Praised for the depth and richness of his voice, Vitalij Kowaljow has established himself in recent years as one of the leading basses in the opera scene. Among his more than 40 performed roles are Verdi`s Filippo II in Don Carlo, Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra, Zaccaria in Nabucco, Banco in Macbeth, Ramphis in Aida, Barbarossa in La Battaglia di Legnano, Procida in Vespri Siciliani, Padre Guardiano in La Forza del Destino, Walter in Luisa Miller and the title-role of Attila. Moreover, he has appeared as Kaspar in Der Freischütz, Wotan and Der Wanderer in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Mephistopheles in Faust, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, and such Russian language roles as Prince Igor, Pimen in Boris Godunov and Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin.
Vitalij Kowaljow was introduced to the USA by the Opera Orchestra of New York as Baldassare in La Favorita and has sung since then at Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco, Washington Opera, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia Opera Companies. He has collaborated with various European companies including Royal Opera House in London, Opéra National de Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Wiener Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Arena di Verona and Semperoper Dresden. He made the news when he stepped in at 10 days notice at the Bastille Opera in Paris for an ailing colleague, singing Procida in the new production of the original and seldom performed French version of Les Vêpres Siciliennes under the baton of James Conlon.
In 2010 he debuted to great acclaim the roles of Wotan and Der Wanderer in the Los Angeles Opera new production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, conducted by James Conlon and staged by Achim Freyer. The success of his performance led to an invitation from Daniel Barenboim to reprise the role in Die Walküre for the season opening at La Scala in 2011.
Recent highlights of Vitalij Kowaljow’s career include Die Walküre at the Easter Festival Salzburg under the baton of Christian Thielemann, Der Ring des Nibelungen at Mariinsky Theatre St Petersburg, conducted by Valerij Gergiev, La Forza del Destino at Liceu Barcelona, Nabucco at La Scala, Arena di Verona, Bayerische Staastoper Munich, Deutsche Oper Berlin and at ROH London, Simon Boccanegra at Bayerische Staatsoper, San Francisco Opera, Konzerthaus Wien, in Monte-Carlo and at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta with Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala in Slovenia, Germany, Netherlands, France and Austria, Lucrezia Borgia in San Francisco, I Puritani at Wiener Staatsoper, Roméo et Juliette at ROH London and at Los Angeles Opera, Aida at Arena di Verona and ROH London, Macbeth in Washington, in Turin conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and at Liceu Barcelona. He also sung the role of Filippo II in Don Carlo at NNT in Tokyo, Boris Godunov in San Diego and in San Francisco, Eugene Onegin at Chicago Lyric Opera, Luisa Miller at La Scala, La forza del destino at Opera Amsterdam and at Semperoper Dresden, Lucia di Lammermoor at Metropolitan New York, Der Ring des Nibelungen at Semperoper, conductor Christian Thielemann.
Vitalij Kowaljow’s recordings include La bohème (Deutsche Grammphon 2008), Leoncavallo’s I Medici (Deutsche Grammophon 2010) and Don Giovanni (Deutsche Grammophon 2012). He also stars as Colline in a feature film release of Puccini’s La bohème, directed by Oscar- and Emmy- nominated director Robert Dornhelm.
LATEST PERFORMANCES: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at Semperoper Dresden with Christian Thielemann; Don Carlo (Grande Inquisitore) at Opéra National de Paris; Nabucco at Semperoper Dresden and at Opernhaus Zürich; Médée at Salzburg Festival; Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, conductor Christian Thielemann, at the Easter Festival Salzburg; Iolanta at Palau de Les Arts in Valencia and at at Metropolitan New York; Aida at Teatro alla Scala and at Metropolitan New York; Boris Godunov at Grand Théatre de Genève.
FORTHCOMING PROJECTS: Ernani in Sydney with Opera Australia; Aida at ROH London; Turandot at Opéra National de Paris; Don Carlo (Filippo II), Macbeth, Lucia di Lammermoor, Evgeny Onegin and Turandot in Zurich; Lohengrin at Salzburg Easter Festival; Luisa Miller, Der fliegende Holländer and Boris Godunov in Hamburg; Boris Godunov at Wiener Staatsoper, ; Macbeth and Boris Godunov at Bayerische Staatsoper Munich.