Stefan Koslowski


    rt comes from skill – who doesn’t
    know this famous phrase?
    If there is any living proof
of this thesis, it is sitting in front of me right now. I have an appointment with Michele Tiziano at his favourite Italian restaurant in Berlin. A fitting location, because Italy plays a very important role in his unique life.
One thing is immediately apparent to me. This man is bursting with energy and so it is not surprising that he has achieved several extraordinary careers on international stage. As a ballet dancer, later as a concert organiser as well as manager of the world-famous Rudolf Nureyev, then as an opera star who has sung in the great houses of this world. And oh yes, he is also an art collector – but first things first.

Even as a boy, Michele Tiziano knew that he wanted to be on the “boards that mean the world”. He completed his ballet training in Cologne at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz and at the renowned Munich Hochschule für Musik und Theater. St. Petersburg and Paris were also important stages in his training.

As a young talent, he started his international career at the age of 18 as first soloist with the Het Nationale Ballet in Amsterdam. He quickly made a name for himself and so it is not surprising that only four years later he was engaged as a star dancer at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, where he also made a name for himself as a choreographer and inspired audiences above all with his groundbreaking innovative dance performances.

Michele Tiziano not only developed artistic talent, he also quickly launched a successful career as an entrepreneur. In 1980, for example, he founded the International Ballet Centrum Berlin (IBC) and dedicated himself to organising major ballet and opera events. Leading politicians such as the then Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker took on patronage for his events. Under his leadership, the IBC quickly became one of the most important organisers of dance tours and events featuring some of the most famous ballet companies from around the world – a veritable Who’s Who of international ballet – including the Ballet Opéra National de Paris, the Kirov Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet and the national ballet companies of St. Petersburg and Moscow. These are names and places that make the heart of every ballet lover beat faster.

At the same time, Michele Tiziano became the manager of several high-profile ballet dancers, most notably the legendary Rudolf Nureyev, one of the most charismatic dancers in the history of ballet, who, however, had a pronounced penchant for scandal. “Every day there was a new cover story in the newspapers,” adds Tiziano, taking a sip of his espresso with a smile. The two were close friends and creative partners for over eleven years before the exceptional dancer passed away.

However, it was not only ballet that inspired Michele Tiziano, but also the world of opera, which brings us back to Italy. In 1990 Michele Tiziano founded the Concert Forum Berlin and organised his own musical productions, opera guest performances and concert evenings. Numerous world stars appeared: from Adriana Maliponte and Anna Moffo to Piero Cappuccilli, René Kollo and, last but not least, the tenor of the century Giuseppe Di Stefano. Michele Tiziano also acted as manager for him until he received his vocal training from the master himself in 1993. Fascinated by his manager’s beautiful voice, he convinced Tiziano to train his voice with the aim of becoming a professional singer. Di Stefano recognised in him the potential to be trained as a “bel canto” singer, i.e. an ideal tenor for Italian opera. He was to be proved right, for Michele Tiziano was soon described as the “voice of the century”.

That same year, Tiziano made his debut as a singer in the role of “Cavaradossi” in the opera “Tosca” on a European tour alongside Anna Maria Pizzoli, Paola Romanò and Adriana Maliponte, all stars of the world-famous La Scala in Milan. Michele Tiziano achieved his international breakthrough in the role of Prince Calaf in Puccini’s opera Turandot at the reopening of the Arena of Pompeii, with the Italian press celebrating him as the best interpreter of this role.

After that Michele Tiziano concentrated increasingly on classical concerts. For example, he produced the “Verdi-Puccini-Rossini Gala” with great success, which he took on tour throughout Europe and which he organised for several years as a “Da Capo” tour, where international opera stars participated and renowned orchestras and conductors were engaged. This was followed by the “Festival of Tenors”, which was frenetically celebrated by the audience, and with his Broadway production “Night on Broadway” Tiziano was able to engage renowned artists from New York. This engagement also gave rise to his love of modern music, with which he will soon surprise his fan community, Michele Tiziano reveals.

With so much dedication to the fine arts, it is not surprising that Michele Tiziano has a third passion besides ballet and opera: painting. Today, he owns a significant collection of modern and ancient masters that would do credit to any museum, most of which he has acquired during his numerous travels over the past 40 years. Like his love of singing, Tiziano’s enthusiasm for art began in his early childhood, when he spent hours admiring paintings by old masters such as Raphael and El Greco in his parents’ art books. The origin of his art collection was an inheritance of paintings by German and French Impressionists from his grandfather. Over the decades, Michele Tiziano expanded this collection to include Old Masters as well as modern artists. Today, there is a remarkable range from Rembrandt to Jackson Pollock, which makes this collection so unique. One special exhibit is a gift by Rudolf Nureyev, who gave him his portrait during his lifetime – it is by none other than Pablo Picasso.

For dessert, Michele Tiziano reveals something special. He is currently writing a book about his eventful life, which is to be published next year. If this too becomes a success story in the life of this exceptional artist, it would be no surprise at all. As we know, art comes from skill.

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