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 touring major theatres both throughout 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 and Venice under the baton of Nello Santi; the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor in Turin, Naples and Rome; Dircea in Jommelli’s Demofoonte in Salzburg and Paris with Riccardo Muti; Adina in L’Elisir d’amore at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari and at the Liège Opera.
Earlier in her career, Maria Grazia was considered by many as one of the greatest specialists in the 18th Century Neapolitan repertoire. She sang Veni Creator in Naples with Maestro Muti, Cimarosa’s Marito disperato in Hong Kong with Christophe Rousset, Paisiello’s Pulcinella vendicato, Anfossi’s Finta giardiniera, Piccini’s La Didone abbandonata, De Majo’s Motezuma and Vinci’s Partenope with renowned Neapolitan Maestro Antonio Florio.
In the early Baroque Italian repertoire, she sang Euridice, La Musica and Proserpina in Monteverdi’s Orfeo with William Christie and Pier Luigi Pizzi at the Teatro Real in Madrid; Venere in Cavalli’s Didone with Europa Galante at La Fenice; Floralba in Cavalli’s Statira at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. She appeared in Caldara’s Morte e sepoltura di Cristo in Stavanger with Fabio Biondi.
Maria Grazia Schiavo paid tribute to Baroque composers such as Handel: Almirena in Rinaldo at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées with Ottavio Dantone, Dalinda in Ariodante with Christophe Rousset at the Theater an der Wien, the title role in Partenope at the International Baroque Festival in Beaune; Vivaldi: La Fida ninfa with Jean-Christophe Spinosi at the Opera Rara Festival in Krakow, Giustino at the Theater an der Wien; Pergolesi: L’Olimpiade in Naples; Gluck: Il Trionfo di Clelia at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna.
Part of her repertoire features sacred music: Paisiello’s Messa per l’Incoronazione di Napoleone at the Festival of Saint-Denis; Mozart’s Exsultate jubilate at the Teatro Real in Madrid; Mozart’s Mass in C minor with Christophe Rousset at the Mozarteum in Salzburg…
Particularly fond of Mozart, Maria Grazia was Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Rome, Liège and Prague; Pamina in Die Zauberflöte in Bologna and at the Teatro Regio in Turin; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni in Turin; 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; she features on the CD “Le Cantate Italiane di Handel” with la Risonanza released by Glossa. Her first solo album “Furor!” with music by Spanish composer Terradellas achieved great critical acclaim.
Recent and future engagements include Gilda in Rigoletto in Palermo; Violetta in La Traviata in Naples, Rome and Turin; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni in Liège; the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Teatro di San Carlo; Contessa di Folleville in Il Viaggio a Reims in Beijing and Rome; Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in Naples; Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Teatro Regio Torino; Asteria in Tamerlano at the Teatro alla Scala …