Franco Pomponi is critically acclaimed for the rich, expressive beauty and powerful virility of his voice, with a cultivated musical style, and unmatched dramatic intensity which has brought him to many of the world’s most prestigious opera houses and concert halls.
His European debut came as Hamlet at the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona and success followed worldwide.
In Paris he created a sensation as Pentheus in The Bassarids by Henze at the Théâtre du Châtelet and has returned to Châtelet in the title roles of Nixon in China, and Sweeney Todd. He debuted at Opernhaus Zürich in a new production of Les pêcheurs de perles as Zurga and immediately after in Moscow in the title role of Don Giovanni for his debut at The Bolshoi Opera. Other important debuts include Guglielmo in David McVicar’s new production of Cosi fan tutte at Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg, Nick Shadow in A Rake’s Progress at Teatro Massimo in Palermo for his Italian debut, Prospero in a new production of The Tempest for the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest, Carbon in Cyrano with Placido Domingo at Teatro Real in Madrid; Lindorf, Coppélius, Miracle and Dapertutto in Les contes d’Hoffmann for the Finnish National Opera. Franco made his Opéra Marseille debut once again as Hamlet in a new production by Vincent Boussard which won “opera of the year” by Opéra Magazine. His Hamlet was again highly praised for his La Monnaie debut in Brussels. Franco made his Carnegie Hall debut as the baritone soloist in the Eighth Symphony of Mahler with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Franco, a student of Carl Lawrenz, received a full fellowship at the Juilliard Opera Center, training under Frank Corsaro. He was the first recipient of the DeRosa Prize, Juilliard’s distinguished award for achievement. His training continued as a member of the elite Lyric Opera of Chicago young artist program. Franco made his Chicago debut as Germont in Verdi’s La traviata. His New York debut came as Escamillo in Carmen at New York City Opera and the next season he joined The Metropolitan Opera. At the Met he has been heard in Carmen, La bohème, Madama Butterfly, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Arabella, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Les Mamelles de Tirésias, and The Gambler.
Notable roles: Ford in Falstaff for the Canadian Opera in Toronto and The Santa Fe Opera, Don Giovanni, Grand Théâtre de Geneve, Greek National Opera, and Montpellier, Valentin in Faust for Opéra Toulon, Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande for Reisopera, Netherlands, Frank/Fritz in Die tote Stadt, Palermo, Escamillo in Carmen at L.A. Opera and with Marc Minkowki and the Musiciens du Louvre in Bremen, the title role of Eugene Onégin at the Spoleto Festival.
His vast repertoire of roles performed include: Hamlet, Hérode Hérodiade Lindorf, Coppélius, Miracle, Dapertutto, Escamillo, Metternich L’Aiglon, Valentin, Zurga, Count di Luna, Ford, Germont, Seid Il Corsaro, Ezio Attila, Montforte I Vespri Siciliani , Ernesto Il Pirata, Belcore, Enrico Lucia di Lammermoor, Enrico VIII Anna Bolena, Dandini, Malatesta, Marcello, Schaunard, Jack Rance, Michele Il Tabarro, Gianni Schicchi, Lescaut, Silvio, Don Giovanni, Guglielmo, Count Almaviva, Argante Rinaldo, Nick Shadow, Sweeney Todd, Nixon, Tarquinius Rape of Lucretia, Eugene Onégin, Ibn-Hakia and Robert Iolanta, Stanley Kowalski A Streetcar Named Desire.
Franco won the NPR International Art Song contest with his first solo recording Death is the Cool Night, lieder of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms to the poetry of Heine.
Franco is a founder and President of the Opera Festival of Chicago which had it’s premiere season in the summer of 2021.
Franco has performed leading baritone roles at major Opera houses and Concert Halls worldwide.
EUROPE and beyond - Liceo Barcelona, Teatro Real Madrid, Bolshoi Moscow, La Monnaie Brussels , Opernhaus Zürich, Grand Theatre Geneva, Opéra Lausanne, Chatelet Paris, Opéra Comique, Royal Theatre Versailles, Marseille, Montpellier, Opéra Nice, Opéra du Rhin Strasbourg, Tours, Vichy, Den Haag, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Teatro Massimo Palermo, Teatro Lirico Cagliari, Italy, Greek National Opera, Athens, Hungarian State Opera, Budapest, Finnish National Opera, Helsinki, Guangzhou Opera, China, Doha Opera House, Qatar
AMERICAS - Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera, New Orleans Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Spoleto Festival, San Diego Opera, Saratoga, Boston Lyric, Opera Omaha, Dallas Opera, Austin Lyric, San Antonio, Portland Opera, Eugene Opera, Kentucky Opera, Washington Concert Opera, Carnegie Hall New York, Orchestra Hall Chicago
ORCHESTRA - Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, BYSO, Boston, Orchestre du Paris, Orchestre Radio France, Grant Park Symphony, Qatar Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Musiciens du Louvre, Orquesta y Coro Nacional de España.
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