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Biography
Baritone Franco Pomponi's sensational Paris Debut as Pentheus, in Hans Werner Henze's THE BASSARIDS at the Théâtre du Châtelet in 2005, was hailed by the world press as “a true discovery" Le Figaro, “the voice is a grand and splendid baritone” Concert Classic, “American baritone, Franco Pomponi stands out. His powerful plangent voice is perfect for the arrogant, sexually repressed king.” Bloomberg News and “Franco Pomponi, The Revelation! “ Diapason

A member of the prestigious Juilliard Opera Center in New York, he sang many leading baritone roles at Lincoln Center, including Ford in FALSTAFF, Tarquinius in Britten's RAPE OF LUCRETIA, John the Butcher in HUGH THE DROVER by Vaughn Williams and Neils Lyhne in FENNIMORE & GERDA by Delius. Franco was the first recipient of The DeRosa Prize , the largest award from Juilliard.

His outstanding European debut came as the tortured Danish Prince, HAMLET, at the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona. The Metropolitan Opera heard him as Schaunard in LA BOHÈME, Count Dominik in ARABELLA with Renée Fleming and Presto in LES MAMELLES DE TIRÉSIAS conducted by James Levine. Franco followed his success with debuts at The Canadian Opera Company as Ford in Verdi's FALSTAFF, Los Angeles Opera as Escamillo in CARMEN under the baton of Placido Domingo.

In the 2007-2008 season Franco had several impressive Debuts. Carnegie Hall heard him as Baritone Soloist in Mahler's Eighth Symphony with Christoph Eschenbach and the Philadelphia Orchestra and also in Paris with the Orchestre de Paris which was televised and recorded for DVD and CD. Franco’s Italian debut was Nick Shadow in THE RAKE’S PROGRESS at Palermo’s Teatro Massimo and this summer he was highly praised as Ford in a new production of FALSTAFF for his Santa Fe Opera debut.

Recent new productions for the baritone include the title role of DON GIOVANNI in Montpellier, broadcast on Radio France directed by Jean Paul Scarpitta and HAMLET for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City by award winning director Thaddeus Strassberger. In the Netherlands Franco was Golaud in PÉLLEAS ET MÉLISANDE for the Nationale Reisopera, Count Di Luna in IL TROVATORE for Austin Lyric Opera and Guglielmo in David Mc Vicar's celebrated production of COSI FAN TUTTE for L' Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg.

Franco made his New York City Opera debut as Escamillo, a role he is in great demand for. His amazing Matador has charmed audiences for The Los Angeles Opera, PortOpera Theatre, and most recently with Anne Sophie von Otter in Bremen’s Die Glocke conducted by Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre and at The Florida Grand Opera in which Octavio Roca wrote:

“Even in the present age of beautiful baritones, Franco Pomponi’s Escamillo signals the arrival of someone to notice: a good looking man with a voice, and a charismatic stage presence...Pomponi commanded attention in the famous “Toreador’s Song” and later suggested macho vulnerability when facing Carmen before the bullfight.” Miami New Times

For The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Franco was a member of the elite Lyric Opera Center for American Artists and was seen at the Lyric as Malatesta opposite the incomparable Paolo Montarsolo’s DON PASQUALE. He sang Ping in TURANDOT and Mercutio in ROMÉO ET JULIETTE as well as Germont in LA TRAVIATA for the Grant Park Music Festival.

“As Germont, Franco Pomponi was the real article with a warm, focused tone and a genuine feel for true Italian legato singing. Pomponi provided the best singing of the evening in his extended second act duet with Rambaldi, his vital characterful voice blending seamlessly with Rambaldi’s creamy soprano. “Di Provenza il mar was even better, Pomponi rendering the waltz-like aria with sensitivity and a golden liquid tone.”
The Chicago Tribune

Franco performed Lescaut in MANON LESCAUT and Frederic in LAKMÉ at Spoleto USA, Valentin in FAUST at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Ernesto in I PIRATA with Washington Concert Opera, Count Almaviva, in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO for Eugene Opera, Lindorf-Miracle-Coppélius-Dapertutto in LES CONTES D' HOFFMANN for Nationale Reisopera-Netherlands, Portland Opera, Utah Festival and The Grant Park Music Festival-Chicago, Enrico in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR for Opera Omaha and Opera Roanoke, and Hérode in Massenet's HÉRODIADE for Dorset Opera which was his British debut.

This charismatic singer is also a champion of rare and modern works and received high praise for his portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in Previn's, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE for The New Orleans Opera and the Tennessee Williams Festival and Frank Chambers in THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE by Stephen Paulus for Boston Lyric Opera both directed by Colin Graham. At Opera National Sophia, Bulgaria he was Don Gil in MARIA TUDOR by Gomes which was broadcast and released on video and compact disc and last season was Milord Runebif in Wolf Ferrari’s sublime comedy LA VEDOVA SCALTRA for Opéra de Nice.

Upcoming engagements include the duel roles of Frank and Fritz the Pierrot in Korngold’s DIE TOTE STADT at Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Paolo Albiani in SIMONE BOCCANEGRA for Grand Theatre Geneve, the title role of HAMLET in a new production by Vincent Boussard in Marseille, and in CYRANO with Placido Domingo
in Paris at Théâtre du Châtelet.

Franco Pomponi achève ses études au Juilliard Opera Center de New York. C'est dans ce cadre et sur la scène du Lincoln Center qu'il chante dans Falataff, Le Viol de Lucrèce, Hugh thé Drover de Vaughn Williams … Durant ses années comme un jeune artiste, Franco a étudié répertoire français avec Régine Crespin, les lieder avec Hermann Prey et a également travaillé avec Carlo Bergonzi dans le répertoire italien.  Il se produit ensuite au Lyric Opera de Chicago:  Malatesta - Don Pasquale, Ping - Turandot, Mercutio - Roméo et Juliette.  Il est invité par les principales scènes d'Amerique du Nord: Metropolitan Opera de New York dans Schaunard - La Boheme, Comte Dominik - Arabella, Presto - Les Mamelles de Tirésias; New York City Opera Escamillo - Carmen; Spoleto Festival de Charleston dans Lescaut - Manon Lescaut et Frédéric - Lakmé; Saint-Louis dans Valentin - Faust; Portland dans les quatre diables - Les Contes d'Hoffmann; Nouvelle Orléans dans Stanley Kowalski - Un Tramway nommé Désire, d'Andre Prévin; Opera d'Omaha dans Enrico - Lucia di Lammermoor; Los Angeles et Miami dans Escamillo; Washington dans Ernesto - I Pirata; Toronto dans Ford - Falstaff; Chicago, Grant Park Music Frestival dans Germont - La Traviata

Il a fait ses début européens à Barcelone dans le rôle titre d'Hamlet, puis a chanté Penthée - Les Bassarids, au Châtelet, le rôle titre de Don Giovanni à Montpellier et Guglielmo - Cosi Fan Tutte à l'Opéra du Rhin. 

En concert, il s'est produit avec le Philadelphia Orchestra, le Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, l'Orchestre de Paris.  Réccement on a pu l'entendre dans les rôles de Golaud - Pélléas et Mélisande aux Pays-Bas, le Comte de Luna - Il Trovatore à Austin, Escamillo à Brême sous la direction de Marc Minkowski, Hérode - Hérodiade au Dorset Opera, Lord Runabif - La Vedova Scaltra à Nice, Nick Shadow dans Rake's Progress à Palerme est dans la 8ème Symphonie de Mahler sous la direction de Christoph Echenbach à Paris et au Carnegie Hall de New York, Fritz, Le Pierrot/Frank - La Ville Morte de Korngold à Palerme, les quatre diable - Les Contes d'Hoffmann au Riesopera, Ford - Falstaff à Santa Fe, Paolo - Simon Boccanegra à Genève, Cyrano de Bergerac au Châtelet.  La saison dernière il a chanté Hamlet à Marseille, Zurga - Les Pécheurs de Perles à Zurich, à Moscou dans le rôle titre de Don Giovanni au Bolchoï, le rôles titre de Sweeney Todd de Sondheim au Châtelet, Le Roi - Le Cid avec Roberto Alagna à Marseille et Johnny dans Napoli Milionaria! de Nino Rota à Caglari.

Parmi ses engagements Amadis de Gaules à Versailles et à l'Opéra Comique, Nixon in China au Châtelet, Don Giovanni, Metropolitan Opera, Cyrano à Madrid, La Bohemeà  Festival d’Opéra Avanches, et Hamlet à Bruxelles.

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