Born in Italy, grew up in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. Later, he studied classical guitar at the Conservatoire de Sion and École Normale Alfred Cortot in Paris, and then studied singing with Gary Magby at the Conservatoire de Lausanne, where he took part in numerous master classes run by Christa Ludwig, Alain Garichot, Klesie Kelly and David Jones. He won the Madeleine Dubuis and Solidarvox Awards in Sion, as well as the Fondation Colette Mosetti in Lausanne. He was also a finalist of the 2008 International Bach Competition in Leipzig.
His repertoire for this and subsequent seasons includes the eponymous role in Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo in a stage production with the Budapest Festival Orchestra (conducted by I. Fischer) in Budapest, Vicenza and at the Grand Théatre de Genève; a revival of this opera in a concert version (Amsterdam, Anvers, Versailles); the role of Lurcanio in George Frideric Handel’s Ariodante staged during a tour with Les Musiciens du Louvre (led by M. Minkowski); recordings with Cappella Mediterranea – Haydn’s The Creation at the Fondation Gulbenkian; a revival of La finta pazza at the Royal Opera of Versailles; the roles of Ferrau and Astolfo in Rossi’s Il palazzo incantato at the Opéra de Dijon, the Royal Opera of Versailles, the Opéra national de Lorraine in Nancy and the Theatre of Caen; the role of Testo in Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda at the Festival of Aix-en-Provence (with Sébastien Daucé) as well as numerous concerts with Cappella Mediterranea.
Last season, he sang the part of Diomedes in Sacrati’s La finta pazza at the Opéra de Dijon, Victoria Hall in Geneva and the Royal Opera of Versailles. In previous seasons, he performed the roles of Fellah and the first merchant in Rabaud’s Mârouf, savetier du Caire at the Bordeaux Opera and Opéra Comique (under M. Minkowski), Acis and Damon in Handel’s Acis and Galatea in Salzburg with Les Musiciens du Louvre, Oronte in Alcina at the Bienne Opera, Ferrando in Così fan tutte in Nice and Magdeburg, Ecclitica in Il Mondo della luna at the Festival de Sédières. He also sang in Il Trionfo della divina Giustizia under T. Noally at the Royal Opera of Versailles. He debuted in the eponymous role in the concert version of L’Orfeo produced for a European tour with Cappella Mediterranea led by L.G. Alarcón in Brussels, Rotterdam, Saint-Denis and other major stages, as well as with Concerto Italiano on tour in China under Rinaldo Alessandrini.
Valerio Contaldo can also boast an extensive oratorio repertoire, which includes Mozart’s Requiem (in Lyon, Avignon, Ambronay under L.G. Alarcón), Mass in C minor and Litanies K. 195 and K. 243; Haydn’s The Creation and The Seasons; Honegger’s King David; Rossini’s Little Solemn Mass; Bach’s St. John Passion (with Les Musiciens du Louvre led by M. Minkowski), St. Matthew Passion (during a tour of the Netherlands with P. Herreweghe and S. McLeod), the Christmas Oratorio, the Mass in B minor (Versailles and Dijon with the Cappella Mediterranea) and numerous cantatas; Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine (under R. Alessandrini in Beaune); Handel’s Messiah and Brockes-Passion; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Orquestra Gulbenkian (in Lisbon, led by L.G. Alarcon); Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust; Schubert’s Mass in E flat major; Mendelssohn’s oratorio Paulus and cantata Die erste Walpurgisnacht; Puccini’s Messa di Gloria; Bruckner’s, Charpentier’s and Teixeiri’s Te Deum; Frank Martin’s Requiem and Le Vin Herbé (as Tristan).
His other stage roles include: Corebo and Eolo in Cavalli’s Didone with Les Arts Florissants under William Christie in Caen, Luxembourg and at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, tenor parts in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges with Académie du Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Jupiter in Handel’s Semele at the Opera in Nice, Soldier I, Lucano, Famigliari II and Console II in L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Opéra Bastille, as well as the Evangelist in St. John Passion with Les Musiciens du Louvre under Marc Minkowski in Frankfurt and Grenoble, Aristée and Pluto in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Sergei in Shostakovich’s Moscow-Cheriomushki; as well as Chevalier de la Force in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites. At the Lausanne Opera, he played the roles of Mr. Owen in Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, Clem/Alfred in Britten’s The Little Sweep, as well as Normann in Lucia di Lammermoor. On the stages of opera houses of Fribourg, Dijon and Besançon, he sang the part of Landri in Messager’s Fortunio. He also starred as Jupiter/Eumete/Eurimaco in Pierlot/Kentridge version of Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and the Teatro Malibran, as well as in Gérone, Besançon, Nîmes, Toulouse, and at the Edinburgh Festival. He also took the mantle of Raoul de St. Brioche in Die lustige Witwe at the Nancy Opera.
He has takien part in the largest European festivals, including the Festival des Flandres (Belgium), Rheingau Musik Festival (Germany), Folles Journées in Nantes, Bilbao and Tokyo, Festival de musique ancienne de Lyon, Festival de La Roque d’Anthéron, Paléo Festival de Nyon, Festival d’Ambronay, concerts at the Luciano Pavarotti Teatro Comunale in Modena, Festival delle Nazioni (Città di Castello, Italy), Festival International de Sion (Switzerland), Osterfestival Tirol (Austria), Festival Vancouver (Canada), Festival Amadeus (Meinier-Geneva), Festival de la Chaise Dieu, Festival de Saint-Denis and many others.
He collaborates with the most eminent conductors of our times, including Michel Corboz, Christian Zacharias, Ton Koopman, Gabriel Garrido, William Christie, Philippe Pierlot, Kristjan Järvi, Bernard Tétu, Jean-Marc Aymes, Leonardo García Alarcón, Stephan MacLeod, Mélanie Thiébaut, Roberto Rizzi Brignoli, John Duxbury, Gonzalo Martínez, Laurent Gay, Laurent Gendre, Thibaut Noally, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Philippe Herreweghe, and Marc Minkowski. What is more, he has given live radio concerts (for Espace 2, Hessischer Rundfunk 2, Radio Canada) and worked on recordings for Sony Classical /Vivarte Collection, K617, Mirare and Claves.