Prof. George Gagnidze
Tbilisi State Conservatoire
Lauded by the New York Times for his "expressive, resonant baritone", "insightful phrasing" and "confident, imposing presence", George Gagnidze ranks among the leading singers of his genre.
In the 2008/09 season, the dramatic baritone made his sensational debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Rigoletto and has since then returned in more than 130 performances, singing roles such as Macbeth, Amonasro (Aida), Scarpia (Tosca), Michele (Il tabarro), Tonio (Pagliacci), Alfio (Cavalleria rusticana) and Shaklovity (Hovanščina).
Regularly invited by the most prestigious international opera companies, George Gagnidze kicks off his 2023/24 season starring in the title role of Nabucco at the Metropolitan Opera in the Fall, followed by his house debut at the Atlanta Opera in the title role of Rigoletto. He subsequently returns to the MET for their winter run of Nabucco, including a Live in HD broadcast on January 6, 2024. Other engagements feature star turns at the Las Palmas Opera, where he portrays his “exceptionally menacing Scarpia” in Tosca (The New York Times).
In the 2022/23 season, George Gagnidze made his debut at the Dallas Opera in the title role of Rigoletto, a part he also performed at the Staatsoper Hamburg. He returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Scarpia and Amonasro, to the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona as Scarpia, to the Teatro San Carlo of Naples in the title role of Macbeth and to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin for his role debut as Grand-Prêtre de Dagon in Samson et Dalila.
Engagements of the 2021/22 season included Scarpia at the Metropolitan Opera and at the Teatro San Carlo of Naples, Amonasro at the Los Angeles Opera, Germont in La traviata at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and at the Teatro San Carlo, the title roles of Macbeth at the Palau de les Arts Valencia and of Nabucco at the Staatsoper Hamburg, the Teatro Real of Madrid and the Tbilisi Opera House for a gala performance on the occasion of the inauguration of a Star with his name engraved in front of the theatre.
Other past highlights are Rigoletto, La traviata (Germont), Tosca and Aida at the Teatro alla Scala, Nabucco and Tosca at the Vienna State Opera, Otello (Iago), La traviata, Tosca, Francesca da Rimini and Aida at Opéra National of Paris, Simon Boccanegra (title role), Tosca and Aida at the Teatro Real Madrid, Andrea Chénier(Carlo Gérard) and Aida at the San Francisco Opera, La traviata at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Rigoletto at the Festival of Aix-en-Provence, La traviata, Cavalleria rusticanaand Pagliacci at the Gran Teatre del Liceu,Rigoletto and Pagliacci at the Los Angeles Opera, Tosca and Aida at the Staatsoper Berlin, Nabucco, Rigoletto, Otello, La Gioconda (Barnaba), Andrea Chénier and Tosca at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Luisa Miller (Miller) at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Nabucco and La traviata at the Arena of Verona, Hovanščina at the BBC Proms in London and Otello at the Washington National Opera, the Greek National Opera of Athens and the Staatsoper Hamburg, where he has also sung in Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci.
Born in Tbilisi and trained at the State Conservatory of his home town, George Gagnidze debuted as Renato in Un ballo in maschera in 1996 at the Paliashvili State Opera. He entered the “Concorso Voci Verdiane” in 2005 as an award-winner of the “Leyla Gencer Voice Competition” and the “Elena Obraztsova Competition”. The jury, chaired by José Carreras and Katia Ricciarelli, awarded him first prize for his outstanding vocal interpretation. After launching his international career from Germany, he was soon engaged by many of the world’s important opera houses.
In the course of his career, George Gagnidze has worked with many renowned conductors and directors, including Daniel Barenboim, Semyon Bychkov, James Conlon, Plácido Domingo, Gustavo Dudamel, Mikko Franck, James Levine, Jesús López Cobos, Fabio Luisi, Nicola Luisotti, Lorin Maazel, Michele Mariotti, Zubin Mehta, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gianandrea Noseda, Daniel Oren, Kirill Petrenko, Yuri Temirkanov and Juraj Valčuha; Luc Bondy, Henning Brockhaus, Liliana Cavani, Robert Carsen, Giancarlo Del Monaco, Michael Mayer, David McVicar, Peter Stein, Robert Sturua and Francesca Zambello.
In September 2021, the star baritone presented his first solo album on the Orfeo label featuring arias by Leoncavallo, Giordano, Verdi, Wagner and Mozart, which was immediately nominated for the prestigious 2022 International Classical Music Awards in the Vocal Music category. His DVD/Blu-Ray recordings include Tosca from the Metropolitan Opera, Aida from La Scala and Nabucco from the Arena of Verona.