Riccardo Zanellato was born in Contarina, in the province of Rovigo, Italy. He graduated in guitar at the Conservatory of Adria in 1994. Passion for singing was born in him in the period of his military service. He was chosen to enter the Alpine Representative Choir and during this experience many people encouraged him to cultivate this wonderful gift. In 1992, the encounter with Maestro Arrigo Pola, who was also a teacher of Pavarotti, marked the beginning of his artistic career and led him to his debut in 1994 at Teatro Verdi in Padua as the Count of Ceprano in “Rigoletto”. In the following years he successfully participated in many singing competitions, winning in 1996 the “A. Belli” in Spoleto and reaching among the finalists at “Operalia” in Tokyo in 1997. In 2005, he was awarded the “Tiberini d'Argento”.
In 2000, he started to work in vocal perfection with Maestro Bonaldo Giaiotti, and this collaboration was be crucial for the continuation of his career. With the Maestro, he prepared one of the most complex characters for bass: Zaccaria from “Nabucco”. His debut took place in 2001 in the Villa Pallavicino of Busseto and from that moment onwards there have been many productions, in which he was seen as the protagonist in the role, making him an interpreter of absolute reference.
His extended vocality and soft singing led him to be the interpreter of the Verdian repertoire, as well as that of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini. Among the most important works with his participation we can remember are: “Attila“ and “La battaglia di Legnano” (Parma), “Rigoletto” (Parma, Macerata, Caracalla, Teatro alla Scala, Turin, Liège), “Otello” (Paris), “Simon Boccanegra” (Rome, Catania, Lyon, Dresden), “Nabucco” (Rovigo, Ravenna, Rome, Parma, Savonlinna Festival, Stuttgart, Leipzig, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Kiev), “Aida” (La Scala, Naples, Turin, Verona, Valencia), “Il trovatore” (Lausanne, Verona, Salzburg), “Macbeth”, “Maria Stuarda” (Bergamo, Reggio Emilia), “Anna Bolena” (Bergamo, Brescia, Parma, Helsinki, Turin and on a tour in Japan), “Luisa Miller” (Barcelona, Bilbao, Lyon), “Lucia di Lammermoor” (Florence, Naples, Macerata, Venice, Wiesbaden), “Norma” (Rovigo, Catania, Palermo, Warsaw, Turin, Montevideo, Verona and on a tour in Japan), “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” (Parma, Padua), “I puritani” (Amsterdam, Cagliari, Lecce) and others.
Numerous are his collaborations with important conductors, among others: Chailly, Gatti, Viotti, Mariotti, Abbado, Pappano, Battistoni, Rustioni, Renzetti and internationally renowned stage directors: Catena, De Ana, Abbado, Muscato, Vick , Wilson, Maestrini, Pier’Alli and others.
A breakthrough in his career surely happened by his encounter with Maestro Riccardo Muti, who chose him for “Iphigenié en Aulide”, “Nabucco”, “Moïse et Pharaon”, “Macbeth”, “Simon Boccanegra” and “Nabucco” at the Opera House in Rome. One of Riccardo’s favorite works is Verdi’s Requiem and he realized his dream to sing it, directed by the great Maestro in Naples, Redipuglia, at the Ravenna Festival and on a tour in Slovenia and Vienna at the Musikverein with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
His artistic career continued to grow and enriched his new debuts as protagonist: in 2011 at the Rossini Opera Festival in “Mosé in Egypt” (Abbiati Prize, 2011), in 2016 in “Attila” at Teatro Comunale in Bologna, in April 2017 as Filippo II in “Don Carlo” by Verdi in Genoa, a role particularly suitable for Riccardo because of his dramatic vocality and intensity.