Lawrence Zazzo is one of an outstanding generation of countertenors who came to prominence in the first decade of the 21st century. He has excelled in a variety of operas and oratorios, primarily from Baroque and contemporary repertoire.
Zazzo was born in Philadelphia on December 15, 1970. He was educated at Yale University and King's College, Cambridge. He made his premiere while he was a student at the Royal College of Music, London, as Oberon in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, a role with which he has continued to be associated throughout his career. He has regularly performed parts in Handel's Giulio Cesare (including performances in two different characters at the Metropolitan Opera in 2007), Rinaldo, Agrippina, Serse, and Peter Eötvös' Three Sisters. Zazzo is also committed to contemporary work, and besides the Eötvös, has sung Salvatore Sciarrino's Luci mie traditrici, Rolf Liebermann's Medea, several operas by Jonathan Dove, and the world premiere of Thomas Adès' The Tempest. He has established a substantial international reputation and worked with some of the most distinguished conductors of his generation, including William Christie, René Jacobs, Christopher Hogwood, and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. The English National Opera, Covent Garden, Paris Opera, and Vienna State Opera are among the companies with which he has performed leading roles. He made his Wigmore Hall debut in 2011 with a recital of modern American songs.
Zazzo's recordings have primarily reflected his work in Baroque repertoire and include Handel's Deborah, Rinaldo, Serse, and Messiah, Scarlatti's Griselda, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, and Lunarcy, a 2011 solo recital of lute songs from a variety of eras about madness. In 2019, he was featured on the album The Orchestral Music of Jonathan Dove with the BBC Philharmonic, under the direction of Timothy Redmond.