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 recently sang Monteverdi’s Orfeo (Caronte) and Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Il Tempo and Nettuno) at La Scala in Milan 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.
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; Campra’s Carnaval de Venise (L’Ordonnateur, Plutone and Le Carnaval) with the Concert Spirituel under the baton of Hervé Niquet; Aci, Galatea e Polifemo with Il Giardino Armonico and its conductor Giovanni Antonini; Handel’s Tamerlano (Leone) at the Teatro Real in Madrid with Paul McCreesh and Graham Vick.
Luigi De Donato is a supreme Mozart interpreter – he was Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Colas (Bastien und Bastienne), Herr Buff (Der Schauspieldirektor) – and a specialist in Bel Canto. He performed the roles of Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri, Don Profondo in Il Viaggio a Reims, Don Magnifico and Alidoro in La Cenerentola, Rodolfo in La Sonnambula, Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’amore, Geronimo in Il Matrimonio segreto, Donaldo in Elena e Malvina by Soliva, Prefetto in Linda di Chamounix.
Part of his repertoire features sacred music: Stabat Mater by Rossini; 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 Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris 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.
Among his career highlights are the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Nice Opera; Alidoro in La Cenerentola at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and the Opéra de Lausanne conducted by Stefano Ranzani and staged by Adriano Sinivia; Ariodate in Handel’s Serse in Madrid, Moscow and Barcelona under the direction of Jean-Christophe Spinosi; Plutone in Rossi’s Orfeo at the Opéra de Nancy with Raphaël Pichon and Jetske Mijnssen; Lucifero in Handel’s Resurrezione under the direction of Diego Fasolis; Podestà in La Gazza ladra at the Frankfurt Staatsoper; Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri at the Versailles Royal Opera and at the Festival International d’Opéra Baroque et Romantique de Beaune.
Recent and forthcoming engagements include Manoah in Samson conducted by Leonardo García Alarcón and Basilio in Il Barbiere in Siviglia under the baton of Jérémie Rhorer both at the Beaune Festival; Argante in Rinaldo in Cremona, Como, Pavia and Brescia; Ariodate in Serse in Reggio Emilia, Modena, Piacenza under the direction of Ottavio Dantone; Le Grand Inquisiteur in Don Carlos at the Hamburg Staatsoper; Seneca in Monteverdi’s Incornazione di Poppea with Jean-Christophe Spinosi at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.