Baritone Franco Pomponi is critically acclaimed for the rich, expressive beauty and powerful virility of his voice, with a cultivated musical style and unmatched dramatic intensity that has brought him to many of the world’s most prestigious opera houses and concert halls. This season, he performs the title role in Eugene Onegin at the Spoleto Festival USA, also in China at the Shanghai Grand Theatre, and Florida Grand Opera in Miami. He was Belcore in L’elisir d’amore at the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg and made his Dallas Opera debut in a Verdi gala singing selections from La traviata and La Forza del destino.
In the 2015/16 season, Pomponi made his Hungarian State Opera debut in Budapest as Prospero in a new production of The Tempest. He also returned to the Grand Théâtre de Geneve in Rossini’s Guillaume Tell and to the Opéra de Marseille as Prince Metternich in L’Aiglon. Pomponi performed in several concerts, including the role of Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo in New York City, and was a winner at the HPR International Art Song contest with his solo recording, Death Is The Cool Night. Engagements from the 2014/15 season included Jack Rance in La Fanciulla del West at the Kentucky Opera, the title role in Nixon in China at the San Diego Opera, and Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress at the Metropolitan Opera.
Pomponi made his European debut as the title role in Hamlet at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, conducted by Bertrand de Billy. He has continued to win critical praise for his portrayal of Prince Hamlet, most recently under the baton of Marc Minkowski for his Théâtre Royale de la Monnaie debut in Brussels and in a new production by Vincent Boussard in 2010 for his Opéra de Marseille debut, which won Opéra magazine’s “Opera of the Year”. That same year, Pomponi made two other important debuts: Zurga in a new production of Les pecheurs de Perles at Opernhaus Zürich and the title role in Don Giovanni at the Bolshoï Theatre in Moscow, directed by Dmitri Tchernakov and conducted by Teodor Currentzis. He received critical international praise for his Paris debut at the Théâtre du Châtelet as Pentheus in Henze’s The Bassarids. Pomponi continued to build on his Paris triumph in 2011, when he portrayed Richard Nixon opposite June Anderson and Sumi Jo in Chen Shi-Zheng’s extremely successful new production of Nixon in China, televised on Mezzo. Franco learned the role of Le Roi Alphonse VI de Castille in 2 days to jumped in and replace an injured singer at the last moment in a new production of Le Cid with Roberto Alagna also televised on Mezzo.
The Lyric Opera of Chicago has heard Pomponi as Malatesta in Don Pasquale and other recent engagements have included Count di Luna in Il trovatore with the Austin Lyric Opera, Ford in Falstaff with the Canadian Opera Company and Santa Fe Opera, Germont in La traviata for the Grant Park Music Festival, Paolo Albiani in Simon Boccanegra at the Grand Théâtre Geneve, Lescaut in Manon Lescaut at the Spoleto Festival USA, Ernesto in I Pirata with the Washington Concert Opera, Marcello in La bohème with Opéra Lausanne, Schaunard in La bohème with the Metropolitan Opera, the title role in Don Giovanni with the Opéra National de Montpellier and Greek National Opera in Athens, Valentin in Faust with Opéra de Toulon, the Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann and Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande with the Nationale Reisopera in the Netherlands, Arcalüs in C.P.E. Bach’s Amadis des Gaules with Opéra Comique, and Hérode in Massenet’s Hérodiade for his U.K. debut at the Dorset, Carbon/Valvert in Cyrano de Bergerac with Placido Domingo at the Théâtre du Châtelet and Teatro Real in Madrid. Pomponi sang the title role in Sweeney Todd at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and Guglielmo in David McVicar’s celebrated production of Cosi Fan Tutte at the Opéra National
Franco’s Italian debut came at Teatro Massimo in Palermo as Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, where returned the next season as Frank/Fritz in Pier Luigi Pizzi’s production of Die tote Stadt. In Cagliari he also jumped in with short notice with great success as Johnny in Nino Rota’s Napoli Milionaria!
Pomponi is well know for his Escamillo in Carmen, a role in which he has been heard at the New York City Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opéra de Toulon, Die Glocke in Bremen, and in Doha, Qatar. He also portrayed Stanley Kowalski in Colin Graham’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire with the New Orleans Opera.
Pomponi made his Carnegie Hall debut as the Baritone Soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Christoph Eschenbach and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has also been heard as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris with Eschenbach, Detroit Symphony, Qatar Philharmonic with Abbassi, Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble with Minkowski, and Tokyo Symphony.
For more information: www.francopomponi.com