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Tomasz Konieczny

Tomasz Konieczny studied acting at the Łódź Film School, and solo voice at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw and the Carl Maria von Weber College of Music in Dresden under Prof. Christian Elssner.

He made his operatic debut as Figaro in Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” at the Grand Theatre in Poznań in December 1997. He performed in Germany for the first time in January 1999 as Kecal in Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride” at the Leipzig Opera. In 2000 he joined the Theater Lübeck where he appeared as Procida (bass) in Verdi’s “Sicilian Vespers”, Pandolfe in Massenet’s “Cendrillon”, Oresto in Strauss’s “Elektra” and Ramphis in Verdi’s “Aida”, and performing all major bass-baritone parts in Shostakovich’s “The Nose”. At the start of the 2002/2003 season, he was granted a permanent post at the National Theatre in Mannheim, where he performed parts including Orest in Strauss’s “Elektra”, Pimen in Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov”, Sarastro in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”, King Marke in Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde”, Amfortas in Wagner’s “Parsifal”, Wotan in Wagner’s “The Ring of the Nibelung”, Osmin in Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio”, the Grand Inquisitor in Verdi’s “Don Carlo”, Fra Melitone in Verdi’s “La forza del destino” and Jochanaan in Strauss’s “Salome”. He was a permanent soloist at the Deutsche Opera am Rhein in Düsseldorf between 2006 and 2014, performing as Bottom in Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Kurwenal in “Tristan und Isolde”, Golaud in Debussy’s “Pelléas et Mélisande”, Selim in Rossini’s “Il turco in Italia”, Amfortas in “Parsifal”, Barak in Strauss’s “Die Frau ohne Schatten”, Balstrode in Britten’s “Peter Grimes”, the Dutchman in Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman”, Falstaff in Verdi’s “Falstaff” and Escamillo in Bizet’s “Carmen”.

In 2006, he appeared during the 1st Budapest Wagner Days as Amfortas in “Parsifal” under the music direction of Adam Fischer. In June 2007 and 2009 he returned to the city to perform as Wotan in “Die Walküre”, coming back again in 2010 to reprise his role as Kurwenal in “Tristan und Isolde” and sing as the Wanderer in “Siegfried” under Adam Fischer. In 2007, he made his debut at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw as the Hermit in Weber’s “Der Freischütz” under the music direction of Antoni Wit; in January 2008 he appeared at the Semperoper in Dresden as Alberich in Wagner’s “The Ring of the Nibelung” under the direction of Peter Schneider, and in July he performed at the Teatro Real in Madrid as Dr. Kolenatý in Janáček’s “The Makropulos Affair” directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski. His made his next major appearance as Alberich in “The Ring of the Nibelung” at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in April 2010.

In May and June 2010, Konieczny appeared as Kurwenal at the premiere of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” at the Státní Opera Praha. The same year he also appeared at the National Czech Theatre in Prague as the Four Incarnations of Evil in Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann”. His reprisal of his role as Amfortas in Wagner’s Parsifal at the same theatre in 2011 brought him wide critical acclaim. The same year he also performed at the Paris Opera as Biterolf in Wagner’s “Tannhäuser”; in 2012 he appeared in Washington as Pizarro in the concert version of Beethoven’s “Fidelio” under the music direction of Christoph Eschenbach. During the Salzburger Festspiele in the summer of the same year, he sang the role of Stolzius in Zimmermann’s “Die Soldaten”, and in September he reprised his role as Pizarro in “Fidelio” at the Bayerische Staatsoper München.

2013 saw the release of two important recordings of Wagner’s “The Ring of the Nibelung”. Konieczny appeared as Wotan in the version directed by Marek Janowski and released by Pentatone Classics, and as Alberich in the edition conducted by Christian Thielemann and issued by Deutsche Grammophon. In early 2014, he debuted at the Carnegie Hall in New York as Jochanaan in the concert version of “Salome”, returning in the summer as Il Commendatore in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”; he also reprised his Pizarro in “Fidelio” during the Salzburger Festspiele. He performed on the 2015 recording of “Das Rheingold” directed by Sir Simon Rattle, and in October that year he appeared in the title role in the new interpretation of Berg’s “Wozzeck” at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.

The Wiener Staatsoper has been Konieczny’s artistic home since 2009. Some of his roles include Jack Rance in Puccini’s “La fanciulla del West”, Alberich and Wotan in “The Ring of the Nibelung”, Amfortas in “Parsifal”, the Dutchman in “The Flying Dutchman”, Scarpia in Puccini’s “Tosca”, Mandryka in Strauss’s “Arabella” and Jochanaan in “Salome”.

Konieczny also regularly performs oratorios and songs, appearing under the baton of Kent Nagano in J.S. Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” (arias) in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in August 2006, as well as in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Berlin in December 2008 conducted by Marek Janowski, Verdi’s “Requiem” at the Musikverein in Vienna under Daniele Gatti, Penderecki’s “Seven Gates of Jerusalem” in autumn 2009 and spring 2010 conducted by the composer himself, and in Bach’s “St. Luke Passion” in March and April 2010 with Sinfonietta Varsovia. His repertoire also includes songs by Rachmaninov, Strauss, Beethoven, Penderecki, Twardowski and Moniuszko.

Pic. Klaudia Taday