Speranza Scappucci

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Speranza Scappucci
Born (1973-04-09) April 9, 1973 (age 48)
Alma materConservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia
Juilliard School of Music
Occupationconductor and pianist

Speranza Scappucci (born 9 April 1973[1] in Rome) is an Italian conductor and pianist. One of four children in her family, her father is a retired Vatican Radio journalist, and her mother is a retired English teacher from the Liceo Mamiani [it].[1]


Scappucci began to learn the piano at age 5.[2] She entered the Conservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia in Rome at age 10, concentrating on piano and chamber music. She graduated with a diploma from the conservatory in 1993.[3] She continued her music studies in the USA at the Juilliard School of Music, in Juilliard's Accompanying Program. At Juilliard, fellow students asked her for assistance in Italian pronunciation, which directed her interest toward opera coaching.[4] From Juilliard, she earned a certificate in piano in 1995, and a Master of Music (M.M.) degree in performance in 1997.[5]


Scappucci worked as a répétiteur and rehearsal pianist for such opera companies as New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Santa Fe Opera, the Music Academy of the West, Glyndebourne Festival Opera (six summer seasons),[4] the Metropolitan Opera, and the Vienna State Opera.[2] She also was an assistant to Riccardo Muti over the course of 8 years at the Salzburg Festival, including work as a harpsichord player, in addition to coaching singers and rehearsing choruses from the piano.[4] Scappucci counts Muti as one of her principal influences and mentors.[5] Her career transitioned into conducting over the course of her work as a répétiteur, without formal academic instruction in conducting.[4]

In 2012, Scappucci made her public opera conducting debut with Yale Opera at the Yale School of Music, with Così fan tutte, her first ever public engagement as an opera conductor, and the first female conductor ever to conduct a Yale Opera production.[6] She returned to Juilliard for her New York City debut as an opera conductor in November 2014.[5] Her conducting debut with Santa Fe Opera was in July 2015.[7]

Outside of the USA, Scappucci made her UK debut as an opera conductor with Scottish Opera in October 2013.[4] At the Vienna State Opera, Scappucci was the fourth-ever female conductor,[8] and the first female Italian conductor, to conduct a production at the Vienna State Opera, for her house debut as conductor in November 2016.[9] In February 2017, she was the first female conductor to direct the orchestra in the annual Vienna Opera Ball, as an emergency substitute for an indisposed Semyon Bychkov.[10][11]

In March 2017, Scappucci made her first appearance with the Opéra Royal de Wallonie.[12] Based on her work in this production, in April 2017, the Opéra Royal de Wallonie named her its new principal conductor, effective with the 2017-2018 season.[13] This appointment marks her first principal conductorship, and she is the first female conductor to hold this post.

Scappucci made her first commercial recording for Warner Classics, of Mozart arias with soprano Marina Rebeka.[14]


  1. ^ a b Leonetta Bentivoglio (2016-02-08). "Musica maestra!". La Repubblica. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  2. ^ a b F Paul Driscoll (August 2015). "Sound Bites: Speranza Scappucci". Opera News. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  3. ^ Farian Sabahi (2016-04-05). "Speranza Scappucci, professione direttrice d'orchestra". Corriere Della Sera. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  4. ^ a b c d e Kate Molleson (2013-10-08). "Scappucci can bring a better harmony to Scottish Opera". The Herald. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  5. ^ a b c Joshua Simka (November 2014). "Scappucci Debuts Conducting 'Il Turco'". The Juilliard Journal. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  6. ^ "Yale Opera announces two new productions for 2012" (Press release). Yale School of Music. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  7. ^ James M Keller (2015-07-04). "Opera review: Season opens with Donizetti's Daughter of the Regiment". Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  8. ^ Valerio Cappelli (2016-10-11). "Speranza Scappucci sul podio di Vienna, prima italiana all'Opera". Corriere Della Sera. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  9. ^ Leonetta Bentivoglio (2016-12-31). "Speranza Scappucci: "La direzione non è più un mestiere da maschi"". La Repubblica. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  10. ^ Maria-Theresia Klenner (2017-02-23). "Opernball 2017: Mit Speranza Scappucci dirigiert erstmals eine Frau die Eröffnung". Wiener Bezirkzeitung. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  11. ^ Paola Mentuccia (2017-05-01). "Speranza Scappucci, "Ragazze, salite sul podio"". ANSA. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  12. ^ Serge Martin (2017-04-19). "Speranza Scappucci, une cheffe au pupitre à Liège". Le Soir. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  13. ^ Martial Giot (2017-04-19). "Liège: "Le Domino noir" au programme de la nouvelle saison de l'Opéra Royal de Wallonie". RTBF (Belgian Radio and Television). Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  14. ^ Malafronte, Judith (April 2014). "Marina Rebeka: Mozart Arias". Opera News. 78 (10). Retrieved 2017-10-01.

External links[edit]

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Paolo Arrivabeni
Principal Conductor, Opéra Royal de Wallonie
Succeeded by