Valentino Monticello By The Luxury Channel

To do something successfully, and to be recognised as doing so, is the mark of someone who has mastered the art of living….

Valentino Monticello

Opera and wine have long been inseparable bedfellows. It is hard to imagine a night at the Covent Garden Opera House without imbibing a tregnum of the finest Saint-Emillion Grand Cru. There is one man who, more than any other, understands the relationship between libretto and Bacchus’ favourite tipple. The former sommelier, Valentino Monticello, has forged a lucrative career by weaving tapestries of wine labels that portray famous operatic scenes. The levels of thought that go into his work are multifarious; operatic scenes contain references to wine, whilst the labels he employs originate from the same country as the opera.

The scope of his enthusiasm for opera and wine is fully demonstrated in his book, Opera And Wine – Wine In Opera (for which he researched more than 2,000 libretti). It shows the breadth of Monticello’s knowledge of his two principle passions, from Europe to Oceania. One of the most extraordinary collages depicts a scene from the Italian opera La Gioconda – a crowd scene, with people gathering in St. Mark’s Square, Venice, beneath the grandeur of the Doge’s Palace.

The genius of Monticello is not only in the beautiful fruits of his labour – but that he has managed to find a way to marry his three passions; wine, art, and opera. To do something successfully – and to be recognised as doing so – is surely the mark of a man who has mastered the art of living.