Classical & Opera Host
Sean Bianco was born in Stockton, California in 1966. He began his passionate journey into the world of music with violin and viola lessons at the age of 8. He studied violin privately for 10 years and performed in recitals and in several regional youth orchestras.
When Sean was 11, one of his favorite things to do was go to garage sales on Saturday morning on his bike. One fateful day, an album caught his eye. It was a highlights record of La Gioconda with Zinka Milanov, Giuseppe di Stefano and Leonard Warren. He was hooked. That record, to this day, holds a very special place in the over 2,000 opera recordings he now owns. Around the same time Sean also began to collect 78 records of all the great opera singers and developed a passion for the voice of Mario Lanza.
When he was 17 he began to sing in his high school choir and quickly became a featured soloist, winning many top awards at regional solo festivals and competitions. Sean also participated in several summer music programs and master classes. He studied voice at the University of the Pacific while in high school and continued his singing and conducting training at Chapman College. In 1989, Sean was a finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Regional Vocal Competition.
Sean has performed with the Los Angeles Opera and the opera companies of Stockton, Sacramento and Orange County. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Stockton, Sacramento, Napa and Merced symphonies.
Sean has conducted children's musical theater, as well as the Sacramento Opera Chorus in concerts. His conducting credits also include Davis Comic Opera, Runaway Stage, Capitol Opera, Orange County Lyric Opera and Light Opera Theater of Sacramento. Sean's conducting hero is "The Maestro", Arturo Toscanini.
Sean joined Capital Public Radio as an on-air announcer in 1998 and has been a supportive voice for opera in the region ever since. In addition to local audiences, Friday Night at the Opera is also enjoyed by a world-wide audience via the Internet. His audience enjoys vintage opera recordings and new releases as well.
Listeners enjoy being able to call in during the show, make requests and chat with Sean about things "operatic".
Sean lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills with his lovely and supportive wife Paula and their two chickens Pip and Squeak. He has a wonderful son, Alex, who is a Tae Kwon Do black belt and really good at drinking milk. Some of Sean's other interests include listening to lounge music, collecting Orson Welles memorabilia and vintage opera scores, and watching horror films.
FNATO Fun Facts:
Closing quote from Friday Night at the Opera: "Don't work so hard, don't drive so fast and as always …keep opera in your heart."
Theme music to Friday Night at the Opera: The Intermezzo from Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana.
Sean's favorite Opera Quote:
" Every theater is an insane asylum, but an opera theater is the ward for the incurables."
Austrian conductor - Franz Schalk (1863-1931)