“The Georgian baritone George Gagnidze was an exceptionally menacing Scarpia, singing with robust, earthy power and seductive lyricism when the villain turns on the charm”. With these words the New York Times hailed George Gagnidze in a 2008 performance of Tosca at the New York Avery Fisher Hall. One year later he made his sensational debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Rigoletto, and has since then ranked among the leading singers of his genre.
Regularly invited by the most prestigious international opera companies, performances of the 2018/19 include his role debut as Michele in Il tabarro and the title role of Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera, Giorgio Germont in La traviata and Iago in Otello at the Paris Opera as well as Iago at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Among his engagements of the 2017/18 season are Tonio in Pagliacci and Alfio in Cavalleria rusticana at the Metropolitan Opera and at the Hamburg State Opera, Amonasro in Aida at the Teatro Real Madrid and at the Teatro alla Scala, Iago in Otello with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl and his role debut as Barnaba in La Gioconda at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
In the 2016/17 season he made his role debut as Carlo Gérard in Andrea Chénier at the San Francisco Opera, where he also appeared as Amonasro in Aida. Other performances led him as Amonasro in Aida to the Metropolitan Opera, as Carlo Gérard in Andrea Chénier and Scarpia in Tosca to the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in the title role of Nabucco in a new production to the Arena of Verona and as Šakovlity in Hovanščina to the Royal Albert Hall in London for his debut at the BBC Proms.
Other past highlights include Rigoletto and Macbeth; Tosca, Pagliacci, Cavalleria rusticana, Aida and Hovanščina at the Metropolitan Opera, Nabucco and Tosca at the Vienna State Opera, Rigoletto, La traviata, Tosca and Aida at the Teatro alla Scala, Tosca, Francesca da Rimini and Aida at Opéra National of Paris, Simon Boccanegra and Tosca at the Teatro Real di Madrid, Falstaff at the New National Theatre of Tokyo, Rigoletto in Aix-en-Provence and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci at Gran Teatro del Liceu of Barcelona, Rigoletto and Pagliacci at the Los Angeles Opera, Luisa Miller at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, La traviata at the Arena of Verona, and Otello at the Staatsoper Hamburg and the Greek National Opera of Athens.
Born in Tbilisi and trained at the State Conservatory of his home town, George Gagnidze debuted as Renato in Un ballo in maschera at the Paliashvili State Opera in 1996. 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 stage directors, including Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Fabio Luisi, James Conlon, James Levine, Plácido Domingo, Mikko Franck, Jesús López-Cobos, Nicola Luisotti, Daniel Oren, Gianandrea Noseda, Kirill Petrenko, Yuri Temirkanov; Luc Bondy, Liliana Cavani, Robert Carsen, Peter Stein, Giancarlo Del Monaco, Henning Brockhaus, and Robert Sturua.
His DVD/Blu-Ray recordings include Tosca from the Metropolitan Opera, Aida from La Scala and Nabucco from the Arena of Verona.