Q&A with The Barber of Seville Conductor Maestro Leonardo Vordoni

“Leonardo Vordoni’s musical direction was faultless, the Italian conductor bringing lively tempos, idiomatic pacing, and attentive detailing… with scrupulous balancing of ensembles and chorus throughout.” – Chicago Classical Review

“The very enjoyable performance redounded to the credit of rising conductor Leonardo Vordoni, who jumped in with zero orchestral rehearsal and gave a cogent, lively account… Vordoni had coached the singers and the level of spoken and sung Italian was unusually precise and expressive, a key factor in this piece.” – Gay City News

“Conductor Leonardo Vordoni… interpreted the score as keenly with his heart as with his intellect.” – Opera News

“…masterful conducting by Leonardo Vordoni (making his Lyric début). Conductor Vordoni, showcased the teamwork in this great Mozart opera, meshing comedy and romance and achieving a sensitive balance between orchestra and singers.” – El Paso Times

“None of this would have been possible without a conductor who has a nuanced sense of comic timing. And that’s exactly what Opera Colorado found in emerging maestro Leonardo Vordoni, who was making his début with the company. He married suitably high-energy pacing with keen responsiveness to the action onstage.” – Opera News

What is your conducting style?

I can’t be very animated because I’m a tall guy and it would be too distracting. I always analyze the score, trying to understand what the composer deeply wanted. My approach is a coaching approach, not just ”we are in 4 and here we are in 3.” I always allow everybody to express themselves: it’s the most important thing to me. The audience sees my back not my face, meaning I’m there to serve the orchestra and the stage.

What work are you most proud of?

I’m very grateful that I’ve had a chance to share my idea and work with amazing musicians. I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to craft and give interpretation to timeless masterpieces.

I’m proud of all the works I’ve done, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it. The most important thing is to touch some chord in the audience, and when you sense that through a performance, you achieve the goal.

When we work, we always give our best. Every night is opening night. If the audience is happy, then I’m happy: after all, we are in the entertainment business. Opera is a live performance, everything can happen and every time is different, so I can say that every show that I have done has a special meaning to me for different reasons.

Why do you do what you do?

In Italy, when I was a kid I found myself whistling some motif from some opera without knowing, just because it’s part of our culture. When I started working, I got warned “be careful, opera is like a drug—when you start you want more.

I love to coach singers. When I was in Italy as a pianist, I found myself backstage waving my arms and wondering about interpretation, and I was always attracted to the theatrical experience, not only the music: all the aspects. I always read every piece as a chamber music piece. It’s always a partnership in music making, teamwork, and that’s why I’ve always been involved in chamber music groups, and the operatic experience is the best chamber group you can put together with orchestra and singers.