Piotr Beczala ‒ Biography
The Polish tenor Piotr Beczala, known worldwide for the singular beauty of his tone, comes from a rich musical tradition. When he studied at the Katowice Academy of Music, his teachers included such legendary singers as Pavel Lisitsian and Sena Jurinac. He began to build an international career when he became a company member at the Zurich Opera and consolidated his international presence in 2004 with his debuts at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and at the San Francisco Opera. He swiftly became one of the most sought-after lyrical tenors in the opera houses of the world.
In 2006 he sang the Duke in Rigoletto at La Scala Milan and made his first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera in the same role. He accompanied the Met on its post-tsunami tour of Japan in June 2011 and made a triumphant return to the New York Metropolitan in 2013 to sing the Duke in Rigoletto again and the title role in Gounod’s Faust.
He has sung Alfredo in La Traviata in Munich, Roméo in Roméo et Juliette in Vienna, and the Verdi Requiem in Paris and Salzburg. Other operatic roles have included the Prince in Rusalka in Munich, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in Vienna, des Grieux in a Laurent Pelly production of Manon with Anna Netrebko at the Metropolitan Opera, and Gustavo in Un ballo in maschera at the Zurich Opera. He has also made appearances at De Nederlandse Opera, Théâtre de la Monnaie, Staatsoper Hamburg, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatr Wielki (Warsaw), and the Mariinsky Theatre, among many others.
Piotr Beczala has been an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2012. His lyrical voice has been showcased in a number of recordings, including two releases with Christian Thielemann: an operetta gala and a Lehár Gala, both from Dresden. A singer who moves easily between operetta and opera, he has recorded La Bohème and Lucia di Lammermoor, both with Anna Netrebko. He was named Male Singer of the Year at the 2014 ECHO Klassik 2014 for his Rigoletto. He also sang on Netrebko’s Souvenirs, and the Russian soprano returned the compliment by taking part in his recording of the songs of Richard Tauber, Heart’s Delight. February 2015 sees the release of The French Collection, his first solo operatic album with Deutsche Grammophon, featuring best-loved operatic by Berlioz, Gounod, Massenet, Verdi and others. The music lies at the heart of his repertoire.
Beczala is a regular guest artist at the New York Metropolitan Opera and at the Salzburg Festival. In January 2015 he is in New York to sing Vaudemont in Iolanta with Anna Netrebko, conducted by Valery Gergiev, and in April he returns to sing King Gustavo in Un ballo in maschera for the first time at the Met in his very first collaboration with music director James Levine. In Salzburg he sings the title role in Werther at the Summer Festival in August 2015. In December 2014 and January 2015, Beczala was at the Wiener Staatsoper, singing the Duke in Rigoletto. He also appears in Faust at the Opéra Bastille in Paris in March and La Bohème at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in July 2015.
Piotr Beczala has been described by Opera magazine as “one of the most truly exciting male voices of the present day”. Opera News in New York said: “Tall, trim and handsome, with a Hollywood smile, he also emits some of the most beautiful sounds to be heard on the current opera stage … He unites all this with the kind of golden-age singing no longer expected from a full lyric tenor.” ClassicsToday.com referred to “… the splendid Piotr Beczala. What a fine singing actor! The voice is beautiful, the demeanor sincere, the attention to vocal and textual detail winning.” Beczala’s artistry is not confined to operatic repertoire. He is a celebrated recitalist, with many appearances in the German Lied and Slavic song repertoire and brings unique expression to everything he sings. The Wiener Zeitung referred to him simply as “one of the ultimate lyrical tenors of our time”.
They are fitting words for a tenor whose time has clearly come, and whose future promises so much.