Born in Sassari, Francesca Sassu studied voice at the Conservatory in her native town and subsequently attended masterclasses with outstanding singers and teachers as Raina Kabaivanska, Renato Bruson and Barbara Frittoli.
She won the First Price in the International Competition “A. Belli” of the Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto where she debuted as Leonora in Verdi’s Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio, a role she also performed for the Tokyo’s New National Theatre and for the Festival Verdi of the Teatro Regio di Parma under the direction of Antonello Allemandi (DVD Unitel Classica).
Her career highlights in the Bel Canto repertoire include the title role in Bellini’s Norma both at the Teatro Filarmonico di Verona in a Francesco Ivan Ciampa/Hugo de Ana production, and at the Norwegian National Opera with Antonino Fogliani; Amenaide in Rossini’s Tancredi conducted by José Miguel Pérez-Sierra and directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi for the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari; Adina in Donizetti’s Elisir d’amore at the Teatro Verdi di Sassari and Teatro Sociale di Como.
Francesca made her debut as Violetta in Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall and returned to the role at La Fenice in Robert Carsen’s staging of La Traviata, and at Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari in a new production by Hugo de Ana. She appeared as Amelia Grimaldi in Simon Boccanegra at the Hungarian State Opera Budapest and as Desdemona in Otello of which a documentary was made for Sky Classica HD.
Recognized for her roles in the Puccini repertoire, Francesca was Mimì (La Bohème) at both the Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari and Teatro Lirico di Cagliari. With the complicity of Gianandrea Noseda, she also performed as Mimì at the Edinburgh International Festival and as Musetta in Como with La Fura dels Baus. At La Scala, under Riccardo Chailly, she starred as Suor Genoveffa (Suor Angelica) and Nella (Gianni Schicchi) broadcast live by Sky Classica HD (DVD Hardy Classic). Francesca interpreted the role of Magda (La Rondine) in several Italian cities and Liù in Bologna in Fabio Cherstich’s contemporary reworking of Turandot.
Francesa Sassu sang Micaëla, one of her warhorses, for the Salzburg State Theatre, alongside Elina Garanča under Karel Mark Chichon at the Rome Opera, and in an Alain Guingal/Micha van Hoecke production at the Naples Teatro di San Carlo. She made her debut at the Arena di Verona as Micaëla in the famous mise-en-scène by Franco Zeffirelli of Carmen.
Further exploring the Romantic repertoire, she mastered Miss Ellen in a new Jordi Bernàcer/Davide Livermore production of Lakmé by Léo Delibes for the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman; a documentary was made for Sky Classica HD.
Passionate about lesser-known works, Francesca performed the world premiere of Il matrimonio inaspettato by Giovanni Paisiello led by Riccardo Muti at the Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg, and the world premiere of La Donna serpente by Alfredo Casella under Gianandrea Noseda for the Teatro Regio Torino, broadcast live on Rai 5 (DVD Naxos).
Her Mozart roles include Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), La Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro) at Beijing NCPA led by Francesco Lanzillotta, at Teatro Filarmonico Verona and in Menorca in a Stefano Poda staging. She was Elettra (Idomeneo) for the Settimane Musicali di Stresa under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda.
In the field of sacred music, she sang, among other works, Poulenc’s Gloria and appeared as the soprano soloist in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem.
Recent and future engagements include the title role in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena at the Lithuanian National Opera under Sesto Quatrini; Liù in Puccini’s Turandot at Bari Teatro Petruzzelli with Giampaolo Bisanti; Elisabetta in the musical epic Bastarda dedicated to the life of Queen Elizabeth I at Bruxelles’ La Monnaie in a Francesco Lanzillotta/Olivier Fredj production; Luigia in Donizetti’s Viva la Mamma in a Laurent Pelly production conducted by Evelino Pidò/José Miguel Pérez Sierra at Madrid Teatro Real; Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra led by Andrea Battistoni in Tokyo and Seoul.