Marcello Panni

Born in Rome in 1940, Marcello Panni began to study piano and composition at a very young age. He attended Franco Ferrara’s conducting courses and perfected himself as a composer with Goffredo Petrassi at the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome, thereafter joining Manuel Rosenthal’s class at the Paris’ Conservatoire where he had his « premier prix » in 1968. His conducting debut took place the following year in Venice at the Biennale Music Festival.

As a very open-minded conductor Marcello Panni commands a broad repertoire. He has conducted and recorded rare works, not only of the 18th Century such as Pergolesi’s Il Flaminio and Adriano in Siria,  Paisiello’s La Nina Pazza per Amore,  Handel’s  Giulio Cesare  but also of the 20th Century composers such as Morton Feldman’s Neither (world premiere, Teatro dell’Opera, Rome 1976), Berio’s Passaggio,  Laborintus II and Opera (at the Paris’ Festival d’Automne in 1979),  Bussotti’s  Passion selon Sade  and Cristallo di Rocca (world premiere,- La Scala, Milan  1982), Philip Glass’s Civil Wars  (world premiere – Rome 1984) ,and The Fall of the House of Usher (italian premiere – Maggio Musicale Fiorentino 1992), Petrassi’s Il Cordovano (Rome, Teatro dell’Opera, 2003).

Marcello Panni conducts the traditional lyric repertoire with the same ease: Rigoletto in Vienna and Bilbao, L’Elisir d’Amore in Paris,  London , Berlin, New York and Barcelona, Il Trittico and L’Heure Espagnole at the Paris Opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Lucia di Lammermoor, Elisir d’amore  in Vienna, Macbeth, La Fille du Régiment and Tosca in  Zurich. In 1988, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut conducting L’Elisir d’Amore starring Luciano Pavarotti. The Met brought him back twice, in 1989 to lead Rigoletto and in 1992 for Lucia di Lammermoor. He made his début at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, in 2003 with Verdi’ìs Macbeth, directed by Eimuntas Nekrosius . 

In September of 1994, he was appointed Musical Director of the “Pomeriggi Musicali” Orchestra in Milan. In the same year, Maestro Panni was appointed Musical Director of the Bonn Opera, where he has conducted new productions of Trittico, Manon Lescaut, Fidelio, Romeo and Juliet  and  Barbiere di Siviglia

As a composer, Marcello Panni wrote a large number of symphonic and chamber works, published by Ricordi, Suvini Zerboni, Peters, and RaiCom In 1994 his first opera, Hanjo, based on a Nō play by Yukio Mishima and staged by Robert Wilson, was premiered at Maggio Musicale Florentino ; recently revised for Rome Nuova Consonanza Festival, 2016, Hanjo is now published on DVD by EmaVinci Records . His second opera, Il Giudizio di Paride staged by Gian-Carlo del Monaco, was premiered in 1996 at the Bonn Opera. In June 1998, the Bremen Opera staged his third lyric work, The Banquet, with an english libretto by Kenneth Koch, conducted by Günter Neuhold. It was restaged for an Italian tour in 2001-2002, conducted by the composer himself, comprising Genoa, Rome, and Florence .

His fourth opera, Garibaldi en Sicile, libretto in french by Kenneth Koch, freely derived from Alexander Dumas narration about  Garibaldi conquest of Sicily  in 1860,  was performed at the Teatro San Carlo, Naples, 2005. 

His  Missa Brevis for Children Chorus, Winds,  Tenor and Percussions was premiered au Festival de Musique Sacrée de Nice en 2001  and after that in many others Europeans  Festivals (Rome, Torino, Palermo, Paris, Beja etc).

In July 2009  he premiered at the Spoleto Festival a large Oratorio Apokàlypsis ,for chorus, children chorus, two narrators , wind orchestra and percussion, based on St.John’s text. The Oratorio was also performed in Monza’s Cathedral, 2011, and in Milano, San Marco Church, May 2015. A revival of Apokàlypsis  with an introduction of cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi  is forecast at the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome, May 2018.     

In  1997,  Marcello Panni was appointed Musical Director of the Nice Opera. He left this position in 2001 to move to Naples as Artistic Director of the San Carlo Opera Theater. He hold the post of Artistic Director of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana, from 2000 to 2004, and from 2007 to 2009. From 2008 to 2012 he was also  Musical and Artistic Director of Lecce’s Orchestra Sinfonica Tito Schipa, in  South Italy. 

In 2003 was nominated Member  of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia.


Member of the Board of Judges – Concorso 2 Agosto, 2024 Edition