Special Reports

Where Are They Now?
Conductor Speranza Scappucci

June 5, 2018 | By Susan Elliott

New Artist of the Month: November 2014

Relatively young maestra as she is, Speranza Scappucci says she never thinks about the “woman in a man’s world” issue. “I haven’t felt any problem at all. When you’re up there, it takes the musicians about three or four seconds to figure out that you know what you’re doing and that what you’re saying makes sense.

“Besides, it’s not up to me to worry about that. I just have to get the job done.”

That she has been doing, and with flying colors to judge by all the repeat invitations the Italian-born maestro has been receiving from the likes of the Vienna Staatsoper (La bohème, La traviata, La Cenerentola, Don Pasquale); Opernhaus Zürich (La fille du régiment, La bohème); and Opera di Roma (La Sonnambula and a new Così fan tutte). And those are just the return engagements; given that she only took up the baton in earnest six years ago (after years of being a vocal coach and collaborative pianist), that’s quite a track record.

The 2017-18 season began with Manon Lescaut at Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, where she is the new principal conductor, and included appearances at the Los Angeles Opera and the Lincoln Center White Light Festival, where she made her debut conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, as choreographed by Jessica Lang. She’s returned to her alma mater to conduct the Juilliard Orchestra on several occasions since making her debut there in 2014; this season also saw a tour with Orchestra Toscanini in Parma and debuts with the Detroit and San Diego Symphonies, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.

Other orchestral appearances include the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Netherlands Radio Orchestra, Orchestra Teatro Lirico Cagliari, Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and gala concerts at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. In addition to talent, technique, and a rock-solid grasp of the repertoire, Scappucci has all the right ingredients for major maestra-dom: ambition and an affable yet no-nonsense approach to music making. Ask the musicians: they know the real item when they see it. (Photo: Claudia Prieler)

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