1/14/2013, Smetana hall at Prague's Municipal House
Special guest: Simona Houda Šaturová
Julian Kovatchev – dirigent
Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecień will open the Metropolitan Opera 2012/2013 season on 24th September as Belcore in L’elisir d’amore alongside Anna Netrebko.
Mariusz Kwiecień earns ovations in all front opera houses in Europe and North America. “A name difficult to spell and easy to admire” Melinda Bargreen of Seattle Times declared in her review of Don Giovanni, “he moves like a panther and he shapes his mighty voice into the most gentle shades… Finally, here is a singer convincing the audiences of Don Giovanni’s long roasters of beautiful ladies…”
Mozart’s Don Giovanni is one of Kwiecień’s congenial creations; he sang the role in Vienna State Opera, in opera houses in Bilbao, Houston, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Warsaw, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Covent Garden in London and Seattle where he also received the 2006/2007 Season Artist of the Year Award for his portrayal of this role.
Born in Krakow (4th November 1972) the graduate of the Warsaw Academy made his debut at the Krakow Opera as Aeneas (Purcell: Dido a Aeneas) in 1993. In the following years, he took place in several prestigious singing competitions – 1994 Duszniki, Poland (1st prize), 1996 Hans Gabor/Belvedere, Vienna (Prize of Vienna and Hamburg State Operas), 1998 Francisco Vinas Competition, Barcelona (Prize for W. A. Mozart’s Interpretation and Prize of the Audience), 1999 World Cardiff Competition, Wales.
In 1999, he was accepted into the Lindemann Program for Young Artists at the Metropolitan Opera. As other participants of the program, Kwiecień had several opportunities to take part at the MET production, in smaller roles. He made his debut on 2nd January 1999 in the role of Kuligin in Janáček’s Katya Kabanova under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras. Soon after, the MET offered him to sing some of the great baritone roles: Marcello (La bohème, 2003 and tour of Japan in 2011), Silvio (I pagliaci, 2004), Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro, 2005), Giuglielmo (Così fan tutte, 2005), Malatesta (Don Pasquale, 2006 and 2010), Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor, 2007) and Escamillo (Carmen, 2009), Don Giovanni (2011) and Belcore (L´elisir d’amore, 2012). He also performed within the cycle MET in HD; Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor (7th February 2009) and Malatesta in Don Pasquale (13th November 2010).
Besides for his engagements at the MET and the opera houses above, he is also a frequent guest in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Lyrical Opera Chicago, Paris, Grand Théâtre de Genève, La Scala in Milan, Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hamburg, Teatro Real Madrid, Verona Arena; in festivals in Tanglewood, Glyndebourne and Teatro Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Teatro Municipal in São Paulo, etc. Over the last few years, his repertoire expanded of Ottokar (Der Freischütz), Eugene Onegin, Riccardo (I puritani), Germont (La traviata) and Szymanowsky’s King Roger.
His discography includes Slavic Heroes (Harmonia Mundi), a CD Mariusz Kwiecień recorded with Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Łukasz Borowicz. The CD includes opera arias of Slavic composers. There are also DVDs with MET productions: Don Pasquale, Lucia di Lammermoor (both Deutsche Grammophon) and Eugene Onegin (Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, label BelAir).
Mariusz Kwiecień made his Prague debut on 25th November 2010 at the Smetana Hall of the Municipal House per Nachtigall Artists invite. He was accompanied by the Prague Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Łukasz Borowicz.