and creating more interdisciplinary thought and practice in North America. To further this end, Lucia is a regular contributor to Opera Canada in her column “Stage Business.”
Photo by Sam Gaetz