Born in Sassari, Francesca Sassu studied voice at the Conservatory in her native town and subsequently attended masterclasses with outstanding singers and teachers such as Raina Kabaivanska, Renato Bruson and Barbara Frittoli.
She won the First Prize 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.
Her career highlights in the Bel Canto repertoire include the title role in Bellini’s Norma at the Teatro Filarmonico di Verona in a Francesco Ivan Ciampa/Hugo de Ana production, at the Ópera de Oviedo under the conduction of Renato Balsadonna 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; the title role in Anna Bolena under Sesto Quatrini at the Lithuanian National Opera; Luigia (Viva la Mamma) in a Laurent Pelly production paced by Evelino Pidò/José Miguel Pérez Sierra for the Madrid Teatro Real.
Francesca made her debut as Violetta in Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall and returned to the role for La Fenice in Robert Carsen’s staging of La Traviata, for the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari in a new production by Hugo de Ana, and for the National Opera of Chile under Roberto Rizzi Brignoli. She appeared as Amelia Grimaldi in Simon Boccanegra alongside Placido Domingo and under the baton of Balázs Kocsár at the Hungarian State Opera, and took the stage 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 the Teatro Regio Torino under Giorgio Morandi and at the Edinburgh International Festival alongside Gianandrea Noseda. She interpreted the role of Liù in Bologna in Fabio Cherstich’s contemporary reworking of Turandot and starred as Suor Genoveffa (Suor Angelica) and as Nella (Gianni Schicchi) in La Scala’s production of the Puccini trilogy conducted by Riccardo Chailly and broadcast live by Sky Classica HD (DVD Hardy Classic).
Francesa Sassu sang Micaëla, one of her warhorses, alongside Karel Mark Chichon and Elina Garanča 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.
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) as well as La Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro) led by Francesco Lanzillotta at Beijing NCPA and in a Stefano Poda staging at Teatro Filarmonico in Verona. She was Elettra (Idomeneo) for the Settimane Musicali di Stresa under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda.
Recent and forthcoming engagements include Elisabetta at la Monnaie in the Francesco Lanzillotta/Olivier Fredj musical epic Bastarda based on Donizetti’s Tudor tetralogy, Liù in Puccini’s Turandot for the Bari Teatro Petruzzelli in a new Renato Palumbo/Paul Curran production, and Nela in Il Paese dei Campanelli by Carlo Lombardo and Virgilio Ranzato with Fabio Luisi at both the Festival della Valle d’Itria and Teatro Coccia di Novara.
Francesca sings the soprano part in Verdi’s Requiem under the baton of Zubin Mehta at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège.