The first announcement of a stable vocal ensemble at Teatro di San Carlo date back to the nineteen twenties, when the Master Giuseppe Papa (who later became Popi, in the United States), after the success obtained at La Scala, in Madrid and at the Colón of Buenos Aires, decided to settle once again in Naples, already on the first rungs of his career, organizing in a short time a choral complex of excellent quality.
But we must wait until the 1951-52 season before the Chorus becomes a point of reference for the normal life of the Theater, contributing regularly to the prestige of the opera seasons and keeping alive, in this way, a particularly strong tradition in Naples.
However, the chronicles of the nineteenth century report of a choral activity, in the theatre, which was both refined and intense. In 1820, for example, the oratorio Die Schöpfung by Haydn was presented to the Neapolitan public, while in 1893, it was the turn of La damnation de Faust, titles which, one after the other, recently returned to the center of interest of the ensemble.
Two musicians, in particular, have marked the history of the San Carlo complex in the last 50 years: Michele Lauro and Giacomo Maggiore, the first, choir director for over twenty years since 1951, and the second as the head of the group for almost the same time, until 1994. Before that were frequent, though not stable, collaborations with Roberto Benaglio, a prestigious teacher highly active at La Scala and at the Staatsoper in Vienna.
In more recent years there have been many famous names at the helm of Chorus; José Luis Basso, Andrea Giorgi, Martino Faggiani, Francesco Pareti, Luigi Petrozziello, Fausto Regis, Ciro Visco, Carmelo Columbro, Marco Ozbic, Salvatore Caputo, Marco Faelli. From July 2018, Gea Garatti leads San Carlo Chorus.
José Luis Basso
Luigi Di Scala