Born in Rome, Italian soprano Raffaella Milanesi completed her studies at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
She is regularly invited to perform at the most important opera houses and venues such as Theater an der Wien, Wiener Konzerthaus, Gran Teatro La Fenice, La Scala in Milan, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Philharmonie Dresden, Grand Théâtre de Genève, La Monnaie and Bozar in Brussels, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Muziektheater Amsterdam, Opera Houses of Bordeaux, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Lausanne… and has appeared at the Festivals of Eisenstadt, Potsdam, Innsbruck, Halle, Utrecht, Prague, Ambronay, Beaune, and at the Handel Festival in Halle where she performed many concerts and operas.
Raffaela has worked with such distinguished conductors as Rinaldo Alessandrini, Fabio Bonizzoni, Giuliano Carella, Ottavio Dantone, Alessandro De Marchi, Adam Fischer, Nicola Luisotti, Václav Luks, Andrea Marcon, Enrique Mazzola, Giovanni Antonini, Marc Minkowski, Hervé Niquet, Donato Renzetti, Christophe Rousset, Andreas Spering, David Stern, Jordi Savall, Jérémie Rhorer… and collaborated with directors including Christof Loy, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Robert Wilson, Daniele Abbado, Karl-Ernst and Ursel Herrmann, Emilio Sagi, Mariame Clément, Francisco Negrin, Marthe Keller, Vincent Boussard, Jean-Paul Scarpitta.
She appeared with the following Baroque orchestras: Les Talens Lyriques, Accademia Bizantina, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, L’Arte del Mondo, Collegium 1704, Cappella Cracoviensis, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Il Complesso Barocco, Il Giardino Armonico.
Raffaella’s extensive discography reflects the impressive breadth of her repertoire and her passion for the discovery of rare and less known operatic works as shown by these recordings on Naïve: Martín y Soler’s Capricciosa corretta (Cilia) and Salieri’s Grotta di Trofonio (Ofelia) both with Les Talens Lyriques conducted by Christophe Rousset; Vivaldi’s Armida al campo d’Egitto (Erminia), Bononcini’s Stabat Mater and Messa a Cinque Concertata with the Concerto Italiano and Rinaldo Alessandrini.
For Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, she recorded Gluck’s Clemenza di Tito (Sesto) with L’Arte del Mondo under the baton of Werner Ehrhardt and Pergolesi’s Olimpiade (Aristea) with the Academia Montis Regali conducted by Alessandro De Marchi.
She has released the CD “Handel – Cantate per il Cardinal Ottoboni” with La Risonanza under Fabio Bonizzoni on the Glossa label and appears as Donna Anna with the Ensemble Silete Venti! and Simone Toni on the Don Giovanni CD issued by Warner Classics.
She also recorded the title role in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Challenge Classics) and Alessandro in D. Scarlatti’s Tolomeo e Alessandro with Alan Curtis (Deutsche Grammophon).
One of the most sought after solists in the field of Baroque Music, Raffaella Milanesi’s repertoire includes composers as varied as Monteverdi – L’Orfeo (Proserpina), Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Giunone) at La Scala – Cavalli – La Calisto (Giunone) conducted by Christophe Rousset at the Strasbourg Opera – Francesco Provenzale – La Stellidaura vendicante (title role) with Alessandro De Marchi in Potsdam – Vivaldi – Teuzzone (Zidiana) with Jordi Savall in Versailles, Magnificat and Gloria under Fabio Biondi – Handel – Alessandro (Lisaura) at the Rennes Opera and Alcina (title role) with David Stern in Shanghai – Pergolesi – L’Olimpiade (Argene and Aristea), Stabat Mater under the baton of Václav Luks at the Rudolfinum in Prague – Niccolò Jommelli – L’Isola disabitata (Silvia) at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples…
She has also performed numerous opera roles from the Classical era such as Sandrina in Haydn’s Infedeltà delusa and Euridice in L’Anima del filosofo.
An admired Mozart interpreter, Raffaella appeared as Annio in La Clemenza di Tito at La Fenice with Ottavio Dantone and Ursel Herrmann; Sifare in Mitridate, Re di Ponto under David Stern at the Drottningholms Slottsteater; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence; Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro under Christophe Rousset at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège. She was seen on stage as Susanna and Contessa d’Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Zerlina, Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) and Aminta (Il Re pastore).
Recent and forthcoming engagements include the title role in L’Incornazione di Poppea at the St. Gallen Theatre, Maria Maddalena in Handel’s Resurrezione with Václav Luks in Prague and Dresden, Atamira in Alessandro Melani’s Empio punito conducted by Carlo Ipata and staged by Jacopo Spirei at the Teatro Verdi in Pisa, Maria Vergine in Scarlatti’s Vergine addolorata conducted by Fabio Biondi at the Baroque Festival of the Staatsoper Berlin. Raffaella is Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni for the Teatro Verdi in Pisa.