Marcello Giordani is widely regarded as a standout among his generation's operatic tenors, both for his numerous acclaimed performances at the world's major operatic venues, including more than 170 at the Met, and for his many highly praised recordings. He is well known for a number of roles in the operas of Verdi and Puccini, among them the Duke (Rigoletto), Manrico (Il Trovatore), Alfredo (La Traviata), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), and Rodolfo (La bohème). But he has also appeared in French operas by Berlioz and Bizet and occasionally gone far afield from Italian and French opera, with such roles as Lensky from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Apart from his singing activities, Giordani is a philanthropist of sorts, serving as the founder and president of the Marcello Giordani Foundation, a nonprofit organization established to give aid to young singers through education, financial support, career assistance, and various other forms of mentoring. The foundation also promotes opera, particularly Italian opera.
Marcello Giordani was born in Augusta, Sicily, on January 25, 1963. In his youth he studied voice locally and sang in the church choir. From 1983, he studied with Nino Carta in Milan. 1986 was a watershed year for Giordani: he won the Spoleto singing competition and went on to make his debut at the Spoleto Festival as the Duke in Rigoletto. Two years later he made his U.S. debut with the Portland Opera as Nadir in Bizet's Les Pêcheurs de perles and his La Scala debut as Rodolfo.
Other important debuts followed, including at the Met in 1993 as Nemorino in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore. By this time he had been experiencing some vocal problems, but was eventually able to resolve them with vocal teacher Bill Schuman, with whom he studied from 1992.
Giordani debuted at Covent Garden to great acclaim in 1995 as Alfredo. He returned two years later in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra as Gabriele Adorno, again with positive response from critics and public. In the new century, Giordani has remained very active, especially at the Met, where he opened the 2006-2007 season, as Pinkerton. In 2008 Giordani sang Franck's Panis angelicus during the internationally broadcast Papal Mass in Yankee Stadium before Pope Benedict XVI.
In May 2010 Giordani founded the Marcello Giordani Foundation, and in September announced the organization's first singing competition for spring 2011. Among Giordani's more acclaimed recordings is the 2006 TDK DVD of Madama Butterfly, with soprano Fiorenza Cedolins.