Young Italian conductor Gianluca Marcianò has been increasingly in demand since his operatic debut with Croatian National Opera in 2007. He is Musical Director and Principal Conductor of the Tbilisi State Opera & Ballet Theatre in Georgia and Artistic Director of the Al Bustan Festival in Beirut.
Since taking over the theatre in Tbilisi in 2011, Marcianò’s operatic performances in Georgia have included La Forza del Destino, Cavalleria Rusticana, Nabucco, Attila, Il Trovatore, Mitridate, Re di Ponto and Aida, as well as concerts with Andrea Bocelli in Georgia and Nina Ananiashvili at the Avery Fisher Hall, New York.
Marcianò’s operatic work in the UK has centred around Grange Park Opera (with whom he has conducted a gala concert with Simon Keenlyside and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Madama Butterfly, and a critically acclaimed Tosca and where he will conduct I Puritani and La traviata), Longborough Festival Opera (where he conducts Die Zauberflöte this season, having already performed Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan Tutte and La traviata) and the Chelsea Opera Group (Manon Lescaut, La traviata, La Favorite and, in 2013, Verdi's Alzira).
Marcianò also has strong ties with the opera houses in Zagreb, Minsk, Sassari and Prague. During his time in Zagreb as the main conductor, he conducted Nabucco, La traviata, Turandot, Carmen, La Cenerentola and Il Barbiere di Siviglia. In Minsk, he has performed Il Barbiere di Siviglia and La traviata, and at the Teatro Verdi in Sassari, La Pietra del Paragone, Poulenc's Les mamelles de Tirésias and the Italian premiere of Debussy's La Damoiselle Elue. In 2011 he conducted La traviata at the Prague State Opera.
On the concert platform, Marcianò has worked with instrumentalists such as Gautier Capuçon, Steven Isserlis, Khatia Buniatishvili, Sergei Krylov, Nina Kotova and Denis Kozhukin. His recent work includes concerts with the George Enescu Philharmonic and the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he performed Mahler's Symphony No.1 in 2011. He has a close relationship with the English Chamber Orchestra, opening their 2011/12 London season in a programme including Mozart’s Symphony No.39 and Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.2 at the Cadogan Hall.
In addition to his forthcoming engagements at Grange Park Opera and the Longborough Festival, Marcianò’s future plans include La traviata in Minsk and in Baku, a tour to China with the Tbilisi State Opera Orchestra and a major new production of Turandot at the Ópera de Oviedo.
Gianluca Marcianò is represented by Intermusica.
October 2012 / 408 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.
I Puritani / Grange Park Opera
“First let me list some of the things I enjoyed about this Puritani: the secure coloratura of Claire Rutter’s moving Elvira, the witty choreography, the good-looking tenor Jesus Leon’s high notes, and the gutsy playing of the English Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Gianluca Marciano.”
Opera, August 2013
Feature Article / Opera Now
“Behind the well-behaved boyish charm, he is clearly a little wild at heart. His career has been entirely and delightfully unconventional to date, and his music-making is infused with a wide eyed sense of discovery.”
“Marcianò peppers his rehearsals with his wide-ranging knowledge. His musicians appear enthralled, totally engrossed in their music-making in a way that only great conductors can inspire.”
Ash Khandekar, Opera Now, May 2013
Puccini Turandot / Opera de Oviedo
cond. Gianluca Marcianò / dir. Susana Gómez
"The Japanese soprano Eri Nakamura, in the role of the teacher Liù, and Gianluca Marcianò were the winners on Thursday at the Campoamor theater in the first performance of Puccini’s ‘Turandot’..."
"La soprano japonesa Eri Nakamura, en el papel de Liù y el maestro Gianluca Marcianó fueron los triunfadores el pasado jueves en el teatro Campoamor en la primera representación de Turandot, de Puccini..."
Javier Neira, La Nueva España, November 2012
Mozart Die Zauberflöte
Longborough Festival Opera / dir. Jenny Miller
“The orchestral playing under Gianluca Marcianò was agile and shapely.”
Christopher Morley, Opera, August 2012
Puccini Madama Butterfly / Grange Park
“I liked what Gianluca Marcianò and the English Chamber Orchestra achieved in the pit: playing that ebbed and flowed, glinted or seduced, with finesse and real Puccinian passion.”
Richard Morrison, The Times, June 2012
“The show’s other main joy is Gianluca Marcianò’s unfailingly theatrical and idiomatic conducting.”
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, June 2012
“This Butterfly's worth catching... The evening was much enhanced by the straightforwardly lyrical, idiomatic conducting of another great find, Gianluca Marcianò from Tbilisi Opera."
David Mellor, Mail on Sunday, June 2012
“The other chief pleasure of the evening was Gianluca Marcianò’s idiomatic conducting. The score sounded freshly conceived, sizzling with theatricality... In Italian opera, at least, Marcianò is the real deal.”
Hugh Canning, Opera, August 2012
“Conductor Gianluca Marcianò inspires a high standard of playing from the English Chamber Orchestra, and conveys an outgoing quality that matches the passionate score...”
George Hall, The Stage, June 2012
“The English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the bouncing Gianluca Marciano, showed what glories are gained by doing big-house repertoire in a small theatre.”
Rosie Johnston, Opera Now, September 2012
“Gianluca Marciano brought engagement and a sense of sweep to his task...”
George Hall, Opera News, August 2012
“The English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Gianluca Marcianò, was on fine form...”
Opera Britannia, June 2012
“Gianluca Marcianò and the English Chamber Orchestra gave us a spirited rendering of the score, always vivacious and exciting...”
David Karlin, Bachtrack, June 2012
“Conductor Gianluca Marcianò brought out certain phrases from the English Chamber Orchestra that I had never noticed before in the scoring. He encouraged superb indulgent fermatas from the soloists as well as stunning pianissimi and truly exciting tempi. The energy and passion Marciano emits as conductor is one that I recognise as from the super-league and I predict he will be taking the podium at Covent Garden within five years. Watch out, Pappano, you have competition!”
Melinda Hughes, SpearsWMS.com, June 2012
Verdi La Traviata
“The highly talented Italian maestro Gianluca Marciano, who is now chief conductor of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater, impressively makes everything look easy... Today, I had the great opportunity to hear [Marciano] conducting Verdi’s masterpiece. His interpretation of La Traviata already impressed British audiences a few years ago at Longborough Festival... From the first bars of the prelude it became evident that the favourable reviews weren’t exaggerated. When listening to Marciano, one felt in direct contact with the music and touched by its immediacy. The orchestra played like they were an extension of his hands, and he led them like a pianist extracting sounds from a keyboard with his gestures. The ability of the orchestra to transmit and magnify the energy of their maestro so well deserves further praise. The music sounded original yet fresh, with so much meaning waiting to be explored. The listener was allowed a glance into the musical material and, moreover, was able to live it.”
Opera News, May 2012
Tosca / Grange Park Opera
“Further credit is due to the conductor, Gianluca Marcianò, for achieving such freedom and spontaneity in accompanying the singers: the orchestra ‘spoke’ with the voices rather than simply supporting them.”
Yehuda Shapiro, Opera, 2011.
Così fan tutte / Longborough Festival
“The other star of the evening is conductor Gianluca Marcianò: if you didn’t know better, you’d say he was in charge of the Covent Garden band.”
Michael Church, The Independent, June 2011
“Musically, this was an excellent performance, with Gianluca Marcianò bringing out all the wit, elegance and pathos of Mozart’s music – and that, after all, is what counts. To quote Jenny Miller again: ‘Despite Da Ponte’s ultimately harsh and misogynistic libretto, Mozart’s music bleeds the intensity of each character’s human experience and feeling’. It certainly did so on this occasion.”
Roger Jones, Seen and Heard International, June 2011
Manon Lescaut / Chelsea Opera Group / Queen Elizabeth Hall
“The Chelsea Opera Group overcame those perceived obstacles with this typically enterprising concert performance conducted by Gianluca Marcianò with an elan, fluidity and sensitivity to the singers that ensured a sense of theatre, even in the austere environs of the QEH.... the famed intermezzo between act 2 and 3 boasted a Hollywood sheen.”
Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine, June 2011
“The choice of conductor has been significant to many of COG’s recent triumphs and so it was on this occasion. Gianluca Marcianò impressed when leading La traviata in 2010. Here, he showed his ability to communicate the spirit of verismo. The very opening bars had the air bristling with excitement, the brilliance of Puccini’s orchestration of chirping wind figurations over pizzicato strings driven along irresistibly. The warmth with which the orchestra accompanied the first encounter of the lovers was an equally telling fruit of his direction. He justly brought the orchestra to its feet after the ‘Intermezzo’, given with no sense of playing safe but with a degree of slancio which was exhilarating.”
Richard Nicholson, classicalsource.com, June 2011
Mahler Symphony No.1 / Al-Bustan Festival, Beirut
“Marcianò also serves as Al-Bustan’s music director and his abilities were evident from the first flick of his wrist. He marked initial sparse moments of tension with a languorous movement of the baton. He seemed to accompany or interpret the music, rather than directing it, transforming the waxing and waning of rhythms into performance. The 35-year-old Italian maestro comes to conducting via the piano. He made his piano recital debut at the age of 10 and has since won several national and international competitions. The first movement reiterated its tone of foreboding, punctuated by shrill violin, while Marcianò’s movements were so contained as to suggest a powerful escalation of energy without appearing frenetic. At moments of building tension, Marcianò looked like a spider suspended from its web... Marcianò gave expression to the audience’s own pent-up tension, jumping into the air at the final escalatory movement, with trilling from the quartet of flutes penetrating the music’s sober depths...”
Emily Holman, The Daily Star, March 2011
Tosca / Grange Park Opera
“Gianluca Marcianò makes a remarkable British debut with his stylish, almost chamber-musical conducting of Puccini’s war horse, revealing lovely woodwind detail thanks to fewer strings than one expects in this score.”
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, June 2010
“Gianluca Marcianò’s impressive conducting … unleashes the full force of Puccini’s technicolor score.”
The Stage, June 2010
“Grange Park’s Tosca gives Puccini an unexpectedly sophisticated veneer. Much of the credit goes to Gianluca Marcianò’s ultra-stylish, hyper-flexible conducting...”
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, June 2010
La Traviata / Chelsea Opera Group
“The event of the week for me, however, was undoubtedly the Chelsea Opera Group’s concert performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall of Verdi’s La Traviata. Gianluca Marcianò conducted a splendidly paced account.”
Paul Driver, The Times Online, February 2010
“The orchestra has never sounded better at these events: the string tuning was admirably co-ordinated for most of the evening, and Gianluca Marcianò’s conducting was stylish and urgent… this was an impressively professional performance... his interpretation was convincing and often riveting.”
Dominic McHugh, MusicalCriticism.com, February 2010
“Gianluca Marcianò was another revelation: getting the best out of veiled Chelsea Opera strings in a Prelude which immediately drew us in, chamber-wise; bouncing the party music and the choral diversions along at brisk but never forced speeds, mouthing every word and keeping every bit-part singer in order.”
David Nice, theartsdesk.com, February 2010
“The Chelsea Opera Group orchestra was a revelation under the young Italian conductor, Gianluca Marcianò. From the opening veiled strings of the Prelude onwards, this was musically a performance that any leading opera house would be proud of. Maestro Marcianò... led the whole ensemble, including a valiant chorus, though a mature, finely balanced, spirited and passionate account of this Verdi masterpiece.”
Jim Pritchard, musicweb-international.com, February 2010
“Gianluca Marcianò is an exciting young Italian conductor … the sound he brought to the opera was truly Italianate. He kept the pace fast whilst still maintaining delicacy and evoking emotion. The orchestra had the quality and assurance of a professional band and the conductor, in collaboration with the chorus master (or mistress in this case) Deborah Miles-Johnson, brought out a quality in the chorus that I have not heard for a very long time. So, the unexpected mix created a wonderful confection!”
Jill Segal, bachtrack.com, February 2010
“He drew powerful sounds from his orchestra in the public scenes and showed attention to detail when accompanying the major dialogues.”
Richard Nicholson, classicalsource.com, February 2010
“Under Gianluca Marcianò's confident direction, both chorus and orchestra gave a strong, vibrant performance. Marcianò directed a strong, direct account of the work.”
Robert Hugill, Chelsea Opera Group, February 2010
Le Nozze di Figaro / Longborough Festival Opera
“This is an enormously enjoyable production: let’s hope Longborough gives it another run. Its star is conductor Gianluca Marcianò, who made the orchestral instruments sound as if they, too, were singing Mozart’s music. No wonder he’s been engaged for another two seasons.”
Giles Woodforde, The Oxford Times, June 2009
“Gianluca Marcianò conducts his crisp orchestra with such loving and dramatic alertness (and the harpsichord continuo is brilliantly imaginative).”
Christopher Morley, The Birmingham Post, June 2009
La Favorite / Chelsea Opera Group
“The orchestra, fairly polished, brimmed with spirit. Under the lyrical baton of Gianluca Marcianò they even found beauty when Donizetti tootles like a machine.”
Geoff Brown, The Times, December 2008
“A coherent account was led by an expert conductor, Gianluca Marcianò, who knows how an opera should go, kept things moving well, sustained and supported the singers, sounded Donizetti's instrumental and fancy contrapuntal inventions intently but without affectation.”
Opera Magazine, December 2008
La Pietra del Paragone / Teatro Verdi di Sassari
“Worthy of note was the enthusiastic conductor Gianluca Marcianò who has already given a brilliant rendering of Les mammelles de Tirésias at the Teatro Verdi a year ago. He certainly didn’t neglect either the rhythm or vivacity of Rossini’s score, which alternates between wonderfully smooth bel canto and diabolical sections of mechanical interplay.”
Andrea Merli, L’Opera, December 2008
La Traviata / Longborough Festival Opera
“Possibly the best thing about this new Traviata is the combination of some really punchy playing from the Festival Orchestra and the fiery dynamism of this production’s star find, the Italian maestro Gianluca Marcianò ... his confident and unflinchingly passionate way with Verdi’s lyrical lines is hugely impressive."
Neil Fisher, The Times, June 2008
“Gianluca Marcianò conducted a versatile orchestra, shimmering and perky by turns.”
Christopher Morley, The Birmingham Post, June 2008
La Damoiselle Élue & Les Mamelles de Tirésias / Teatro Verdi di Sassari
“Credit is due to the inspiring and engaging direction of Gianluca Marcianò, who has gained acclaim outside Italy. He made the most of both Debussy’s instrumentation and Poulenc’s unrestrained rhythms...”
Andrea Merli, L’Opera, January 2007