One of the many great things that make Giuseppe Filianoti's singing so special -- ignoring for a moment the vocal difficulties that troubled him and that we really hope are a thing of the past -- is that he is that rare being: a passionate reader. His love for the written text is an integral part of what makes his presence on stage so compelling: when so many of his colleagues -- regardless of their vocal abilities -- sometimes do not really seem to understand the meaning of the words they're singing -- Filianoti instead is always about the text, its meaning, the dramatic weight of each sentence.
In a recent Playbill interview, the young Italian tenor shared the skinny on the books that he really, really considers essential. And it's quite a list: Vladimir Nabokov's "The Real Life of Sebastian Knight"; Henry James's "The Lesson of the Master" & "The Real Thing"; Richard Powers's "The Time of Our Singing". Then a classic Italo Svevo, "The Confessions of Zeno"; Joyce's "Dubliners". And then, of course, literary gourmet that he is, he mentions "everything by Italo Calvino".