Friday, June 8, 2012

Artists Corner: Baritone Marco Nisticò

Artists Corner:  Artistic Administrator, Greg Trupiano, interviews baritone Marco Nisticò and his thoughts on making his role debut as the jester Rigoletto this fall. 
Greg Trupiano, Artistic Administrator of Sarasota Opera, here.  I recently had the pleasure to chat with one of Sarasota audiences’ favorite singers, baritone Marco Nisticò. Marco returns for the fall production as the title character in Rigoletto, having last been heard with the company as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly. Since last year, he has appeared as Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore at the Landestheater Bregenz in Austria, as well as singing Guglielmo in Così fan tutte at Italy’s Teatro Regio di Torino.

Baritone Marco Nisticò
I asked Marco about his thoughts as he prepared to sing the role of Rigoletto for the first time. Here are some of the things that Marco says about his next assignment at Sarasota Opera.
“For a baritone, the title role of Rigoletto is as good as it gets. Vocally it’s a very rewarding opera but also challenging because of its dramatic intensity and length. There are qualities in Rigoletto’s character that I can relate to. Rigoletto loves his daughter, and even though I don’t have children myself, I can identify with this feeling through my love of my own family. Also, Rigoletto sings lovingly about his deceased wife who felt such pity for him and loved him despite his deformity. Rigoletto is a complex character. I do not think he is evil at all. Whatever he does he does because he is trying to protect his daughter from a serious threat to her honor.”
Marco continues, “Performing Rigoletto is a personal achievement, a place I arrive at after having performed a number of Verdi roles. Maestro DeRenzi has taught me to sing Verdi by producing a strong vocal line. When I work with Maestro DeRenzi, I trust what is going on because artistic decisions come from a place of respect for the opera and respect for me. When you work on an opera by a great composer, a crazy staging doesn’t work. You must go with the music and not against it. With a great composer, 90% of the work is done for you. It’s your job to believe in it.”
Because it is such a challenging role, Marco has been working on the music for months, long before arriving in Sarasota. But even before then, he started to learn the role of Rigoletto; it’s a dream role for any baritone.

I concluded my conversation with Marco by asking him what other roles he would like to perform after Rigoletto. He said, “I would love the chance to sing the roles of Macbeth and Simon Boccanegra. Please note that these are major characters, sung by baritones—not tenors-- that have the operas named after them!”

Don't miss your chance to see Marco make this important debut this season.  Performances run October 26 through November 12, 2012.  More information can be found at

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