Italian baritone Franco Vassallo made his Royal Opera debut in 2008 as Marcello (La bohème). In the 2014/15 Season he returns to The Royal Opera to sing Giorgio Germont (La traviata).
Vassallo was born in Milan and began his singing studies aged 16 with Carlo Meliciani. He studied modern literature at the Università Statale, Milan, while also training in the Stanislavski acting method. In 1997 he won the Budapest Competition at the Arena di Verona, which led to his performing the role of Ford (Falstaff) for the Teatro Filarmonica, Verona. He made his debut at the Arena di Verona the same year as Sharpless (Madama Butterfly) and has since performed internationally for companies including Bavarian State Opera, Metropolitan Opera, New York, Vienna State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Teatro Regio, Turin, and La Scala, Milan.
Vassallo is renowned for his performances in Verdi repertory and regularly performs such roles as Nabucco, Ezio (Atilla), Macbeth, Rigoletto, Count di Luna (Il trovatore), Guido di Monforte (I vespri siciliani), Renato (Un ballo in maschera), Don Carlos (La forza del destino), Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa (Don Carlos), Amonasro (Aida) and Iago (Otello). His other roles include Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Don Alfonso (Lucrezia Borgia), Sir Riccardo Forth (I puritani), Baron Valdeburgo (La straniera), Lusignano (Caterina Cornaro) and Gérard (Andrea Chénier).