Michael Corvino rises above the competition with his famous depiction of a hunch-backed dwarf.
Born in the Bronx, Corvino's affinity for one of the most intriguing tragic figures in opera goes beyond the singer's physical stature (which is just slightly below average). But in fact, it is his Italian roots that inspire him for his other signature role.
"My dad was from Naples, so he had this hearty, big voice. Everything in Naples is big. So that had a huge influence on my level of artistry in terms of Italian diction.
Italian has been in my ear since before I can remember, so the rhythm of the language is with me. I think when composers wrote opera, especially recitatives, it was about the flow of the language, and then the notes and the rhythms came. If you're just reading notes and making Italian syllables, it never sounds quite authentic."