Born in Bologna, Italy, Scilla Cristiano began her career at the age of 13 in H. W. Henze’s Pollicino and in W.A.Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She performed these works at Bologna’s Teatro Comunale with world-class singers as M.Devia, A.Corbelli, E.Norberg-Schulz, and R.Scandiuzzi.
Studying both piano and voice, the young soprano subsequently completed her degree with first-class honours at the Conservatoire G.B. Martini in Bologna.
After achieving her degree, she has continued to expand her repertoire and her abilities by working with teachers Gloria Banditelli; William Matteuzzi; Ildebrando D’Arcangelo; Claudio Desderi; Giulio Liguori; Nazzareno Antinori; and Anna Di Gennaro. She has also attended the Rossiniana Academy in Pesaro with Alberto Zedda.
In 2004, Scilla Cristiano began her association with the Orchestra Verdi di Milano and took part in the production of Suor Angelica conducted by Riccardo Chailly. Soon after she appeared in Dallapiccolla’s Volo di notte conducted by Kazushi Ono, and later the same year made her debut as Lucia in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Other roles she has taken on have included Gilda in Rigoletto, Musetta in La Bohème, Carolina in Matrimonio Segreto, Adina in Elisir d’Amore with AsLiCo (Lombard Lyric Circuit), Micaela in Carmen and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte.
She was featured in the opening night of Bossi’s Malombra at the Comunale Theater of Bologna, at the world premiere of Giusti’s L’importanza di essere Onesto (Ascoli Piceno, 2005), and in Carlo Galante’s Zaide o la chiave dell’illusione (Fossano, 2006).
Besides her dramatic roles, Scilla Cristiano has performed in many concerts, in both sacred and secular settings. Off the opera stage she has also become internationally renowned as a refined interpreter of spiritual music, chamber music and Lieder.
On the occasion of the prestigious Premio Siola d’Oro award being given to Dame Joan Sutherland, she was invited to perform a Belcanto Recital in the presence of both the great Australian Soprano and her husband, the renowned conductor Sir Richard Bonynge.
She herself has won prizes in numerous international competitions such as Riviera della Versilia (1998), Anselmo Colzani (2003), Ruggero Leoncavallo (2003), Tito Gobbi (2004), Ismaele Voltolini (2006) and Iris Adami Corradetti (2008).
She made her own debut at the Regio of Parma in Rigoletto (direction Stefano Vizioli, setting Pierluigi Samaritani), for the Festival Verdi 2008. In June 2009, with the same production company, she took part in a tour of China and sang at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing under conductor Donato Renzetti.
Among her more recent engagements, she has played the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and performed the Soprano Solo in Carl Orff‘s Carmina Burana for the Toscana Operafestival. Other highlights include her work in Mozart’s Requiem in Ferrara and Ravenna and as Gilda in Rigoletto with Roberto Servile and Giuseppe Altomare.
In summer 2011 she played Zerlina in Don Giovanni at the Festival Sommer of Merzig (Germany). Afterwards she reprised her role as Gilda in Rigoletto for the opera season at both Ferrara Theater and at Cavour Theater in Imperia. Other parts she took on at this time include Elvira in Italiana in Algeri at the Borgatti Theater in Cento (Fe), and Zerlina at the Superga Theater of Nichelino (To).
In June 2012 she again performed Mozart’s Requiem at the Academic Glinka Capella in St. Petersburg (Russia) with the State Orchestra at Capella Symphony Hall, and followed this success by making her debut as Violetta in La Traviata in September 2012.
Between February and March 2013 she sang the role of Clorinda in Cenerentola in a tour across Italy and Spain (conductor M° A. Salvagno). She also again starred in Rigoletto at Cantero’s Theater in Chiavari (Ge), at Consorziale Theater of Budrio (Bo), at Borgatti Theater in Cento (Fe) and at Del Monaco’s Theater in Treviso. These performances were all with Marzio Giossi under conductor Valerio Galli, and were heralded by the public and the critics alike.
Most recently, in December 2013, our soprano sang at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Theater in Florence as Adina in the show Il Magico Elisir.
In her latest engagement from January to April 2014, Scilla has appeared as Violetta Valery for the drama I Racconti di Violetta. This production is a new version of La Traviata by G. Verdi, and is supported by the Cultural Wealth Institute of Emilia Romagna.
Scilla Cristiano’s tracks