by Miguel A. DeVirgilio
Dario Volonté was born on September 1, 1963, in Buenos Aires, although his family came from a humble household some 250 miles north of the capital, Entre Rios. His musical vocation began late after having discovered his facility for imitating the tenor voice at the age of 17, when he watched Plácido Domingo in Otello on television from Teatro Colón.
At the age of 18 he was sent to the Malvinas War to serve duty on the ill-fated warship General Belgrano, which was sunk by the British and of which Volonté was among the few survivors. Upon his return he joined a local church choir and met the baritone José Crea who tutored him for free. During the following twelve years he earnt his living as a moving van driver while studying music at nights.
A big break came in 1994 when he auditioned for the Teatro Avenida of Buenos Aires and was cast as a tenor in a zarzuela. Subsequent performances helped to launch a break in Europe; in Italy he joined a touring opera group from Bulgaria and sang in Ballo in Maschera and Il Trovatore in Belgium and Holland. Meanwhile, he was audtioned by several European theatres, and the Wexford Festival of Ireland contracted him for Riccardo Zandonai's "I Cavalieri di Ekebu" in 1998, which he performed to considerable public and critical acclaim. In May of 1999 he was Mariano in Hector Panizza's and Luigi Illica's "Aurora." November 1999 he stepped in as Edgardo in Lucia de Lammermoor opposite June Anderson, after the passing away of Alfredo Kraus.
San Diego: Calaf
Buenos Aires Colon, Alla Scala Milano: Cavaradossi, Edgardo, Don Carlo
Regio di Parma: Manrico, Geneva Opera
Teatro Communale di Firenze: Des Grieux (Manon Lescaut)
Teatro Real Madrid: Don Carlo
San Carlo di Napoli: La Battaglia di Legnano