The American countertenor Lawrence Zazzo was born in Philadelphia in 1970 and studied English and Music at Yale and King’s College Cambridge (he later completed a PhD on Handel at Queen’s University Belfast in parallel to his singing career) before training as a singer at the Royal College of Music. His London Handel Festival debut (in the title-role of Arminio) established him as a major talent, and he went onto sing the role at major venues around the world.
Zazzo’s repertoire includes the title-roles in Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Radamisto, Alessandro and Orlando, Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and numerous contemporary operas: he created the role of Trinculo in Thomas Adès’s The Tempest in 2003, and has also sung The Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s Flight and Mascha in Péter Eötvös’s Chekhov-based 1998 opera Three Sisters.
Zazzo’s discography includes the title-role on René Jacobs’s Gramophone Award-nominated recording of Handel’s Saul, Farnace on Classical Opera’s recording of Mozart’s Mitridate, the solo albums A Royal Trio and Byrdland, and (on DVD) the title-role in Giulio Cesare from the Paris Opera, opposite Natalie Dessay’s Cleopatra.
Further Reading: Lawrence Zazzo
The countertenor talks to Katherine about his new disc of music commissioned by The Royal Academy of Music in the 1720s.