The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera announces tenor Giovanni Simone of Bergen County, New Jersey will perform the Emperor in the company’s grand production of Giacomo Puccini’s last opera, Turandot. The opera will be performed on April 22, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. at the Bergen Performing Arts Center, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be part of a great production, here in Bergen County, and sing the role of Emperor Altoum, sung in the past by the greatest comprimarios. Being a part of this production of Turandot brings back many memories being part of this opera at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, Italy in a chorus of over 100 and assimilating Puccini’s great music on that enormous stage,” said Simone.
Born in the southern Italian port of Mola di Bari, he studied architecture at the Liceo Artistico and voice at the Conservatorio Nicolò Piccinni in Bari, Italy, under the direction of world-famous composer Nino Rota. He joined the opera chorus and sang his first solo roles at Italy’s beloved Teatro Petruzelli at age 17.
Simone has performed in a range of operas, including Aida, Rigoletto, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Gioconda, and others. He performed in Rigoletto 54 times with the Baltimore Opera Company in Maryland and the Regina Opera Company in Brooklyn, New York, where he was the stage manager for 18 years. Simone is very familiar with Verismo Opera productions, having performed in several, including Rigoletto as Matteo Borsa, Lucia di Lammermoor as Normanno, La Bohème as Street Vendor and in the company’s debut of Amilcare Ponchielli’s La Gioconda as Isepo. The New Jersey State Opera and Philadelphia Grand Opera are among the other opera companies he has worked with.
He appeared with several professional productions in the Tri-State area performing supporting roles with a number of leading opera companies. His portrait of Goro in Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Tinca in Puccini’s Il Tabarro, Gastone in Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, Arturo and Normanno in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor have been well received by the press and by the public. He worked with Metropolitan Opera conductors Ignace Strasfogel, Richard Woitach and Henry Lewis and performed in productions with world famous baritones Tito Gobbi and Mario Sereni.