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Born in 1970, the Italian baritone Ambrogio Maestri studied voice and piano in his native city, Pavia (in Lombardy). He made his international breakthrough in 2001, when he performed the role of Falstaff in a new production at La Scala in Milan that was conducted by Riccardo Muti and directed by Giorgio Strehler to mark the 100th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi’s death. Since then Falstaff has been considered his signature role, and he has performed it more than 200 times at such venues as the Vienna Staatsoper, the Royal Opera House in London, Zurich Opera, the Opéra National de Paris, Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, as well as at the Salzburg Festival. At the same time, Maestri’s repertoire is quite diverse and includes such titular heroes in Verdi’s operas as Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra, and Nabucco, as well as Iago in Otello, Amonasro in Aida, Giorgio Germont in La traviata, and Count Luna in Il trovatore. Works of the bel canto and verismo styles have likewise found in him a gifted interpreter: Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and L’elisir d’amore (Dulcamara), Puccini’s Tosca (Scarpia), and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (Tonio). Maestri has worked with such conductors as Daniele Gatti, Daniel Harding, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, and Antonio Pappano and with directors like Robert Carsen, Laurent Pelly, Peter Stein, Robert Wilson, and Franco Zeffirelli. In the 2014-15 season he performed Falstaff and Dulcamara at the Bavarian Staatsoper, Scarpia at the Vienna Staatsoper, Amonasro at La Scala in Milan, and Alfio in a new production of Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana conducted by Christian Thielemann at the Salzburg Easter Festival. In the 2015-16 season he will return to the Metropolitan Opera as Alfio and Don Pasquale.