Luigi De Donato was born in Cosenza where he pursued his musical education at the S. Giacomantonio Music Conservatory. Later he studied with Margaret Baker, Gianni Raimondi, Regina Resnik and Bonaldo Giaiotti.
He won several International Singing Competitions and received the Award for the best Bass Voice at the Francesco Paolo Tosti International Competition for Opera Singers.
He sang Monteverdi’s Orfeo (Caronte) and Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Il Tempo and Nettuno) at La Scala with the Concerto Italiano conduced by Rinaldo Alessandrini and directed by Robert Wilson. He performed the same roles once again at the Teatro Real in Madrid under the baton of William Christie in a production staged by Pier Luigi Pizzi. With Jean-Christophe Spinosi, he appeared as Seneca in L’Incornazione di Poppea at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
Multitalented musician and singer, Luigi has distinguished himself as one of the foremost interpreters of the repertoire of the 17th and 18th century working with leading conductors and Baroque ensembles. He appeared in Sant’Alessio (Demonio) by Landi with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, and in Campra’s Carnaval de Venise (L’Ordonnateur, Plutone and Le Carnaval) with Le Concert Spirituel under the baton of Hervé Niquet.
His Handel roles include Ariodate (Serse) in Madrid, Moscow and Barcelona under the direction of Jean-Christophe Spinosi as well as in Beaune under Ottavio Dantone; Lucifero in La Resurrezione under Diego Fasolis and Vacáv Luks; Polifemo (Aci, Galatea e Polifemo) with Giovanni Antonini/Il Giardino Armonico at the Salzburg Festival, and under Ruben Jais at both the Bucharest George Enescu Festival and London Wigmore Hall; Leone (Tamerlano) at the Teatro Real in Madrid with Paul McCreesh and Graham Vick; Argante (Rinaldo) conducted by Ottavio Dantone and staged by Jacopo Spirei in several Italian theatres; Manoah (Samson) with Leonardo García Alarcón.
Among his career highlights are the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Nice Opera; Le Grand Inquisiteur in Don Carlos at the Hamburg Staatsoper, Alidoro in La Cenerentola at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Opéra de Lausanne conducted by Stefano Ranzani and staged by Adriano Sinivia; Plutone in Rossi’s Orfeo at the Opéra de Nancy with Raphaël Pichon and Jetske Mijnssen; Podestà in La Gazza ladra at the Frankfurt Staatsoper; Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri at the Versailles Royal Opera and Beaune Festival; Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia under the baton of Jérémie Rhorer, also in Beaune.
Part of his repertoire features sacred music: the Stabat Mater by Steffani at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam conducted by Andrea Marcon; the oratorios Caecilia, virgo et martyr and Filius prodigus by Marc-Antoine Charpentier in Ambronay, Versailles, Toulouse, Bruxelles, Belgrade and New York. With Jean-Christophe Spinosi he appeared in Handel’s Messiah in Moscow, in both Mozart’s and Verdi’s Requiems, in Beethoven’s Missa solemnis and in Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine at the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet staged by Oleg Kulik.
His wide and varied repertoire also embraces Verdi, Bizet, Smetana, Puccini and extends through 20th century composers such as Stravinsky, Weill, Rota and Dallapiccola.
Recent and forthcoming engagements include the rarity Leonora (Jacquino) by Ferdinando Paër under Alessandro De Marchi in Innsbruck, Vivaldi’s Olimpiade (Alcandro) under Jean-Christophe Spinosi/Ensemble Matheus at Paris Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Mozart’s Zauberflöte (Sarastro) at Opéra de Dijon, Mozart’s Bastien et Bastienne (Colas) and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri (title role) in Clermont-Ferrand. At the Beaune Festival he performs Monteverdi’s Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Antinoo, Nettuno, Tempo) under Stéphane Fuget and Handel’s Agrippina (Claudio) led by Ottavio Dantone.
For Naïve, he has recently recorded Vivaldi’s long-lost opera Argippo under Fabio Biondi/Europa Galante, leading to the release of a CD in November and followed by a tour through Europe including Theater an der Wien and Asia.