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Robert Gonnella, pianist/vocal coach

Canto-Toulouse is delighted to welcome Robert Gonnella from the Théâtre du Capitole for a guest masterclass on January 10, 2022. Learn more about Robert...



Born in San Francisco, Robert Gonnella made he debut as a piano soloist with orchestra at the age of 14. He studied at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and at the Mannes School of Music in
New York, and has performed as a soloist in concerts and recitals in Washington DC, Philadelphia and San Francisco. 


In 1985 Robert Gonnella received a Fulbright Scholarship to further his organ studies in Toulouse, France with Xavier Darasse on the historic instruments of that city. In 1987 he was offered a position at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse as a pianist/vocal coach, and in1990 he was named head of musical studies there. In that capacity he has worked with conductors such as Michel Plasson, Maurizio Arena, Pinchas Steinberg, Alain Lombard, Maurizio Benini, Jiri Kout, Daniel Oren and Tugan Sokhiev, among others.  


Among the many singers with whom he has worked are Julia Varady, Felicity Palmer, Thomas Hampson, Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna, Susan Graham, Natalie Dessay, José van Dam, Marcelo Alvarez and Jonas Kaufmann. He has assisted Michel Plasson at the Chorégies d’Orange (Faust, Carmen) as well as for recordings for EMI Classics (Verdi Requiem, Lakmé, Faust, Roméo et Juliette, Hérodiade...). He has also collaborated with the Festival de Radio-France in Montpellier, Rome Opera, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Paris Opera, the Opera Municipal in Santiago, Chile, the Beijing Opera, etc.


Since 1996, Robert Gonnella has accompanied many well known singers at the Théâtre du Capitole for the noon time recital series including Ludovic Tézier, Inva Mula, Karine Deshayes, Ismael Jordi, Saimir Pirgu, Tamara Wilson. He has often collaborated with Ludovic Tézier in recitals at the Théâtre du Capitole, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Grand Opéra de Bordeaux, the Opéra Royale de Wallonie and the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasburg.

Robert Gonnella is much in demand for coaching and masterclasses. He has collaborated with Vladimir Atlantov and Elena Obratsova in Finland and has given masterclasses at the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg. 

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