Manager: Elisa Patria
Territory: Worldwide with limited exceptions
Manlio Benzi enjoys a multifaceted career as a conductor and pedagogue, drawing on a background in composition, musicology and philosophy. He has conducted large productions at many of the world’s leading opera houses, including Bayerische Staatsoper, Staatsoper Hamburg, Semperoper Dresden and Teatro alla Scala, and has worked with orchestras such as Orchestre National de France and Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
Highlights in the 17/18 season include returns to Oper Stuttgart for Il Puritani, following a successful run in 16/17, and Teatro La Fenice for Madama Butterfly, alternating with Myung–Whun Chung. He also leads a production of Il barbiere di Siviglia at Oslo Opera, and returns to Opera Garnier for Pina Bausch’s Orphée et Eurydice with the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, alternating with Thomas Hengelbrock – a production he led to great acclaim on several occasions, including at New York’s Lincoln Center Festival.
Manlio Benzi has regularly visited opera houses such as Wiener Volksoper, Theater Erfurt, Opera North and the National Theatre of Estonia, and has been a regular guest at London’s Holland Park Festival, where he conducted Gianni Schicchi, Zanetto, Madama Butterfly, Adriana Lecouvreur and Aida. He has led the Haydn Orchestra of Trento and Bolzano, and the orchestras of Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro Regio (Torino), Teatro La Fenice (Venice), Maggio Musicale (Firenze) and Pomeriggi Musicali (Milano). Recent engagements include La Bohème in Essen, Madama Butterfly in Göteborg and concerts with the Münchner Symphoniker.
Convinced that poetry, literature, theater and music are complementary art forms, Benzi is also a composer of chamber and theater music, and has regularly contributed reviews and essays to the musical editions of Ricordi and the publications of Istituto di Studi Verdiani in Parma. From 2000 to 2007 he was the Artistic Director of the Notti Malatestiane Festival in Rimini, focusing on different ways of combining music and the written word, resulting in performances of everything from Jiří Antonín Benda’s Medea, to Berlioz’s Lélio and Sibelius’s incidental music to The Tempest. He was also involved with the Valle d’Itria Festival, where he presented a number of rarely played operas, such as Gounod’s La Reine de Saba and Le Polyeucte, Giordano’s Siberia and Marcella, and Mascagni’s Amica. In 2018, he starts a Gustav Mahler project with Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana, presenting chamber versions of his symphonies combined with 20th and 21st century works.
Born in Rimini, Italy, Benzi studied at the Arrigo Boito Academy of Music in Parma, where he graduated in Composition in 1989 after studies with Camillo Togni and in Orchestral Conducting in 1990 after studies with Daniele Gatti. He since specialized in Orchestral Conducting at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia and obtained an honors degree in Musicology at the University of Arts in Parma. In 1996 he was appointed the Resident Conductor at the Serbian National Theatre in Novi Sad, and from 1997 to 1999 he was the Associate Conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, working alongside maestros such as Riccardo Muti, Riccardo Chailly, Alun Francis and Aldo Ceccato, and taking the orchestra on tour to France and Switzerland.
Manlio Benzi lives in Rimini with his wife and three daughters. Since 1999 he combines his conducting career with a professorship in Orchestral Conducting at the Rossini Academy of Music in Pesaro.