This could have gone so wrong. You’re sitting in an Italian restaurant, savouring your meal, when a dude from Dusseldorf is served his pizza and decides to break into song. Italian opera; without 1st tasting the dish. To be fair, the smell of a pizza, hot from a wood-fired oven can be enough to make one want to sing. Fortunately, most of us desist.
Luckily for the diners in Rossi pizzeria in Würselener, Germany, the unannounced singer from Dusseldorf is not an everyday customer brought to raptures by his Pizza capricciosa. He is Ricardo Marinello, an operatic tenor who studied at the music school in Krefeld, Germany, then, until 2008, at the Robert Schumann Music Academy in Düsseldorf.
Ricardo Marinello is the son of a German mother and Italian father, hence his Italian name. In November 2007, at the age of 18, he won first prize on the first season of Germany’s Got Talent (Das Supertalent). In the wake of this success, he released his first album, which charted in Germany and Austria. Meanwhile, he continued his studies – from 2008 until 2014 he pursued degrees in classical singing at the prestigious Robert Schumann Music School in Dusseldorf.
In 2011 Ricardo Marinello received a scholarship from the Richard Wagner Association. He has appeared on stage in many operatic roles and has a fondness for sacred music, particularly oratorios by Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Gounod and Dvorak. Recently, Marinello and his manager decided to try something new to get more young people interested in classical music. Using TikTok and other social media, Marinello has adopted the “Sudden Singer” persona. Here is another Sudden Singer video.
Bravo! Another excellent performance. Even so, one can’t help noting that it’s one thing to sing the aria ‘La donna è mobile’ from Verdi’s Rigoletto to a slice of oven-hot pizza, and another to sing to a McDonald’s french fry. Commenting on the trajectory, one wag has observed: “After the Pizzeria, then a McDonald’s, what next? In a public lavatory?” Nonetheless, the idea behind the project is to attract new audiences to opera singing, so it makes some sense to serenade a McDonald’s tray. As Ricardo Marinelloa puts it: “My passion is music and if young people, in particular, don’t come to the opera, then the opera should come to them.”
Referring to his pizza singing video, Marinello admits it took him a lot of effort to sing like that in a restaurant. He was overwhelmed by the reactions and especially by getting over 28 million Tik Tok clicks for the video in just a couple of days. Despite the effort it took to sing in the pizzeria, Classic FM notes that Marinello’s take on “Verdi’s famous aria was complete with all vocal flourishes, before landing on the composer’s show-stopping high B, flawlessly”. Marinello should also be commended for the way in which he improvises and integrates the dangling mozzarella strand into his performance.
Marinello definitely wants to continue with the “sudden” singing in restaurants and bars. Speaking to the German publication Waz after his McDonald’s intervention on 4 April 2023 in Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Marinelloa said the decision to post “these special singing performances” was exactly the right thing to do. Waz notes that Marinello was proud that even the Italian pop singer Eros Ramazotti saw his videos and reached out to him.
Marinello has upcoming formal appearances on stage in Annaberg-Buchholz & Schwanenburg, Germany. If you would like to see more from , you can follow him on TikTok, Instagram or you can visit his official website for more information.