How did you discover singing?
I have always loved singing, from an early age. This passion was passed on to me by my father who had a beautiful voice but unfortunately when he was a boy was not able to study. And it was my father who understood how important music was for me and when I was 9 years old enrolled me in a piano course.

When was the first time that you appeared on stage?
When I was 10 years old I took part in the opera Pollicina, at the Teatro Fraschini in Pavia. I played the part of Messer Gufo singing on a rickety ladder.

You started early…
Yes, but during my adolescence I fell in love with basketball and joined the juvenile team of my town playing in the A series for some years. I trained nearly every day and, so as not to neglect my school work and the piano, I gave up singing.

Who pushed you into starting again?
My parents had a restaurant and every evening I went there to lend them a hand. In the main dining room there was a piano and it was inevitable that someone would ask me to play and sing something. Among these clients there were opera enthusiasts and subscribers to La Scala. Everyone said that my voice was a phenomenon and that it would have been a great shame not to valorize it.

So you began to study seriously…
Yes, with the tenor Umberto Grilli. For six years I only did vocalisms, but today I understand the importance of those sacrifices. In fact, when I was 29, after having won several competitions, I was noticed and invited to La Scala for an audition for Falstaff with Riccardo Muti.