Having graduated in piano with honours, Gianluca was destined for a life in the world of opera.

However, at the beginning of his career the Rome-born artist put aside his initial goals to take the advice of the man he considers his “master of drama and theatre”, Giuseppe Patroni Griffi.

Under Patroni Griffi’s guidance, Gianluca became involved in musical theatre and television, performing alongside some of Italy’s biggest names in entertainment.

Upon turning 36, Gianluca felt the need to return to his roots and pursue the passion which had been burning within him since he was a young boy: opera.

With great dedication and hard work, Gianluca is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after lyric tenors with his ease in the high register and great stage presence.

He has performed in some of the most prestigious opera houses across the globe, including Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Opera House in London, and our very own Sydney Opera House.

Gianluca will return this month to grace the stage of the Sydney Opera House once again, performing with Opera Australia for the sixth time in his career.

Gianluca first performed with the company in 2012, when he was invited by Lyndon Terracini to star in La Traviata as part of the first edition of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour.

The Roman was the first guest and played a role in the beginning of a system adopted by Terracini which fosters collaboration between Opera Australia and international stars.

From July 6, Gianluca will take to the stage again as the Duke of Mantua in Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto.

The tenor explained that he enjoys playing this particular character as it requires a great deal of control and technique as well as a certain level of acting ability.

Gianluca said that the Duke is a “true actor” and the character is not so different from the actor that plays him in that he adopts a multi-faceted role throughout the opera.

“In the beginning he’s the rich bully who abuses his power to take advantage of women, but as the story goes on he pretends to be a student in order to seduce a young virgin, Gilda,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Gilda discovers his true identity – that of a noble libertine.

To play the complex character of the Duke of Mantua, Gianluca will have to draw from his acting experience more than ever, much like when he plays his favourite character, Rodolfo in La Boheme.

When his time in Australia comes to an end, Gianluca will return to Europe to perform in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades in Russian.

“I will be the first Italian to do so,” he said.

“It’s a very difficult and long role and many think I’m crazy for doing it!”

For those who’d like to have the privilege of seeing Gianluca Terranova in Rigoletto, the talented tenor will perform at the Sydney Opera House from July 6 to August 2, while the production will be on show until August 24.

For more information or tickets, visit Opera Australia’s website.