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 and in Beaune under Ottavio Dantone; Lucifero in La Resurrezione under Diego Fasolis; Aci (Aci, Galatea e Polifemo) with Il Giardino Armonico and its conductor Giovanni Antonini; 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.
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 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.
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.
Recent and forthcoming engagements include the Handel works Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (Aci) at the Bucharest George Enescu Festival and London Wigmore Hall, La Resurrezione (Lucifero) with Vacáv Luks in Prague and Dresden, Serse (Ariodate) conducted by David Bates at the Rouen Opera and Paris Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. He appears as Jacquino in Leonora by Ferdinando Paër under Alessandro De Marchi in Schwetzingen, Innsbruck and Bonn.