Polish star tenor Piotr Beczała will sing the role of Lohengrin in this year’s opening production of the Bayreuth Festival. Piotr Beczała is regularly invited to sing on all important opera houses worldwide. 2016 he made his highly successful debut as Lohengrin in Dresden under Christian Thielemann.
The Bayreuth Festival would like to thank all institutions that by their generous support and cooperation at short notice have enabled Mr Beczała’s engagement in Bayreuth, especially the Tanglewood Music Festival.
Photo (c) Jean-Baptiste Millot
Piotr Beczała is one of the most sought-after tenors of our time and a constant guest in the world’s leading opera houses. The Polish-born artist is acclaimed by audiences and critics alike not only for the beauty of his voice, but also for his ardent commitment to each character he portrays.
Piotr Beczała’s 2017/18 season begins in Barcelona at the Gran Teatre del Liceu with Un Ballo in Maschera. After that, he returns to the Vienna State Opera with his long-awaited role debut as Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur, alongside Anna Netrebko in the title role, to the Munich State Opera as Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor) and to the Berlin State Opera as Rodolfo (La Bohème). Furthermore, Piotr Beczała can be heard in Carmen at the Vienna State Opera and in Luisa Miller (Rodolfo) at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Returning to the Zurich Opera House, Mr. Beczała headlines a revival of Werther and takes up his great success as Prince Sou-Chong in Das Land des Lächelns once more. He starts off his concert season with an Operetta Gala, also featuring Annette Dasch and Thomas Hampson, in Baden-Baden, Budapest and Cologne and a Gala concert at the International Music Festival Český Krumlov. Following that, he sings recitals at Carnegie Hall in New York, at the Opéra Garnier in Paris, in Munich at the National Theatre and at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg, Austria.
Since his debut as Duca in Rigoletto in 2006, Piotr Beczała is a regular guest at the Metropolitan Opera New York. Here he has performed in a new production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin opposite Anna Netrebko, Prince in Dvorak’s Rusalka, Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Rodolfo (La Bohème), as well as in the title roles of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette and Faust. In 2011, he accompanied the MET on a tour to Japan, singing Rodolfo and Edgardo. 2012 saw Piotr Beczała make his role debut as Chevalier des Grieux in Laurent Pelly’s new production of Manon, alongside Anna Netrebko as the eponymous heroine, conducted by Fabio Luisi. The production was part of the “HD live” series by the MET and was broadcast live in cinemas throughout the US and over 50 countries world-wide. It was released on DVD, as was his interpretation of the Duke in a new production of Rigoletto, alongside Diana Damrau in January 2013, for which he received the ECHO Klassik Award “Singer of the Year” in 2014. In the 2015/16 season, he was making his highly acclaimed debut in the title role of Wagner’s Lohengrin opposite Anna Netrebko at the Semperoper Dresden.
At Teatro alla Scala in Milan Piotr Beczała made his debut in 2006 singing Duca in Rigoletto, returning later as Rodolfo in La Bohème. The tenor also opened the 13/14 season for the first time, singing Alfredo in a new production of Verdi’s La Traviata. Piotr Beczała also regularly sings at the State Operas in Munich and in Vienna. On the stage of the National Theatre in Munich, he interpreted the Prince, Alfredo, the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier, and the title role of Massenet’s Werther. During the Munich Opera Festival, Piotr Beczała was heard as Alfredo in La Traviata. In Vienna, he performed Roméo in Jürgen Flimm’s production of Roméo et Juliette, under the baton of Plácido Domingo. Since his debut as Alfredo in 2008, Piotr Beczała has returned to Vienna annually singing Faust, Edgardo and Rodolfo. In 2012, he made his debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, singing concert performances of Faust. At the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London he made his debut in Der Rosenkavalier and returned singing in Faust, Rigoletto, Eugene Onegin, La Bohème, Roméo et Juliette, La Traviata and Verdi’s Requiem. His US debut saw Piotr Beczała perform as Lenski at the San Francisco Opera, followed by Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Rodolfo in La Bohème. Piotr Beczała sang guest performances at the Nederlandse Opera, Théâtre de la Monnaie/de Munt, Staatsoper Hamburg, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatr Wielki (Warsaw), and the Mariinsky Theatre, amongst many others.
Piotr Beczała is a regular guest at the Salzburg Festival. Since his debut as Tamino in 1997 he has sung the cantata Rinaldo by Johannes Brahms under the baton of Sir Elliott Gardiner at the Whitsun Festival as well as Prince in Rusalka, Roméo in Roméo et Juliette, the title role in Gounod´s Faust and Rodolfo in Damiano Michieletto’s new production of La Bohème opposite Anna Netrebko during the Summer Festival. This production was broadcasted on TV and released on DVD by Deutsche Grammophon. Piotr Beczała also sang with Anna Netrebko in concert performances of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta in 2011. In 2013, he was heard in Verdi’s Requiem with the Wiener Philharmoniker and Riccardo Muti conducting.
In addition to his operatic work, he has sung many of the great choral and orchestral vocal works with the world’s most distinguished orchestras and maestri. Celebrating his 20th stage anniversary Piotr Beczała gave a concert at Theatre Wielki in Warsaw in 2012. Also in 2012, he sang the New Year’s Eve concerts at the Semperoper Dresden for the second consecutive year. The concerts, which were led by Christian Thielemann, were broadcast on TV and released on CD and DVD by Deutsche Grammophon. In 2014, he joined a spectacular group of colleagues for Le Concert de Paris, an annual concert event and celebration at the Eiffel Tower with an estimated live audience of more than half a million people.
Piotr Beczała was born in Czechowice-Dziedzice in Southern Poland and received his initial vocal training at the Katowice Academy of Music, where he was given instruction by such illustrious singers as Pavel Lisitsian and Sena Jurinac. His first engagement was at the Landestheater Linz and in 1997 he became a company member of the Zürich Opera. The Zurich audience could hear him as Alfredo in La traviata, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, the title role of Faust, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Elvino in La Sonnambula, and also as the soloist in orchestral songs by Richard Strauss, Riccardo in Un Ballo in maschera as well as Rodolfo in La Bohème.
Piotr Beczała’s is represented on dozens of CDs in a vast array of works, ranging from staples of the repertory, including Faust live from Vienna (Orfeo) and La Traviata from Munich (Farao), which was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award, to such rarely-heard works as Szymanowski’s Król Roger and Offenbach’s Rheinnixen (Accord) and Johann Strauss II’s Simplicius (EMI). In addition, Piotr Beczała sings on a recording of Lucia di Lammermoor with Natalie Dessay in the title role and Valery Gergiev leading the Mariinsky Opera on the Company’s own label.
Three solo aria CDs have been released on the Orfeo label. “Salut”, featuring French and Italian arias (2008), was followed by “Slavic Opera Arias”, with repertoire by Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninoff, Moniuszko, Źeleński, Nowowiejski, Smetana and Dvořák. Opera News declared it #1 on its list of 2011’s “Twelve Best Recital Discs” & it received Classica’s coveted “Choc de l’année 2011”. In 2013 a Verdi album was released. Since 2012, Piotr Beczała is an exclusive artist of Deutsche Grammophon and released his second album “The French Collection” with the yellow label in February, 2015.
His DVD releases include a series of performances from the Zurich Opera including: Rigoletto, La Traviata, Die lustige Witwe, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Die Zauberflöte and Simplicius (all on Arthaus), as well as Don Giovanni (EMI). Also available are Der Rosenkavalier (TDK) from Salzburg, Don Giovanni (Decca), Rusalka alongside Renée Fleming (Decca) and Lucia di Lammermoor from the MET (DG). Other recent DVD releases include the Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with Christian Thielemann leading the Wiener Philharmoniker (Unitel/C Major) and the Farewell Concert for the Wiener Staatsoper’s long standing Intendant, Ioan Holender (DG), among many others.