Daniela Dessì is considered one of the world’s leading sopranos and a reference point for the Verdi, Puccini and Verismo repertoire. Thanks to the beauty of her voice, a strong technique and an intense dramatic talent, she has been able to sing from Monteverdi to Prokof’ev, performing in more than seventy different operas. This versatility has significantly been underlined when, in 2011, she was awarded with the Prize Belcanto “Celletti”, recognized as an “absolute soprano”.
Born in Genoa, she graduated in singing and in piano from the Conservatory “Arrigo Boito” in Parma, later specializing in chamber singing at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena.
Since her debut in La Serva Padrona by Pergolesi in Genoa, her career started taking wing. Requested in the world major opera houses and festivals, she has collaborated with great conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Daniele Gatti, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Carlo Maria Giulini, Carlos Kleiber, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Giuseppe Sinopoli. She has worked with the most famous directors, including Roberto De Simone, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Luca Ronconi, Ettore Scola, Giorgio Strehler, Franco Zeffirelli.
It is worth highlighting the breadth of Daniela Dessì’s repertoire. It ranges from Baroque and Eighteenth Century music (with the great interpretations of Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte and La Clemenza di Tito by Mozart with Riccardo Muti conducting) to the works of the early Twentieth Century, mainly focusing on the glorious Nineteenth Century Italian operatic composers (Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi). Complying with her vocal evolution, Daniela Dessì has quickly succeeded in establishing herself as one of the leading interpreters for Verdi, Puccini and Verismo. As a matter of fact, she has been the first Italian singer to perform in her country the three roles of Puccini’s Trittico (Giorgetta, Suor Angelica and Lauretta) in the same evening; she has also been the first and only Western soprano to perform Madama Butterfly in Nagasaki, in Japan, on occasion of a tour arranged by the Festival Pucciniano, Torre del Lago.
Among her greatest and most recent successes, we must point out Tosca in Florence, when she performed an encore of “Vissi d’arte” 52 years after the last encore of an air (in that case it was granted by Renata Tebaldi), Madama Butterfly in Rome and Palermo, Adriana Lecouvreur in Barcelona, Tosca in Athens and Berlin, duo concerts in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with Fabio Armiliato, her partner in life and art, La Forza del Destino in Liège, Aida at the Arena in Verona, a Verdi Gala at the Theatre Madlenianum in Beograd with Fabio Armiliato.
In the last years, Daniela Dessì added some important roles to her repertoire, giving further evidence of her technical skill. In 2008 her debut in Bologna in Norma was awarded with Premio Abbiati of Italian Music Critics. In 2011 she performed for the first time in her career La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and Vier letzte Lieder by Richard Strauss with the Symphony Orchestra of Rome. In 2012 she made her debut in the role of Paolina in Poliuto by Donizetti in Marseille and, just one month after, she performed the title role in Turandot by Giacomo Puccini at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, receiving unanimous critical acclaim. In 2013, she triumphed debuting Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana at the Taormina Festival.
At the beginning of 2014, after performing a recital at Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, she successfully dealt with her first opera direction, in addition to performing as the protagonist in Madama Butterfly at Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa.
Daniela Dessì also pays special attention to chamber and sacred music: she performed the recital Novecento Italiano Rarities at the Festival dei 2Mondi in Spoleto and at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Her recent project, entirely dedicated to works of all ages which set the text of the prayer “Ave Maria” to music, originated a series of concerts and the recording Ave Maria published by DECCA. This last CD joins her extensive discography, that includes titles for the greatest record labels (in addition to the well-established collaboration with Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Philips, SoloVoce, Universal).
Thanks to her passion for singing, Ms Dessì dedicates part of her time to teaching. She has also starred in several television programs devoted to opera popularization.
Together with the Prize Belcanto “Celletti” and the Abbiati Prize, Daniela Dessì was also awarded with, among others, the International Opera Award 2013, Prize “Giacomo Puccini” – Torre del Lago in 2001, Premio “Zenatello” Arena di Verona in 2000, Premio “Donne Eccellenti” 2013, Female Leader Prize 2013 bestowed by EWMD, Prize “Pavarotti d’Oro” 2014 and “Illica d’Oro” 2015.