“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 Avery Fisher Hall at the New York Lincoln Center. 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 2019/20 season include the title role of Nabucco at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Iago in Otello for his debut at the Washington National Opera and in a gala performance in Mannheim as well as Scarpia in Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera and the Teatro San Carlo in Naples.
In 2018/19, the star baritone made his role debut as Michele in Il tabarro at the Metropolitan Opera, where he also sang the title role of Rigoletto. He also performed Giorgio Germont in La traviata and Iago in Otello at the Paris Opera, Iago at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, his first Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House of Muscat in Oman and Alfio in Cavalleria rusticana for his house debut at the Teatro San Carlo and in open-air performances at the Sassi di Matera, telecast all over Europe.
Among his engagements of the 2017/18 season were 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.
Other past highlights include the title roles in Rigoletto and Macbeth; Tosca (Scarpia), Pagliacci (Tonio), Cavalleria rusticana (Alfio), Aida (Amonasro) and Hovanščina (Šakovlity) at the Metropolitan Opera, Nabucco (title role) and Tosca at the Vienna State Opera, Rigoletto, La traviata (Germont), Tosca and Aida at the Teatro alla Scala, Tosca, Francesca da Rimini and Aida at Opéra National of Paris, Simon Boccanegra (title role) and Tosca at the Teatro Real di Madrid, Andrea Chénier (Carlo Gérard) and Aida at the San Francisco Opera, Rigoletto at the Festival of Aix-en-Provence, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci at Gran Teatro del Liceu of Barcelona, Rigoletto and Pagliacci at the Los Angeles Opera, Rigoletto, 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 (Iago) at 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 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, who now masters the genre of dramatic heroic baritone, has worked with many renowned conductors and directors, including James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Fabio Luisi, James Conlon, 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.