Born in Naples, Maria Grazia Schiavo studied with R. Passaro at the Conservatory in Naples, graduating with honours. She won the First Prize both at the Santa Cecilia Competition in Rome and at the International Singing Competition of Clermont-Ferrand. She made her debut on stage with Roberto De Simone, performing the leading role in La Gatta Cenerentola which toured in major theatres in Italy and abroad.
Her renditions of the following roles affirmed her as one of the most interesting sopranos of her generation in Bel Canto and Romantic repertoire: Violetta in La Traviata in Naples, Rome, Turin and Venice’s La Fenice under the baton of the late Nello Santi and in a Stefano Ranzani/Robert Carsen production; Gilda in Rigoletto at the Teatro Massimo Palermo and Valencia Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia; the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor in Turin, Naples and Rome; Adina in L’Elisir d’amore at the Bari Teatro Petruzzelli and Opéra de Wallonie-Liège; La Contessa di Folleville in Il Viaggio a Reims at the Rome Opera. She also appeared as Olympia in Offenbach’s Contes d’Hoffmann at the Naples Teatro di San Carlo.
More recently, she performed the title role in Rossini’s Semiramide under Corrado Rovaris for the Opéra de Lausanne, Lisetta in La Gazetta for the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro with Carlo Rizzi conducting, Marie in Donizetti’s Fille du régiment in a Stefano Ranzani/Barbe & Doucet production for La Fenice and Adina in Donizetti’s Elisir d’amore in Rennes, Angers and Nantes.
Maria Grazia further appeared in concert with Riccardo Minasi at the Opernhaus Zürich and with Stefano Ranzani at the Teatro Comunale di Sassari.
In other repertoire, her performances include Asteria in Tamerlano at La Scala with Diego Fasolis, Almirena in Rinaldo under Ottavio Dantone at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Dalinda in Ariodante with Christophe Rousset at the Theater an der Wien, Mozart’s Mass in C minor with Christophe Rousset at the Mozarteum in Salzburg… Under the guidance of Zubin Mehta, she performed as the soprano soloist in Hayden’s Paukenmesse at the Florence Opera.
Particularly fond of Mozart, Maria Grazia was Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Teatro Regio Torino, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Rome, Liège and Prague; Pamina in Die Zauberflöte in Bologna and Turin; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni in Turin, Liège and Rome (Jérémie Rhorer/Graham Vick); Amital in Betulia liberata at the Salzburg Festival under the baton of Riccardo Muti.
She has issued several CDs with Naïve: Pulcinella vendicato by Paisiello, Statira Principessa di Persia by Cavalli and Coralità e Devotione by Provenzale. She has recorded Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Stéphanie d’Oustrac and Antonio Florio for the label Eloquentia, and features on the CD “Le Cantate Italiane di Handel” with la Risonanza released by Glossa. Maria Grazia’s first solo album “Furor!” with music by Spanish com-poser Terradellas achieved great critical acclaim.
Recent and future engagements include Mozart’s Idomeneo (Ilia) in a new Fabio Biondi/Jean-Louis Grinda production at Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (Norina) under Alessandro De Marchi at Teatro Regio di Torino, Lucia di Lammermoor (title role) with Stefano Ranzani at Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania and Don Giovanni (Donna Anna) at Teatro Massimo di Palermo under the baton of Riccardo Muti.
For the Rome Opera, Maria Grazia sings Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater alongside Michele Mariotti and Bach’s Matthäus-Passion.