The Italian coloratura soprano, Patrizia Ciofi, studied with famed Polish soprano Anastasia Tomasewska-Schepis in Siena and later graduated from the Istituto Musicale Pietro Mascagni in Livorno. She subsequently took part in master-classes at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena, and in Fiesole and Massa under the guidance of Carlo Bergonzi, Shirley Verrett, Alberto Zedda, Claudio Desderi and Giorgio Gualerzi.
Patrizia Ciofi made her debut in 1989 in Gino Negri’s Giovanni Sebastiano at the Teatro Comunale, Florence. The she After her 1989 debut at Florence (Teatro Comunale) in Negri's Giovanni Sebastiano, she appeared as Donna Anna in W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni in several smaller Italian and foreign opera houses, and from 1991-1993 she appeared in a number of Verdi operas at the Teatro Verdi in Pisa, where she scored major critical successes. By 1996, when she first sang Lucia in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, in Savona, she had become a rising international star. She made her La Scala debut in 1997 as Violetta in La traviata, conducted by Riccardo Muti, drawing rave reviews. She returned to La Scala in L'elisir d'amore in 1997 and 2001. Her recordings were drawing attention, too: her 1998 Lucia (in the French version) on Dynamic was a huge success. She has sung in most of the major Italian opera houses as well as the Rossini Festival in Pesaro and at the Martina Franca Festival. She has also sung in Paris, at Opera Bastille (debut in 1999 as Nanetta in Falstaff) at the Châtelet, the Opéra de Paris and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, in Lyon and Marseille, also sung in Barcelona, at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. She made her Covent Garden debut in 2002 as Gilda in Rigoletto; her Chicago debut in 2003 as Violetta in La Traviata; and Wiener Staatsoper debut in 2008 as Amina in Bellini's La Sonnambula.
Patrizia Ciofi has become a leading soprano exponent of the major operas of Bellini, Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, and the Italian operas of W.A. Mozart. Not that her choice of repertoire is limited to that clutch of composers: she has sung a vast array of roles in works by Monteverdi (Euridice from Orfeo), George Frideric Handel (Polissena from Radamisto; Morgana from Alcina), Antonio Vivaldi (Idaspe from Bajazet), and much else further afield, including Georges Bizet, Offenbach, Massenet, Wagner, Richard Strauss, Debussy, Mussorgsky, and countless others. She has also sung contemporary opera: her major debut came in Gino Negri's Giovanni Sebastiano. It can be argued she has sung as many different roles on major operatic stages as any soprano of her time. Her attractive voice is bright in timbre and versatile, affording her the ability to tackle so many roles with such pleasing character and spirit.
Her major roles on stage include Amina in Vincenzo Bellini's La sonnambula, Violetta in Giuseppe Verdi's La traviata, Gilda in Rigoletto, Susanna in W.A. Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, and Lucia in Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor (in both the standard Italian version and the French version Lucie de Lammermoor of 1839). In December 2012, she was brought in at very short notice to sing Isabelle in the revival of Giacomo Meyerbeer's Robert le diable at the Royal Opera House, London, replacing Jennifer Rowley.
Patrizia Ciofi Ciofi has made over 50 recordings, the bulk of them available on EMI, Virgin Classics, Harmonia Mundi, Dynamic, and Decca. Perhaps most notable of which was the Le nozze di Figaro conducted by René Jacobs, which won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Another example is the recording of Giacomo Meyerbeer's Opera Il crociato in Egitto together with the Male Soprano Michael Maniaci at La Fenice in Venice. She has had several recordings released in 2009, including the acclaimed Bel Canto Spectacular on Decca, a collection of popular arias by Donizetti, Rossini, and Bellini.