Lawrence Zazzo
Counter-tenor

"Lawrence Zazzo's outstandingly imperious title-hero is the best sung and acted countertenor performance of the part (Giulio Cesare) I've encountered." (Gramophone, December 2012)

Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Christopher Lawson +44 (0)20 3725 9108

Biography

Lawrence Zazzo made his operatic debut as Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) to great acclaim while completing his vocal studies at the Royal College of Music in London. He has since appeared at many of the world’s leading opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, Staatsoper unter den Linden, Oper Frankfurt, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zürich, Opera di Roma and La Monnaie. His recent appearance in the title role of Giulio Cesare conducted by Emmanuelle Haim at Opéra national de Paris is available on DVD.

Current season highlights include a company and role debut in the title role of Handel’s Orlando for Welsh National Opera, Cardenio (Don Chisciotte in Sierra Morena) with the

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Lawrence Zazzo made his operatic debut as Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) to great acclaim while completing his vocal studies at the Royal College of Music in London. He has since appeared at many of the world’s leading opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, Staatsoper unter den Linden, Oper Frankfurt, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zürich, Opera di Roma and La Monnaie. His recent appearance in the title role of Giulio Cesare conducted by Emmanuelle Haim at Opéra national de Paris is available on DVD.

Current season highlights include a company and role debut in the title role of Handel’s Orlando for Welsh National Opera, Cardenio (Don Chisciotte in Sierra Morena) with the Flemish baroque orchestra B'Rock under René Jacobs and Delio (Veremonda) with Concerto Köln under Gabriel Garrido at Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele. He also appears in The Fairy Queen with Akadamie für alte Musik Berlin at RIAS Kammerchor’s traditional New Year’s Day performanceconducted by Rinaldo Alessandrini. Concert hightlights include St Matthew Passion with Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Pablo Heras-Casado and with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Ivor Bolton, and he gives the 40th anniversary concert at Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik with Amandine Beye and Gli Incogniti recreating the programme from the Festival’s very first concert originally presented by René Jacobs and Alan Curtis.

 Zazzo’s extensive discography includes his first orchestral recital disc, A Royal Trio, featuring the music of Ariosti, Bononcinci and Handel with La Nuova Musica under David Bates released in October 2014 on harmonia mundi USA, Mozart’s very first opera, Apollo et Hyacinthus released on Linn Records (May 2012), and the first complete recording (to include Mozart’s original settings) of Mitridate, re di Ponto released on Signum Records (October 2014) both for Classical Opera under Ian Page.

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Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Christopher Lawson +44 (0)20 3725 9108

Reviews

“The stately beauty of Lawrence Zazzo’s Oberon is indisputable and he successfully interprets one of the strangest roles Britten wrote” (Resmusica, July 2015)

"Lawrence Zazzo came, sang, and conquered." (Bachtrack.com, April 2015)

“Countertenor Lawrence Zazzo revealed a powerful, lithe voice as Semele’s rejected fiancé Athamas” (NY Observer, March 2015)

“Zazzo’s firm, fruit voice is applied characterfully to each number, whether swashbuckling or seductive” (BBC Music Magazine, December 2014)

“Zazzo’s skills as a countertenor are immediately displayed with his vigorous interpretation of Handel’s 'Rompo I lacci' from Flavio…Each piece

...

“The stately beauty of Lawrence Zazzo’s Oberon is indisputable and he successfully interprets one of the strangest roles Britten wrote” (Resmusica, July 2015)

"Lawrence Zazzo came, sang, and conquered." (Bachtrack.com, April 2015)

“Countertenor Lawrence Zazzo revealed a powerful, lithe voice as Semele’s rejected fiancé Athamas” (NY Observer, March 2015)

“Zazzo’s firm, fruit voice is applied characterfully to each number, whether swashbuckling or seductive” (BBC Music Magazine, December 2014)

“Zazzo’s skills as a countertenor are immediately displayed with his vigorous interpretation of Handel’s 'Rompo I lacci' from Flavio…Each piece showcases the sheer skill of Lawrence Zazzo and the demands placed on his voice.” (The Whole Note, November 2014)

“this [CD] from Lawrence Zazzo is exceptionally well thought out…Zazzo makes the central highlight a moving scene from Ariosti’s little-known ‘Coriolano’…[and] the exuberant ‘Vivi, tiranno’ rounds things off in style, with Zazzo in glorious voice throughout.” (The Guardian, October 2014)

“Lawrence Zazzo was at the top of his form in the title role, displaying great energy and conviction as well as beauty of tone and sparkling coloratura.” (Opera Magazine, October 2014)

“The singing version of Odysseus is performed by the fantastic countertenor Lawrence Zazzo, who achieves several truly touching moments.” (Deutschland Radio, October 2014)

"A voice with extraordinary versatility... Zazzo's commitment and charismatic vocal presence draw the listener back in to confront and experience the songs anew." (Guy Dammann, The Guardian, June 2014)

"Lawrence Zazzo's Ottone, sung with beguiling tonal beauty, was a joy throughout." (Beaune Festival International D'Opera Baroque/Agrippina - Opera Magazine, November 2012)

"Lawrence Zazzo is one of those rare countertenor voices capable of vivid colouring and strong projection, and his singing of the title role is positively fruity in its richness." (The Telegraph, October 2012)

"Keegan-Dolan’s approach allows the singers to concentrate on delivering those fiendish arias. In particular the countertenor Lawrence Zazzo hurls out the title role with terrific swagger." (The Times, October 2012)

"If Andreas Scholl is the Rolls-Royce of countertenors, then Zazzo is the Maserati. Not that he races through everything he sings — though he can certainly accelerate when given the chance, and do some fancy turns. But he’s an open-top virtuoso of a singer with, as we used to say, a tiger in his tank. Match him with some of the earliest opera written by the teenage Mozart and you’re witnessing two miracles in one." (The Times, September 2011)

“Anna Bonitatibus's limpidly sung Sifare and Lawrence Zazzo's permanently infuriated Farnace were the vocal stars of the enterprise... This Mitridate was the festival's surprise hit and a perfect use of the Prinzregententheater for gourmet operatic pleasure.” (Mitridate, re di Ponte – Bayerische Staatsoper – Opera Magazine, October 2011) 

“Zazzo and Noiri thrive in this madhouse of a recital, their respective instruments as well adapted to bringing out the subtleties and ambiguities inherent in a de la Mere, Auden or MacNeice poem as in the discords that infect the melodiousness of Dowland and Burgon alike. Lunarcy it may be, ‘though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.'" (International Record Review, September 2011)

"But the star "international" turns come from Lawrence Zazzo (Radamisto) and Christine Rice (Xenobia), dramatically and musically a really telling alliance of male and female altos. Rice's luscious aria with aching oboe obbligato "When will cruel fortune free my heart" was a highlight as were Zazzo's great laments. "Soul and Shadow" was soulful and searching, his opulent and beautiful countertenor at the service of heartfelt musicality. Very special." (The Independent, October 2010)

"Lawrence Zazzo sings the title role with such beauty, all the while acting like an Oscar winner, that he deserves to be known as the king of countertenors." (Financial Times, October 2010)

"Best of all was the American countertenor Lawrence Zazzo in the title role, which must originally have been written with a castrato in mind. In Handel's day, the castrati were the true stars of the opera – a stardom for which I suppose they considered their sacrifice worthwhile – but hearing the surgically unmodified Zazzo reaching the same notes in a powerful, clear and totally natural-sounding high voice is surely just as gripping as anything the 18th century could offer." (The Daily Express, October 2010)