Marcello Giordani was 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 240 at the Met, and for his many highly praised recordings. He was well known for several roles in the operas of Verdi and Puccini, but he also appeared in French operas by Berlioz and Bizet and occasionally went far afield from Italian and French opera, with such roles as Lensky from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.
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 in La bohème. 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 in La Traviata. He returned two years later in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra as Gabriele Adorno, again with positive responses from critics and the public. In the new century, Giordani remained very active, especially at the Met, where he opened the 2006-2007 season, as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. In 2008, Giordani sang Franck's Panis angelicus during the internationally broadcast Papal Mass in Yankee Stadium before Pope Benedict XVI and was the tenor soloist in Verdi's Requiem in a performance at the Met dedicated to the memory of Pavarotti.
In May 2010, Giordani founded the Marcello Giordani Foundation, and in September, announced the organization's first singing competition for spring 2011. It aids young singers through education, financial support, career assistance, and various other forms of mentoring. The foundation also promotes opera, particularly Italian opera.
Among Giordani's more acclaimed recordings is the 2006 TDK DVD of Madama Butterfly, with soprano Fiorenza Cedolins. Giordani died at his home in Augusta, Sicily, on October 5, 2019, after suffering a heart attack.