Meanwhile, it’s hard to believe no one has convinced Rosario La Spina to sing Wagner before now. As Erik, his tenor pours out like a marvellous melting pot of Verdi, Bellini and Wagner. It’s extremely enjoyable to listen to.
Erik, Der fliegende Holländer, Melbourne Opera – Regent Theatre, Melbourne
Sydney Morning Herald, 4th February 2019
Rosario La Spina trained at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music continuing his studies at RNCM, Manchester under the tutelage of Joseph Ward OBE.
In 2002, Rosario won first prize in the Mario Del Monaco International Opera Competition and made his principal role debut at La Scala as Riccardo (Oberto) reprising the role in Genoa.
He made his Opera Australia debut as Cavaradossi (Tosca) in 2005 and has subsequently appeared for the national company as Radames (Aida) The Prince (Love for Three Oranges), Alfredo (La traviata), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), The Duke (Rigoletto), The Prince (Rusalka), Calaf (Turandot), Macduff (Macbeth), Rodolfo (La bohème), Don José (Carmen) and the title role in The Tales of Hoffmann. His American debut was as Rodolfo for Seattle Opera in 2007; he returned to Seattle as Radames and made his first Canadian appearances in this same role.
Rosario has also been a regular soloist with the Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras and appears on the CD/DVD Classical Spectacular with the Melbourne Symphony (ABC Classics). Other recordings include Puccini Romance with the Queensland Symphony (ABC Classics), The Prince in Rusalka under Richard Hickox (Chandos) and, in 2009, a major solo album released by Universal Music featuring Rosario with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. His 2010 Universal duo release Always You (with his sister, Anna-Maria La Spina) shot straight to the top of the classical charts in Australia.
The Verdi Bicentenary in 2013 saw him sing Alfredo and The Duke in Perth, Don Alvaro (La forza del destino) in Adelaide, Verdi’s Requiemin Taiwan and New Zealand, Radames in Detroit and Gaston (Jérusalem) in Fidenza; he also performed Don José throughout Japan.
Since 2014, Rosario La Spina has sung The Duke for Opera Queensland, Manrico (Il trovatore) for West Australian Opera, Pollione (Norma) and Canio (Pagliacci) for Victorian Opera, Samson (Samson et Dahlia) in Tokyo, Cavaradossi, Turiddu and Canio for State Opera of South Australia and The Prince (The Love for Three Oranges), Turiddu, Canio and Calaf for Opera Australia.
He has recently enjoyed great success singing Erik (Der fliegende Holländer) with Melbourne Opera conducted by Anthony Negus.