Do I Bark Like a Dog?

Michael Volpe

Renard Press

Trade Paperback


ISBN: 9781804470862


Publication date: 27 April 2024

Rights: World



Growing up in the heart of London’s immigrant Italian community, Michael Volpe always felt disconnected from the UK, the country of his birth. He felt different to his friends, had alternative cultural experiences, and never truly felt he belonged – an unease that has been exacerbated by Brexit for many immigrant families living in the UK.

Exploring his colourful, rich and often dramatic life in London and summers spent in southern Italy among his large extended family, Do I Bark Like a Dog? considers the roots of Volpe’s identity. Delving into family secrets and lies, he discovers how extraordinary events filtered through time to propel his unlikely but successful career in opera.

Evocatively written and featuring circus stars, fascists and faked deaths, Do I Bark Like a Dog? is a deeply moving testimony to Volpe’s mother and her family, and an extraordinary journey into the heart of a life that has left an indelible mark on the world of opera.

Michael Volpe

Michael Volpe O.B.E. is a writer and opera company leader best known for founding Opera Holland Park. Born to an Italian immigrant family in London, Michael attended Woolverstone Hall school, where he explored his love of music and drama – an experience he wrote about in his memoir Noisy at the Wrong Times. In 1996 he founded Opera Holland Park, and became a specialist in late Italian opera. He retired from Holland Park in 2020, and was awarded an OBE for services to opera; he now leads the pioneering company If Opera. He lives in London with his wife and three children.