Corrado Rovaris is the Music Director of the Opera Philadelphia and Music Director of the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, founded in 2011 by the Walton Arts Center. Celebrated for his vibrant and expressive performances, especially in the bel canto and verismo repertoire, as well as his artistry in bringing new and contemporary works to life, Rovaris engages with his warm presence on the podium.
Maestro Rovaris opened Opera Philadelphia’s 2019/20 season with The Love of Three Oranges, followed by Verdi’s Requiem and Madama Butterfly. An active proponent of new works, Rovaris recently led Opera Philadelphia in the world premiere of Glass Handel, an operatic art installation featuring the music of George Frideric Handel and Philip Glass co-produced by Opera Philadelphia and National Sawdust, Elizabeth Cree, a chamber opera by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts based on Peter Ackroyd’s novel, and the acclaimed Written on Skin by George Benjamin.
Born in Bergamo, Italy, Corrado Rovaris graduated from the Conservatory of Milan with degrees in composition, organ, and harpsichord. From 1992 through 1996 he was the Assistant Chorus Master of the Teatro alla Scala and made his debut on the podium with Il filosofo di campagna by Galuppi in a production by Associazione Lirica e Concertistica Italiana. He was subsequently invited to conduct at the Teatro Comunale in Florence and at the Rossini Opera Festival. Soon after, he began appearing as a regular guest in many of the major Italian opera houses such as La Scala, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro La Fenice, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and Teatro Comunale di Bologna. Internationally he has led productions for the Opéra de Lyon, Opera Monte Carlo, Théâtre Municipal de Lausanne, Oper Köln, Oper Frankfurt, the Garsington Opera Festival, and the Japan Opera Foundation in Tokyo, among others. In symphonic repertoire, he regularly conducts the Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the Danish Radio Sinfonietta, the Orchestra de Theatre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels), Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome), and Orchestra Sinfonica Giuseppe Verdi (Milan).
In 1999 Rovaris made his U.S. debut with Opera Philadelphia conducting Il Nozze di Figaro. His subsequent collaborations with the company led to his eventual appointment as Opera Philadelphia’s first-ever music director in the 2004/05 season, a position he has served in since. Elsewhere in North America, maestro Rovaris has conducted Anna Bolena and Roberto Devereux at the Canadian Opera Company, and has frequently led productions at the Santa Fe Opera including Simon Boccanegra, La bohème, L’elisir d’amore, Don Pasquale, and Lucia di Lammermoor. Most recently, Maestro Rovaris returned to the Santa Fe Opera in summer 2018 to conduct L’italiana in Algeri. Other collaborators have included the St. Louis Opera and the Glimmerglass Opera. In October 2008 he conducted the Tucker Gala with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, featuring among other guest soloists Susan Graham and Bryn Terfel. He has established a close connection with the Curtis Institute of Music, and since 2009 has led several joint Curtis-Opera Philadelphia productions, including the 2018 production of Bernstein’s A Quiet Place.
Maestro Rovaris was awarded knighthood by the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2015 and was honored in 2016 with the Franco Abbiati Prize