Baritone 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 introduced him to his father, the baritone Carlo Meliciani, who had studied singing with the great Carlo Tagliabue and who then became Vassallo’s teacher.
Vassallo understood that a developed artist must have broad interests, so he later devoted himself to the study of literature and philosophy at the State University of Milan. He was also aware of how very important the dramatic structure of opera is and how much acting skills can contribute to the intensity of the art form. Accordingly, he devoted much time to the study of the Stanislavski Method.
Vassallo’s singing career took off in 1994, when he won the AsLiCo international singing competition in Milan. In 1997, he won the competition to sing Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff at the Arena di Verona. These performances quickly led to outstanding success in the title role in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. For a number of years, Vassallo was the performer of choice in that role almost everywhere.
In the following years, he specialized in the bel canto roles of Donizetti and Bellini, which took him to La Scala in Milan, the Staatsoper in Vienna, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. As he has matured, Vassallo has stayed true to his bel canto 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.