Ildar Abdrazakov | Bass
A few words about Ildar Abdrazakov
Ildar Abdrazakov [ahb-drah-ZAH-koff] has quickly established himself as one of operas most sought-after basses. Since making his La Scala debut in 2001 at only 25, the Russian singer has become a mainstay at leading houses worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, and Vienna State Opera. His powerful yet refined voice coupled with his compelling stage presence have prompted critics to hail the Grammy-Award winner as a sensational bass who has just about everything imposing sound, beautiful legato, oodles of finesse (Independent). Also an active concert artist, he has performed at Londons BBC Proms and at Carnegie Hall, as well as with leading international orchestras including the Chicago Symphony and Vienna Philharmonic.
Abdrazakov began the 2011-12 season with his role debut as King Henry VIII in a new, season-opening production of Donizettis Anna Bolena at the Metropolitan Opera. Later this season he returns to the house as Dosifei, another role debut, in Mussorgskys rarely heard opera Khovanshchina, marking the first time the bass will have sung in his native tongue outside of Russia. Other opera engagements include the four villains in Offenbachs Tales of Hoffmann at Milans Teatro alla Scala, Mustafa in Rossinis Italian Girl in Algiers at the Vienna State Opera, the title role in Verdis Attila at Romes Teatro dellOpera, and his debut as Philip II in Verdis Don Carlo with the Ópera Perú in Lima. On the concert stage, Abdrazakov sings Verdis Requiem with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev in St. Petersburg, Shostakovichs Suite on Verses of Michelangelo with the Chicago Symphony and Riccardo Muti, Berliozs Messe solennelle in Salzburg with the Vienna Philharmonic also under Muti, and Rimsky-Korsakovs Mozart and Salieri with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra led by Marc Minkowski.
Since making his Met debut in 2004 in Don Giovanni under James Levine, Abdrazakov has appeared there regularly and in 2008-09 he headlined a new production of Verdis Attila. At La Scala, he joined Muti in concert for the reopening of the theater in 2004-05, and that same season he sang Moses in a production of Rossinis Moses and Pharaoh that was recorded and released on CD and DVD. It was in the same role in a new production led by Muti that the Russian bass made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2009, and he has also sung Moses with the Italian maestro in Rome. Abdrazakov first appeared at Londons Royal Opera House in 2009, performing Verdis Requiem in concert with Antonio Pappano, and he has since returned there to sing Don Basilio in Rossinis Barber of Seville.
The title role in The Marriage of Figaro was the vehicle for Abdrazakovs 1998 house debut at St. Petersburgs Mariinsky Theater. Among his other signature roles are both the title character and Leporello in Mozarts Don Giovanni; Méphistophélès in Gounods Faust and Berliozs The Damnation of Faust; Oroveso in Bellinis Norma; Selim in Rossinis Turk in Italy; and Assur in his Semiramide. In addition to Attila, the Russian bass is noted for other Verdi roles: Banquo in Macbeth, Walter in Luisa Miller, and the title character in Oberto.
Abdrazakov has appeared with virtually every major opera company in the United States and Europe. In addition to those already mentioned, he has sung on the stages of Barcelonas Teatre Liceu, Madrids Teatro Real, Pariss Opera Bastille, the San Francisco Opera, the Washington National Opera, and the Los Angeles Opera. On the concert stage, he has given recitals in Russia, Italy, Japan, and the United States, and performed with orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Bayerische Rundfunk, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, and Romes Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Among the noted conductors with whom he has collaborated are Riccardo Muti, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, Gianandrea Noseda, Bernard de Billy, Riccardo Frizza, Riccardo Chailly, and Antonio Pappano.
In addition to his Grammy Award-winning recording of Verdis Requiem with Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Abdrazakov has recorded unpublished arias by Rossini with Chailly and the Symphony Orchestra of Milan Giuseppe Verdi for Decca and Cherubinis Mass with Muti and the Bayerische Rundfunk for EMI Classics. For Chandos, he has recorded Shostakovichs Suite on Verses of Michelangelo and Rachmaninoffs The Miserly Knight, both with Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic. The basss DVD releases include Moïse et Pharaon from La Scala, Oberto from Bilbao, Norma from Parma, and Lucia di Lammermoor from the Metropolitan Opera.
Born in 1976 in the city of Ufa, then the capital of the Soviet republic of Bashkiria, Ildar Abdrazakov traces his lineage back to Genghis Kahn. His parents were both artists: his mother was a painter, and his late father, a director. He began acting in his fathers stage and film productions at age four, and it was these early experiences that inspired him to pursue a career in the arts. On graduating from the Ufa State Institute of Arts, he joined the Bashkirian Opera and Ballet Theatre. In the late 1990s, he won a string of prestigious vocal competitions: the Moscow Grand Prix named after Irina Arkhipova, the Glinka International Vocal Competition, the Rimsky-Korsakov International Competition, and the International Obrazova competition. His 2000 win at the Maria Callas International Television Competition in Parma thrust him into the international spotlight and led to his debut at La Scala the following year.
Since 2007, Abdrazakov has been an ambassador for the Zegna & Music project, a philanthropic initiative founded in 1997 by Ermenegildo Zegna, to promote music and its values. Abdrazakovs concert attire is generously provided by the designer.