Born in Bergamo, Italy, Maestro Rovaris graduated from the Conservatory of Milan with degrees in composition, organ, and harpsichord. From 1992 through 1996 he was the Assistant Chorus Master of the Teatro alla Scala and made his debut on the podium with Il filosofo di campagna by Galuppi in a production by Associazione Lirica e Concertistica Italiana. He was subsequently invited to conduct at the Teatro Comunale in Florence and at the Rossini Opera Festival. Soon after, he began appearing as a regular guest in many of the major Italian opera houses such as La Scala, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro La Fenice, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, and Teatro Comunale di Bologna. Internationally he has led productions for the Opéra de Lyon, Opera Monte Carlo, Théâtre Municipal de Lausanne, Oper Köln, Oper Frankfurt, the Garsington Opera Festival, and the Japan Opera Foundation in Tokyo, among others. In symphonic repertoire, he regularly conducts the Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the Danish Radio Sinfonietta, the Orchestra de Theatre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels), Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome), and Orchestra Sinfonica Giuseppe Verdi (Milan).

In 1999 he made his debut with Opera Philadelphia conducting Il Nozze di Figaro. His subsequent collaborations with the company led to his eventual appointment as Opera Philadelphia's first ever music director in the 2004-2005 season, a position he has been serving in ever since. In addition to his position at Opera Philadelphia, Maestro Rovaris serves as the Music Director of the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, founded in 2011 by the Walton Arts Center.  

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