Italian operatic tenor Francesco Demuro is proud of his Sardinian heritage and intent on sharing it with audiences. That’s why when he performs in Israel for the first time next week he will sing some traditional folk songs from his island. Taking the stage at the Music, Love and Wine festival with the Ra’anana Symphony over the Tu Be’av holiday weekend, the Porto Torres native has performed all over the world, including singing the role of Alfredo in La Traviata at the Seattle Opera in 2009, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in Hamburg and Rodolfo in La Bohème in Vienna. Demuro, 34, made his operatic debut playing Rodolfo in Verdi’s Luisa Miller at the Regio Theater in Parma in 2007. He studied at the Conservatory in Sassari and at the Conservatory in Cagliari, where he was the private student of soprano Elisabetta Scanu. Ahead of his Israeli debut on August 4, Demuro answered some questions from The Jerusalem Post.

Do your parents come from an opera background? How did you get your start in opera and what drew you to it?

No, I come from a family that taught me the love for popular traditions, especially the Sardinian songs, that I encountered since I was a child. Apart from my island’s traditional songs, in my house we used to listen to songs of the great Italian tradition.

You joined the Minicantadores at age 12? What do you love about traditional Sardinian song?

Yes, I started to sing on my island’s stages even before I was 12. The very first time I was only 11. Minicantadores was group all formed by children, young talents. I was a member of this group for several years, until I became a member of opera’s great performers. For the Sardinian people, the popular song is a big call to their identity. It’s a tradition that is passed from father to son, from generation to generation.

It’s an archaic singing that comes from the soul. I love it deeply, it represents my origins.

I still value my traditions, by making it to be known everywhere in the world.

How has your career matured? What will you be performing at the Music, Love and Wine concert and what is your connection to it?

It was a path that matured during the years, through the listening of the great Italian traditional songs. Step by step I encountered the most cultured songs as well. And that was when my love for the lyric and its beautiful arias was born. At the concert, I will sing opera arias and also some traditional Italian songs. I will also honor the Israeli public with a couple of traditional folk songs from my island.

Is this your first time in Israel? Did Israel’s politics play a role in your decision to visit?

I’ve never been to Israel before, and I’m very happy I was invited. I firmly believe that music is a great means to unify people. It’s a universal language that overcomes cultural, religious and linguistic differences.

You once said that La Bohème is the work of your heart. How do you convey this deep emotion to the audience? Yes, it’s definitely one of my favorite works. I love Puccini as a composer. I can always feel very strong emotions when I perform his works. I open my heart, let myself go completely [and] let the notes of this wonderful music overwhelm me.

Your entrance into American opera has been called a significant moment. What does it mean to you? What directions would you like to see your career take?

Yes, it was a moment of big emotion. The American people were very supportive and affectionate toward me. It was a particularly important moment in my life and in my career.

What I wish is to always be able to sing peacefully, with great maestros and people who can transmit something humanly. I don’t expect much, only to be always able to feel deep emotions and work well and in good health.

What has been your favorite role to play?

My favorite composers, from whose works I have had the most roles, are Verdi, Donizetti and Puccini. There are several roles that I prefer and that I particularly love. Recently, I performed very often Alfredo from La Traviata. I should say Il Duca di Mantova from Rigoletto and Edgardo from Lucia di Lammermoor.

Tell me about your family.

I have a beautiful family consisting of three beautiful daughters: Alessia, Ilaria and Ilenia.

My wife’s name is Vittoria and she’s the one who always tries to make things work. She takes care of all of us with great love and devotion.

She gave me the strength and the push to be able to face all of this.


Music, Love and Wine will be held August 4 at 9 p.m. at the Ra’anana Amphipark. Tickets are NIS 109-169. To order tickets, call *9066 or go to eventim.co.il

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