Coffee with Riccardo Iannello

Article Written by Stephen Bell – Marketing/Development @coffeescreative

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At Coffeeshop Creative we are not only passionate about designing and developing a unique web presence for our clients, but also sharing their stories. We are super excited to share another story in our series of blogs – Grabbing Coffee. Today’s feature – Canadian/ Italian tenor Riccardo Iannello!  As we are designing the upcoming launch of his custom website, we recently caught up with Riccardo at Toronto’s Yorkville coffee spot, Goldstruck Coffee. So grab your favourite cup of java and get to know a little about this exciting operatic artist!

Title photo credit: Phil Crozier




Tell us a little about yourself?


I would have to say I am an extremely organized person, and as of this year, I am new to the world of parenthood and feel blessed to have such a beautiful daughter that I can come home to each day. She’s currently seven months and it amazes me to see her development and personality shine more and more. I love to travel and to plan travel itineraries. I feel like if I wasn’t singing, I’d probably just end up putting lavish itineraries together for those that want it. It’s like solving a puzzle and nothing is more satisfying than to put this puzzle together knowing that you got a deal on what could have, very well,  been a VERY expensive vacation!




Riccardo as Alfredo- La Traviata- Opera York. 


What musical influences do you attribute to your development and success as an operatic tenor?


I did not come from a musical family in fact, we have always attributed our success as a family to the family construction business which we have been involved in for over 35 years.

I always knew that my mother had a beautiful, natural, untrained voice that she used freely especially during the dawn hours singing Neapolitan classics while at home. It’s also worth mentioning that her uncle was a beautiful Neapolitan singer, and I like to think that my influences and talents came from her side of the family.  My mom was definitely the driving factor for me to further my studies and continue on with music through my undergraduate and post graduate years.





Photo Credit: Phil Crozier


What do you feel is necessary for opera to appeal to a younger audience in Canada?


That’s a good question. I think we need to make it relatable to younger Canadians by first off, making ticket prices more affordable. Opera is not often something young people know much about and therefore, not a priority for people to experience. We need to bring it to them and one way of doing that is bringing opera to public spaces for people to enjoy for free. ‘Opera in the Park’ for example is one way of attracting people to something that is unfamiliar to them. I think the content of opera also needs to be relatable where they can understand the language and content of what is being sung preferably in a more modern setting that they are familiar with .




Don Jose in La Tragédie de Carmen 


Tell us about your upcoming audition tour in Europe this fall?


Europe has always been the heart of opera where there is immense opportunity to grow as an artist, understand the art form, and all the major languages associated with it. Being a dual citizen of both Canada and Italy, I have always wanted to sing for houses and agents in Europe. I feel like I am a full fledged Italian given my upbringing here in Canada and being able to speak the language fluently. I will begin several auditions in Italy and then make my way to both Germany and Austria. I have set aside over four weeks to do this spanning over two visits back and forth to Europe. Wish me luck!




Alfredo in La Traviata 


And most importantly… favourite type or style of coffee?


I do like a flat white, which is typically like a latte only that this espresso based coffee does not have air incorporated in the milk while its being stretched, thus resulting in very little or no froth. Of course, the quality of espresso bean needs to be optimum!



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