The tenor is among the top tier of opera singers in the world, performing regularly in starring roles on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He holds a contract with the Deutsche Grammophon label since autumn 2012.
This tenor is among the top tier of opera singers in the world. He performs regularly in starring roles on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Piotr Beczala made his Met debut as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto in 2006 and returned to the role with the company in 2009 and 2011. He has also sung the Duke with Zurich Opera and Paris Opera. His most recent Met performances were as the Chevalier des Grieux in last season’s new production premiere of Massenet’s Manon. He has sung four additional roles at the Met to critical acclaim: Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Lenski in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Rodolfo in La Bohème, and Roméo in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. In March 2013, he makes his Met role debut as the title character in Gounod’s Faust.
Born on the 28th of December 1966 in Czechowice-Dziedzice, Beczała studied at the Katowice Academy of Music and honed his skills at master courses conducted, among others, by Jan Ballarin, Pavel Lisizian and Sena Jurinac. In 1992-97 he was a singer at the Landestheater in Linz and a guest singer at the Landestheater in Salzburg. Since his first appearance in 1996 at the Zürcher Oper he has performed there a number of times, singing the parts of Don Ottavio in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni, Duke of Mantua in Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto, Števa in Leoš Janáček's Jenufa, Sinodal in Anton Rubinstein's The Demon, Walther von der Vogelweide in Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser, Matteo in Richard Strauss's Arabella, Elvino in Vincenzo Bellini's La sonnambula, Orombello in Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda, Arnim von Grübben's in Johann Strauss's operetta Simplicius, and others. In 2010 he ranked fifth in the season listing of top opera singers in the world released by Austrian publishing house Festspiele.
His first recording for the German label Deutsche Grammophon was released in May 2012 as a tribute to Richard Tauber, published as part of Deutsche Grammophon's 150 Years of Operetta series. The music of Tauber holds a special significance for Beczała, reaching back to his studies in Tauber's own city of Linz, where he got to know his works better and drew inspiration from Tauber's skill and passion. The record incorporates innovative technology that harmonises Beczała's voice with an archive recording of Tauber himself. Beczała will also be joined by other renowned international singers, including Anna Netrebko, Avi Avital and the Berlin Comedian Harmonists. In December 2012 Beczała takes the stage of Tauber's old stomping grounds - the Vienna Opera - to play the part of Rodolfo in Puccini's La Bohème.
The list of theatres which have cast Beczała includes De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, the Théâtre Royal La Monnaie in Brussels, Opéra National de Paris, Bilbao Opera, Deutsche Oper and Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, Opernhaus in Frankfurt am Main, Staatsoper in Vienna, Grand Théâtre in Geneva, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Megaron in Athens, Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, San Francisco Opera and Metropolitan Opera in New York. Beczała has also been a regular guest singer at the leading international festivals, including those in Salzburg, Vienna (Festwochen and Klangbogen), Graz, Zurich, Lucerne, Montpellier, and Montreux, and has performed in concert halls of such renown as the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Munich Philharmonic Hall, Herkulessaal in Munich, Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, Tonhalle in Zurych, KKL in Lucerne, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Pyotr Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and Severance Hall in Cleveland.
In his concerts and opera performances Beczała has worked with Gerd Albrecht, Maurizio Benini, Bertrand de Billy, Michael Boder, Ivor Bolton, Richard Bonyng, Frans Brüggen, Semyon Bychkov, Sylvain Cambreling, Paolo Carignani, Sir Andrew Davis, Edo de Waart, Placido Domingo, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Ivanem Fischer, Michael Gielen, Carlo Mario Giulini, Hartmut Haenchen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Philippe Herreweghe, Mariss Jansons, Marek Janowski, Mikhail Yurovsky, Vladimir Yurovsky, Ton Koopman, Zubin Mehta, Ingo Metzmacher, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, Renato Palumbo, Antonio Pappano, Trevor Pinnock, Nello Santi, Peter Schneider, Martin Sieghart, Christian Thielemann, Marcello Viotti, Franz Welser-Möst and Alberto Zedda.
Beczała's repertoire covers lyrical tenor parts in the following operas: Vincenzo Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda
(Orombello) and La Sonnambula
(Elvino), Gaetano Donizetti's L'elisir d'Amore
(Nemorino) and Lucia di Lammermoor
(Edgar), Antonín Dvořák's Rusałka
(The Prince), Charles Gounod's Faustus
(the title role) and Romeo and Juliet
(Romeo), Leoš Janáček's Jenufa
(Števa), Albert Lortzing's The Poacher
(Baron Kronthal), Jules Massenet's Manon
(Le Chevalier Des Grieux) and Werther
(the title part), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio
(Belmonte), Don Giovanni
(Don Ottavio) and The Magic Flute
(Tamino), Jacques Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann
(Hoffmann) and Die Rheinnixen
(Franz), Giacomo Puccini's La bohème
(Rodolfo) and Gianni Schicchi
(Rinuccio), Anton Rubinstein's The Demon
(Sinodal), Bedřich Smetana's The Bartered Bride
(Jenik), Richard Strauss's The Knight of the Rose
(the Italian singer), Karol Szymanowski's King Roger
(The Shepherd), Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin
(Lensky) and Iolanta
(Count Vaudémont), Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto
(Duke of Mantua), La traviata
(Alfredo) and A Masked Ball
(King Gustavo III), and Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser
(Walther von der Vogelweide). Beczała's operetta repertorie includes the roles of Camille de Rosillon in Franz Lehár's The Merry Widow
, Alfred in Johann Strauss's The Bat
and Arnim von Grübben in Strauss's Simplicius
.Beczała's concert repertoire includes Ludwig van Beethoven's Missa Solemnis
, Robert Schumann's Paradies und die Peri
, Gioacchino Rossini's Stabat Mater
and Petite Messe Solennelle
, Hector Berlioz's Requiem
, Anton Bruckner's Te Deum
, Antonín Dvořák's Stabat Mater
, Giuseppe Verdi's Messa da Requiem
, Gustav Mahler's The Song of the Earth
and Das klagende Lied
as well as sacral music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Luigi Cherubini, Franz Schubert and Joseph Haydn's oratorios.
Beczała has recorded for many labels, such as Arte Nova (Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio), Orfeo Records (Dvořák's Saint Ludmila), EMI (Johann Strauss's Simplicius), CD Accord (Offenbach's Die Rheinnixen and Szymanowski's King Roger), Relief (Tchaikovsky's Iolanta), Farao Classics (Verdi's La Traviata), Edition Hänssler (Hector Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette), CPO (Franz Lehár's The Land of Smiles) and Channel Classics (Karol Szymanowski‘s songs). His DVD portfolio includes five Zurich Opera performances (Simplicius, The Magic Flute, The Abduction from the Seraglio, The Merry Widow and La traviata) as well as two Salzburger Festspiele performances from 2004 and 2006, respectively: The Knight of the Rose and Don Giovanni.
In early 2013 Beczała performed the role of the Duke in Michael Mayer's Vegas-styled production of Rigoletto and the title role in Faust, conducted by Alain Altinoglu, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The Wall Street Journal wrote, "As the Duke, Piotr Beczala displays a big, beautiful tenor with great presence (and the production) gives a contemporary immediacy to this tale of how power and vice corrupt everything around them… The strong cast of principals carries out the concept with gusto".
Source: Based on the original text by Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Center, Polish Composers' Union, October 2007. Updated and edited by Agnieszka Le Nart, February 2013.