Tragic death of international tenor, aged 50

Tragic death of international tenor, aged 50


norman lebrecht

January 11, 2015

We have been informed of the shocking death of the tenor Carlo Scibelli, a few days after his 50th birthday.

Carlo, a much admired Manrico, appeared at San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Covent Garden and the Teatro Colon. In recent years, he was based in New York.

He was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital on 114th Street and Amsterdam the day after New Year’s in acute pain and diagnosed with pacreatitis. Surgeons removed several gallstones and he seemed to be improving, but the inflammation did not respond to treatment. He died on Friday night of acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Our deep sympathies to his family and many friends.
carlo scibelli

UPDATE: Carlo’s Aunt Carol has posted the following:

Chuck went to the emergency room at St. Luke’s Hospital on 114th Street and Amsterdam last Friday, the 2nd and he was diagnosed with Pancreatitis – had seven gall stones removed – they were blocking his pancreas causing tremendous inflammation. It became ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) He had trouble breathing and he was taken to ICU where they put him on a respirator and kept him heavily sedated so that his lungs, which were affected would heal and so that the inflammation would go away. His buddy Jon Rosen stayed with him almost continually – I joined him on Monday. We watched his ‘numbers’ go in the “right direction” but always were reminded by the doctors and nurses that “he’s not out of the woods yet.” Still, all was looking up until Thursday, the 8th when his fever shot up to 105 and 106.3 (not a typo) Anti-biotics had no affect because the cause was not infection – it was from the inflammation that we all hoped and prayed would subside. It didn’t and by Friday, January 9th, despite incredible care by the doctors and nurses, Chuckie’s blood pressure dropped dangerously low and all other organs began to fail. He was surrounded by family and friends when he passed at 8:57 PM that evening. It is beyond heartbreaking and also heartwarming to see so many people feeling such grief and love for Chuck. He will be cremated and brought to California where his mother lives and near his nieces Kelsey, Carly and Natalie and brother-in-law John and, where his beloved sister, Suzie is buried. His son Jordan is nearby in Seattle. Soon, in another month or so we will have a Memorial for his New York friends and family to honor and celebrate the man we all loved so much. Please know that any and are welcome. The only thing required is a love in your heart for Carlo…


  • john says:

    Rest in peace

  • Duane says:

    RIP Mr.Scibelli! So tragic and such a beautiful tenor voice!! Last year, I, also, had a major inflammation/ attack of Acute Pancreatitis. Gallstones had blocked the ducts to my pancreas and liver! I was in hospital for a while and had some close calls, but, somehow, I survived! I had an operation to remove the gallstones and then, later, an operation to remove my gallbladder! My deepest sympathies to his family, friends, fans and colleagues!!

  • Tom Booth says:

    How sad. I had gallbladder surgery some time ago after some awful episodes I thought were indigestion. The doctor said my gall bladder was collapsed and full of stones. Something we all view as almost routine is obviously more serious. I’m so sorry such a talented artist passed from such an episode as described here. My sympathy to all of his family and friends. A really exciting voice.

    Tom Booth

  • Lissa Ferreira says:

    Dear Carol, Suzanne was my best friend in junior high school and I spent many nights at the Scibelli household, listening to Chuck singing at the top of his lungs in his room with his classical music blasting. We all thought he was weird that he liked classical music so much at age 13. I was also in a high school play that he starred in: Annie Get Your Gun. I have a lot of fond memories of Chuck and Suzanne. My condolences to their mother, please, as I do not know how to reach her. Much love to you. I’m so sorry for your loss. For all our loss. May they both rest in peace. I’m sure he is singing Ave Maria to her now.

  • Skylar McQuade says:

    I miss Chuckie “Carlo” dearly…. I love you.

    Im his second cousin and new him for most of my life

  • Tracey Harrill, Cleveland Heights, Ohio says:

    I was just watching “The Mirror Has Two Faces” for the millionth time. At the end, when Mr. Scibelli supposedly sings Puccini…I just melt…then I cry and cry. Mr Scibelli just looks like he’s singing from his soul. As always, I am deeply moved. Now, I’ve just found that he is no longer with us. It may have been 3 years ago, but as of this moment…my heart is truly breaking. I fell in love with the amazing guy in the window.When my time comes, and I’m lucky enough to make it to the pearly gates…
    Mr. Scibelli, please save a seat for me down in front. I know it will be a heavenly performance.
    With sincere condolences, and a heavy heart.

    • Vivian says:

      I feel the same. RIP

    • Tammy Hill says:

      I too just watched that movie, and saw him singing in the window. I watched the credits and saw his real name and looked him up. I was so sad to see that he passed at age 50 in 2015. He seems to be a very special person. God bless.

      • Sandyy says:

        I felt bound to comment! 02 I to have just watched the Mirror has two faces. I had to look up his real name at the end of the show, as he has the most magnificent Voice and then to see that he has passed so tragically young. Just makes me weep.

  • Lise Russell says:

    I too became aware of Mr.Scibelli from viewing the movie “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”
    He is onscreen just a few minutes and I fell in love with him. I looked him up online and was shocked and truly saddened to learn of his passing.
    What an amazing soul. My sympathy goes out to his family and friends.

  • Karen MacDonald says:

    It is June 2021. I just watched The Mirror Has Two Faces. I watched him sing–for he was truly singing with all the training and heart of a real opera pro–and came online to find him and learn more about his career, see what he is doing now. Thank you for the posts you make here, so I could find the heartbreaking news. I wish I had seen him perform, known him like his friends did. I cried at the end of the movie, to think of the character he played, such a joyful and generous heart, celebrating what makes the world go ’round!