Opera star Ildar Abdrazakov signs exclusive Deutsche Grammophon contract as he takes to the stage for Warlikowski’s Don Carlos in Paris

Ildar Abdrazakov, described by Vanity Fair as “one of the most sought-after young basses in the operatic world”, has signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The deal was announced on 10 October to coincide with the Bashkirian artist’s performances as Philip II in Krzysztof Warlikowski’s new production of Verdi’s Don Carlos at the Paris Opéra, conducted by Philippe Jordan and also starring fellow DG exclusive artist Elīna Garanča in her role debut as Princess Eboli, Jonas Kaufmann as Don Carlos and Sonya Yoncheva as Élisabeth de Valois. Abdrazakov is set to make his first solo album for Deutsche Grammophon next year in Montreal, joining the Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin to record a programme of Verdi arias. The tracklist will include works such as Fiesco’s “Il lacerato spirito” from Simon Boccanegra and Philip’s monologue “Ella giammai m’amò” from the Italian version of Don Carlos, one of the most profound arias in the bass repertoire.

Abdrazakov also appears in partnership with Rolando Villazón on a newly issued DG album of French and Italian operatic duets for tenor and bass, including “Au fond du temple saint” from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers and “Voglio dire” from Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. The recording, it too made with the Orchestre Métropolitain and Nézet-Séguin, was released worldwide last month. Abdrazakov and Villazón will perform a selection of duets from their album live on tour this autumn. They begin on 20 November at Prague’s Smetana Hall and over the following few weeks will also appear at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, Stuttgart’s Liederhalle, the Philharmonie Gasteig in Munich and Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, with a final date at the Vienna Konzerthaus on 12 December.

“I am delighted to strengthen my relationship with Deutsche Grammophon,” comments the bass. “We first worked together on DVD releases of Borodin’s Prince Igor and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. It was a very happy experience for me to record duets with Rolando and Yannick for the yellow label, and I cannot wait to make my first solo album for DG with these remarkable Verdi arias.”

Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, welcomed Ildar Abdrazakov to the yellow label’s family of artists. “It is easy to understand why critics and audiences have been so entranced by Ildar’s artistry and why he is in such high demand worldwide. He owns the qualities of the greatest operatic basses, from vocal warmth and dazzling agility to the most profound expression of human emotions. Those qualities radiate from his first album for us, a tremendous recording of duets made in the company of friends – the equally charismatic Rolando Villazón and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.”

Ildar Abdrazakov’s artistic eloquence and captivating stage presence have earned rave reviews and invitations to appear at the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls. He was born in 1976 in Ufa, then capital of the Soviet Republic of Bashkiria, and encouraged from an early age to study music by his artistic parents. After formal training at the Ufa State Institute of Arts, he joined the Bashkirian Opera and Ballet Theatre. Ildar’s career gained momentum after he won the Maria Callas International Television Competition in 2000, leading to his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Masetto in Mozart’s Don Giovanni four years later and frequent appearances there ever since. Abdrazakov has become a regular at La Scala, Milan, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, the Mariinsky Theatre and the Bavarian State Opera. He has also given concert performances at, among others, Carnegie Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, the BBC Proms and the Salzburg Festival.

“One of the most exciting Russian singers to emerge on the international scene in the past decade.” Opera News