One of the most promising mezzo-sopranos of her generation, Josè Maria Lo Monaco made her debut at the Rossini Opera Festival Academy in Pesaro in 2005 as Melibea in Rossini’s Viaggio a Reims and has returned there to perform L’Italiana in Algeri, La Scala di Seta and La Gazzetta.
After graduating from the Conservatory Vincenzo Bellini as a pianist, Lo Monaco studied singing with mezzo-soprano Bianca Maria Casoni in Milan. She very quickly received invitations from French and Italian opera houses.
She made her debut at La Scala in 2006 in the Petite Messe solennelle and in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and has since returned to perform La Donna del Lago, Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio and Isolier in Le Comte Ory alongside Juan Diego Flórez in a Laurent Pelly production conducted by Donato Renzetti.
Josè Maria debuted at the Paris Opera and Salzburg Festival as Timante in Jommelli’s Demofoonte under the baton of Riccardo Muti.
She performed the title role in Carmen for the Opéra National de Lyon, conducted by Stefano Montanari and staged by Olivier Py; this was awarded “production of the year” by Mezzo Television. In 2017 she reprised Carmen for the Sydney Opera House.
Josè Maria has distinguished herself as an interpreter of Bel Canto repertoire, starring as Adalgisa in Bellini’s Norma at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, Giovanna Seymour in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena and Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda at the Bergamo Donizetti Festival alongside Mariella Devia.
Her debut as Angelina (La Cenerentola) at the Bari Teatro Petruzzelli with Evelino Pidò/Daniele Abbado was such a success that she performed the role again in Jérôme Savary’s production in Rennes and Toulon. She also sang Angelina in Bilbao, Rome, Florence and Santiago de Chile.
She was Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Grange Festival and Isolier in Le Comte Ory in Liège and Milan.
Recognized as a fine Monteverdi interpreter, Josè Maria Lo Monaco starred as Musica and Messagera (L’Orfeo) in a Ottavio Dantone/Robert Carsen production for the the Lausanne Opera, and as Messagera and Speranza in the same opera under Andrea Marcon, Jordi Savall and Claudio Cavina. She appeared as Ottavia in L’Incornazione di Poppea with Alan Curtis/Pier Luigi Pizzi in Florence and under Jean-Christophe Spinosi at the Buenos Aires Teatro Colón. She has recorded the Monteverdi trilogy with La Venexiana for the Glossa label (Gramophone Award).
Her Handel roles include the title role in Serse for the Liceu Barcelona and Madrid Auditorio Nacional, Ruggiero (Alcina) for the Teatro Real, Alceste (Admeto), Nerone (Agrippina), Cornelia (Giulio Cesare)…
She performed the title role in Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans with the complicity of Ottavio Dantone/Accademia Bizantina and Alcina in Orlando furioso with Jean-Christophe Spinosi leading the Ensemble Matheus. She was seen on stage in Vivaldi’s Tito Manlio at London Barbican Hall and starred as Elmiro in Dorilla in Tempe for the Wexford Festival Opera.
Among her career highlights are Dorabella (Così fan tutte) at Teatro La Fenice, Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro) at both La Fenice and Beijing NCPA, Alessandro in Scarlatti’s Carlo Re d’Allemagna under Fabio Biondi/Europa Galante, Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther alongside Michele Mariotti in Bologna, Giulietta (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) at the Naples Teatro San Carlo.
In the field of sacred music, Josè Maria performed Rossini’s Stabat Mater at the Vatican under the baton of Jesús López Cobos for Pope Benedict XVI. She sang Bach’s Magnificat with Antonio Pappano at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis under Jean-Christophe Spinosi in Barcelona and Madrid.
Recent and future engagements include Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia (Rosina) at La Fenice, Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro (Cherubino) at Teatro Carlo Felice di Genoa, Così fan tutte (Dorabella) at Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, Offenbach’s Contes d’Hoffmann (Giuletta) at Teatro Regio di Parma. She returns to the Grange Festival to sing Angelina (La Cenerentola) and performs Mozart’s Coronation Mass under Jean-Christophe Spinosi at Paris Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.