Born in Italy in 1977, tenor Vittorio Grigolo started out very young on opera stages, however when he initially did not feel his career progressed as he desired, he released a popera album "In the hands of love" in 2006. This was apparently what it took for him to get noticed and his opera career took of in earnest around 2008-9. And a quite successful one at that, with plenty high-profile present and upcoming engagements, especially in the the lyrical tenor parts of Rigoletto, Boheme and Traviata, which he seems to sing virtually everywhere: London, New York Metropolitan, La Scala etc.
However, listening to both of his to latest CD releases I hear a small, rather constricted voice and a lack of style. Furthermore he includes repertoire far far too heavy for his voice such as Il Trovatore "Di quella pira", Tosca "E lucevan e stelle" and "Ballo in maschera". Comparisons to Pavarotti are ridiculous at this point. And even a Rolando Villazon has always shown a commitment and sincerity in his singing, which I simply fail to find with Grigolo.
Last year, after Rigoletto at the London Royal Opera one of the major London newspapers wrote that Probably no one could control Grigolo, who in the short space of time since tasting stardom has become a vulgar, preening artist. Miscast as the Duke of Mantua, which requires a more elegant tenor, his vocal delivery is gusty and he needs to take stock to avoid the burnout that so easily afflicts fast-rising singers of this type while another attending the same performance found him to be imaginative and full of daringly individual effect.
Vittorio Grigolo himself says: "When a role needs passion, romance, nobility of soul, Vittorio is the guy" and "The public always likes a new hero, and it says to me, ‘Welcome to the club."
Peter Gelb, Met Opera Director: I am sure of his potential. Me: I am less sure.
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