Lawrence Zazzo - American Countertenor
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Messiah in Cambridge

Performance of Handel’s Messiah with the Choir of Clare College and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the St John’s College Chapel in Cambridge

Photo by Rosellina Garbo

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Teatro Massimo Palermo

In bocca al'lupo a tutti i cantanti, il maestro, e l'orchestra del Teatro Massimo -- so wonderful recreating Britten's sound world here in Palermo, especially with my dysfunctional but so lovable fairy family: Tytania Jennifer Obi Wan O'Loughlin, Puck Chris Agius Darmanin, and the real star of the show, local Palermitano "Indian boy" Marco Passatempo!

Lawrence, Marco Passatempo and Obi Wan O'Loughlin

Lawrence as Oberon

Chris Agius Darmanin, Obi Wan O'Loughlin, Lawrence and Marco Passatempo

San Giovanni Battista by Stradella at Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik

“His life was full of amorous adventures. And even church music by Alessandro Stradella is filled with sensual melodies and captivating harmonies. A genre created by Carissimi in Rome, Stradella developed the oratorio further with “San Giovanni Battista”. In the process, he transformed a historical narrative into a lively drama.”

<<CLICK HERE>>  to hear an extract

Emilie Renard, Lawrence Zazzo, Arianna Vendittelli, Renando Guimarães and Luigi Di Donato

 “Le rôle titre a été confié à l'excellent contre-ténor américain Lawrence Zazzo qui impressionne tant par la beauté de son timbre que par le contrôle de l'émission vocale et la grande délicatesse de son interprétation: il donne un Jean-Baptiste éthéré, détaché des choses de ce monde et qui oppose la douceur de sa foi aux profanations et aux déferlements d'une sensualité criminelle.”

“The title role was entrusted to the excellent American counter-tenor Lawrence Zazzo who impressed as much by the beauty of his timbre and vocal control as by the great delicacy of his interpretation: he gave an ethereal John the Baptist, detached from the things of this world, opposing the sweetness of his faith to the profanations and attacks of a criminal sensuality.”


“Lawrence Zazzo è tra i più celebri e apprezzati controtenori d’oggi e ha cantato da par suo il ruolo del titolo, con intonazione perfetta, controllo attentissimo dei piani dinamici, eccellente espressività della parola.”

“Lawrence Zazzo is one of the most celebrated and appreciated countertenors of today, and sang the title role with perfect intonation, attentive dynamic control, and excellent expressivity in the text.”

Benjamin Britten – “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Hamburger Staatsoper

Congratulations to the lovely cast of Midsummer for an adrenaline-fuelled opening night! Flying on Oberon's swing into the gods above you definitely makes every night an adventure...

“Lawrence’s double duty saved the 2nd half of today's performance, thanks!”
magical opera adventure

With my irrepressible elves, the Alsterspatzen of Hamburg


Weeping Philosophers - BBC lunchtime recital at Wigmore Hall in London

...Lawrence Zazzo and friends perform vocal and instrumental music of the Italian Baroque of the early 1600s, when Italy's city-states and principalities proved a hotbed of creativity....

...Such a privilege to make music with these gents...
Daniele Caminiti (archlute, baroque guitar)
Jonathan Rees (bass viol, viola da gamba)
Silas Wollston (harpsichord, organ)

Photos by Minjas Zugik

Photo by BBC
Lawrence Zazzo: Weeping philosophers

Rodelinda at Teatro Real in Madrid
Having a wonderful time in Madrid with a fantastic cast and orchestra, singing -- and even dancing! --in Claus Guth's disturbing but beautiful take on Handel's masterpiece, Rodelinda.

Recital at Oper Frankfurt 28 February 2017
So wonderful to be back in Frankfurt for something completely different - a survey of beautiful and disturbing songs from my disturbed and beautiful homeland, with Simon Lepper on piano. I love the Frankfurt public! Thanks to Simon Lepper my wonderful accompanist for his ideas, virtuosity, colours, and patience!


RCM Students in Aldeburgh
...It has been a wonderful experience discovering Handel’s alternative version of Acis and Galatea – a hidden gem among his repertoire. Working with Lawrence Zazzo has been inspirational; he has a contagious enthusiasm and I particularly enjoyed the coaching he gave me in baroque ornamentation...


So thrilled to be in Aldeburgh conducting a super talented group of singers and players from the Royal College of Music. We’re performing a rarely-performed Italian-English version of Handel's Acis and Galatea, Thursday, 24 November, 6PM, in the Britten Studio at Snape Maltings.


A Midsommer Night's Dream in Beijing
Lawrence Zazzo joined the Festival d’Aix in Beijing as Oberon in Robert Carsen’s classic production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Poly Theatre on 15 & 16 October, launching the Festival d’Aix’s 5-year partnership with the Beijing Music Festival. This follows his critically acclaimed portrayal of the same role at the 2015 Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.

Hoarding for "A Midsommer Night's Dream"


Lawrence Zazzo (Oberon) with Miltos Yerolemou (Puck) und Laura Claycomb (Titania)


Vocal masterclass with students at the Beijing Conservatory, hosted by KT Wong Foundation



Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik
The 40th anniversary of the founding concert was performed again at the Spanischer Saal.

...In a final three Handel arias (from "Giulio Cesare "and" Lothario "), with Beyer and Fontana ‘singing’ along on violin and harpsichord,  Zazzo, with agility and evenly-balanced tone, ended the evening in vocal splendor.” ...


Carmina Burana
Charlotte Symphony blasts Orff (that’s a good thing) with Klara Ek, Lawrence Zazzo and Javier Arrey, Music director Christopher Warren-Green

Inline-Bild 1

... Countertenor Lawrence Zazzo made an amusing entrance as the roasting swan, contemplating his own demise by wringing a huge white handkerchief...

The Charlotte Observer on 12 May 2016

...Delaying his entrance onto the Belk Theater until this song began, countertenor Lawrence Zazzo literally made a meal out of it. Emitting a high-pitched lament bordering on sobs, Zazzo compounded the weirdness of his torment in way I would never have anticipated. As he reached the song’s final stanza, beginning “Now I am lying in a serving dish,” he pulled out a large handkerchief. Instead of dabbing his wounds or his tears, he stuffed the handkerchief into his shirt collar, turning it into a napkin. Then he reached into another pocket, fetched out what must have been a succulent duck leg, and began munching on it contentedly as he made his exit...

By the way, it was local Charlotte favourite Bojangles fried chicken not roast duck!



Recording of SWR2 Oper on 1 Mai 2016,
Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele 2016

Click to listen


Partenope tour around Europe

Lawrence Zazzo, Karina Gauvin, John Mark Ainsley, Kate Aldrich, Emöke Barath, Victor Sicard
Il Pomo d’Oro
Maxim Emelyanychev, conductor

Read critical acclaim for Lawrence's appearance in Partenope on our Press page.


Handel's Partenope

Due to the sad death of Philippe Jaroussky's father he's had to cancel his appearance in Handel's Partenope. Lawrence will replace him to play the role of Arsace.

My condolences and thoughts are with Philippe and his family at this difficult time.
Lawrence Zazzo

THE FAIRY QUEEN by Henry Purcell. Semi-Opera. Joyful and very Britsh
at Berliner Philharmonie with RIAS Kammerchor and Akademie fuer Alte Musik,
Conductur Rinaldo Alessandrini

Roderick Williams, Lawrence Zazzo(c) RIAS Kammerchor, Photographer Kai Bienert

<<Click here>>to listen to Lawrence singing "Secrecy"

Lawrence debuts as Orlando with the Welsh National Opera

Interview with Lawrence on Bachtrack
Guardian review

Lawrence Zazzo’s Orlando cuts a striking figure. He projects his substantial but agile countertenor to good effect, often with touching expressiveness...
The Guardian

“Lawrence Zazzo, that most manly and forthright of counter-tenors, as a handsome Orlando whose insanity was expressed with graphic and moving power.”

“In the title role, Lawrence Zazzo’s rich countertenor turned from biting fury to melting beauty with ease…his portrayal of Orlando’s madness was one of enormous power.”

Orlando is played with fierce commitment and drive by American counter-tenor Lawrence Zazzo. Mr Zazzo has a voice of ethereal beauty which is a gift from God rather than the result of any Senesino-style torture. His singing throughout was masterful...

Lawrence Zazzo as Orlando plunges from despair to rage and, finally, madness as he pins his hopes on a doomed love match, with unnerving precision and depth, his stiller and legato moments all the more sublime for this
The public reviews


Lawrence has just finished a dreamy anniversary revival of Robert Carsen’s iconic production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Aix en Provence

“Reigning over the fairies are Oberon and Tytania, Lawrence Zazzo and Sandrine Piau, stylish and elegant but also rakish and manipulative.  Their elegiac musicality also doubles as a playful game, joined by the rest of the singers to form a coherent and exciting whole” La Croix

“American countertenor Lawrence Zazzo boasts a male coloured alto voice that he used to musical perfection” Opera Today


Those who missed it in Aix can watch a filmed performance online at
YouTube channel Culturbox - English

Watch Lawrence performing Oberon’s aria “I know a bank’

Semele, Brooklyn Academy of Music, with Christopher Moulds and the orchestra of the Canadian Opera Company, March 2015

St. John Passion, Chicago Bach Project, with John Nelson, March 2015
“Countertenor Lawrence Zazzo’s inward rendering of “Es ist vollbracht!” was the vocal highlight of the evening, aided by equally sensitive obbligato support by Craig Trompeter on viola de gamba” Chicago Classical Review.

Concertgebouw Debut

I was delighted to finally make my Concertgebouw debut last weekend, in a semi-staged concert version of Giulio Cesare, directed by Michael Chance, and led by Rebecca Huber and Sinfonie Atlantique, along with the wonderful Anna Christy, Patricia Bardon, and Tania Kross, with impressive role debuts by Abi Edward Grint, and Li Meili


You can listen to the broadcast from the Concertgebouw here:

"Lawrence Zazzo came, sang, and conquered" 

A Royal Trio has been selected as Gramophone’s Editors Choice for November:

“Zazzo’s limpid delicacy, and control of nuance within a long-spun line, is as impressive as his bravura exuberance...A nature theatre animal, Zazzo ‘lives’ each phrase, always alive to the sound and meaning of the words...Zazzo and the players—not least the fabulous horns—have all the boldness and virtuoso panache one could wish for in the extrovert arias, culminating in a show-stopping ‘Vivi tiranno’.” Richard Wigmore, Gramophone, November 2014

“the exuberant Vivi, tiranno rounds things off in style,
with Zazzo in glorious voice throughout” Nicholas Kenyon, The Guardian

“genius” The Whole Note, November 2014

Read Lawrence’s interview about A Royal Trio with Presto Classical HERE


A Royal Trio

Lawrence’s new solo CD, A Royal Trio, has now been released been released to critical acclaim:

“exceptionally well thought out...the exuberant Vivi tiranno rounds things off in style, with Zazzo in glorious voice throughout ****” The Guardian

Click here to order from Amazon

Mozart's Mitridate

Lawrence will also sing Farnace on the first complete recording of Mozart’s Mitridate with Ian Page and Classical Opera, to be released on Signum Classics in October 2014

Click here for a glimpse into the recording process of Mitridate last summer


La Nuova Musica

Conductor David Bates of La Nuova Music and I were delighted by the audience response to our current project, “A Royal Trio”, which celebrates the music not only of Handel, but Bononcini and Ariosti, the trio of composers hired to write operas for the Royal Academy in 1720s London.  You can learn more about our project in the reviews and blogs below from the 13 December concert and discussion at the Spitalfields Festival in London:

The Guardian - La Nuova Musica / Bates / Zazzo - Review

Bach Track - Handel and his contemporaries with Lawrence Zazzo and La Nuova Musica in Spitalfields

Planet Hugill - Lawrence Zazzo and La Nuova Musica in arias by Handel, Bononcini and Ariosti


Lawrence's recent appearance as Orfeo at the Norwegian State Opera

David Greilsammer : Mozart In-Between

Delighted to have been asked to be a part of talented young conductor and pianist David Greilsammer's new recording for Sony with the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, "Mozart in Between", featuring some rarely heard early Mozart.

Click here to hear a selection from Farnace’s aria
“Venga pur, minacci e frema” from Mitridate

Lawrence is pleased to announce the release of two recordings:

On Virgin Classics, a DVD of Laurent Pelly’s production of Giulio Cesare at the Opera de Paris, 2010:

Handel: Giulio Cesare (Opéra de Paris, 2011) [DVD]

Buy from Amazon

"Lawrence Zazzo's outstandingly imperious title-hero is the best sung and acted countertenor performance of the part I've encountered." (Gramophone, December 2012)


On Pan Classics, a live CD recording Handel’s Alessandro at the Haendel Festspiele, Karlsruhe:

Handel: Alessandro, HWV21

Pre-order from Presto Classical


Photos from Lawrence's recent appearance as Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Teatro all’ Opera di Roma

Lawrence will sing Apollo on a new recording of Mozart’s first opera, Apollo et Hyacinthus, to be released May 14 on Linn Records, in conjunction with a Gala performance at Cadogan Hall, London, at 7:30 PM

For more information, see the Classical Opera Company website:

Apollo et Hyacinthus - a preview from TallWall Media on Vimeo.

Apollo et Hyacinthus - recording Mozart's first opera from TallWall Media on Vimeo.

Critics Praise Lawrence’s recent appearance in the title role of Alessandro at the Haendel Festspiele, Karlsruhe

"dem virilen Countertenor Lawrence Zazzo in der Titelrolle alle Arten von Bravour und Empfindung, Leuchtkraft und Brillanz"  Salzburger Nachrichten

"ein technisch souveräner Countertenor, der in seinen sieben Arien eine Enorme Differenzierungsfähigkeit und Ausdruckstärke beweist" Stuttgarter Zeitung

"Es ist beeindruckend, wenn der amerikanische Countertenor in den Basstönen seine volle Bruststimme erklingen lässt, um sich von dort aus mit viel Energie in Althöhen zu katapultieren" Mannheimer Morgen

"In der Titelrolle glänzte der amerikanische Countertenor Lawrence Zazzo durch virtuose Brillanz und Beweglichkeit in den Zierfiguren sowie durch eine hoch kultivierte Gesangskunst." Rheinpfalz

Alessandro at the Haendel Festspiele