Wojtek Gierlach - Bass

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Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach is a much in-demand singer with a wide-ranging career that has seen him perform at major venues across the world.   His recent performances include role debuts as Sparafucile Rigoletto, Parson The Cunning Little Vixen and Procida in David Pountney’s new production of Les vêpres siciliennes for Welsh National OperaAlso at WNO, Rocco Fidelio, Giorgio I Puritani and Alidoro La Cenerentola at WNO, the latter a role he has also performed to great acclaim at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville. He also recently returned to the role of Figaro Le nozze di Figaro and sang Zbigniew Straszny dwór at the Teatr Wielki Poznań, as well as Commendatore Don Giovanni for Opera Wroclawska.  In concert, he appeared with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in Dvořák’s Stabat Mater.

His other previous engagements include Priest Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at Covent Garden, Talbot Maria Stuarda at Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Rocco Fidelio and Conte Rodolfo Sonnambula in St Gallen, Oroveso Norma with the Teatre Principal Palma, a role he previously sang at the Teatro National de São Carlos Lisbon, and Melisso Alcina (alongside Joyce DiDonato) with Harry Bicket and The English Concert at the Barbican, Carnegie Hall, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Theater an der Wien, and in productions at the Royal Danish Opera and the Opéra national de Bordeaux, as well as Giorgio I Puritani and Alidoro at Danish National Opera, Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Assur Semiramide at Royal Danish Opera, Mustafa L’Italiana in Algeri at Minnesota Opera, Orbazzano Tancredi in Seville, Leuthold Guillaume Tell, Sydney and Profondo Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, and Leporello Don Giovanni with Nico Opera Cape Town.

In Poland, his many appearances include Colline La bohème at Podlaska Opera, Escamillo Carmen with the Warsaw National Philharmonic and, at the Polish National Opera in Warsaw he has also appeared as Hermes in Rozicky’s Eros i Psyche, Gessler Guillaume Tell, Talbot Maria Stuarda, Colline, Figaro, Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor, Duce Alfonso Lucrezia Borgia, and Escamillo. Elsewhere in Poland, roles also include Selim Il turco in Italia and King of Clubs The Love for Three Oranges at Krakow Opera, and the title role of Don Giovanni at the Warsaw Mozart Festival.

Wojtek is also much in demand as a concert performer, in repertoire spanning from the Baroque era to contemporary music. His performances at major venues across the world including the Dettingen Te Deum, Saul and Elijah at the Warsaw National Philharmonic Concert Hall, Bach Magnificat at the Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, Bruckner Te Deum and Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast and Missa solemnis with Helmuth Rilling at Konzerthaus Berlin, Salieri’s The Passion of Jesus Christ with Solisti Veneti and Claudio Scimone and Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the  Orquesta del Principado de Asturias and Alberto Zedda. He regularly performs Penderecki’s music under the baton of the composer, and has sung works including his Polish Requiem, Seven Gates of Jerusalem and Credo, plus a special performance of Penderecki’s Dies Irae with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Caracas.

Wojtek’s wide range of recordings includes Mose in Egitto and La Donna del Lago, Meyerbeer’s Semiramide with Richard Bonynge, Penderecki’s Magnificat and Janacek’s Glagolithic Mass (all on the Naxos label), G.S. Mayr’s Medea in Corinto, Luigi Mosca’s L’Italiana inAlgieri, Cherubini’s Lodoïska and Weber’s Euryanthe (both for Poslkie Radio), Guillaume Tell with Michele Mariotti (for Deutsche Grammophon), and a live recording of the world premiere of Il dissoluto punito by Ramón Carnice, conducted by Alberto Zedda.

He has won prizes in numerous international vocal competitions, including at the Francesco Viñas Competition in Barcelona.

His future plans include a return to Welsh National Opera to sing the role of Mephistophelès in Faust, and he will also sing The Gold Merchant in Cardillac with Polish National Opera, as well as appearing in productions of Boris Godunov and Rigoletto.  In concert, he will also sing Le Père Laurence in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with the Filharmonia Krakowska, as well the Dvořák Stabat Mater and the Kodaly Te Deum.

 


 

 

For Procide/Les vêpres siciliennes/Welsh National Opera, February 2020

“Wojtek Gierlach also succeeds brilliantly: his constant calls for the most obtuse nationalism never tire musically, as his art of legato knows how to confer nobility and elegance to the character of Procida.”  Emmanuel Andrieu/Opera Online 

“Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach had plenty of vocal presence as Procida…”  Mark Pullinger/Bachtrack

“Procida (Wojtek Gierlach) is unswervingly committed to the armed struggle. Gierlach sings it well”  Lucien Jenkins, Critics Circle 

“Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach sang with authority as Jean de Procida.” Mark Ronan, The Article 

For Don Basilio/Il Barbiere di Siviglia/Polska Opera Królewska, December 2019

“Wojtek Gierlach also was great in the premiere performance. His wonderful voice highlighted the horror of the La Calunnia aria.”  Wojciech Giczkowski/Teatralna Warszawa 

For Sparafucile/Rigoletto – Sparafucile/Welsh National Opera, October 2019

“My favourite voice of the night came from Wojtek Gierlach, who had the right rich bass and sense of menace for the role of Sparafucile.” Simon Tavener, Daily Info 

For The Parson/The Cunning Little Vixen/Welsh National Opera, October 2019

“The rich, bass-voiced Parson.” Barbara Lewis, Londongrip

“The Parson sung by bass bravado” Weeping Tudor, The Sprout

For Rocco/Fidelio/Welsh National Opera, June 2019

“Wojtek Gierlach was an excellent Rocco.” Lucien Jenkins, Critics Circle

“Wojtek Gierlach imbued Rocco with some plausible humanity and sang attractively” Glyn Pursglove, Seen and Heard International 

For Alidoro/La Cenerentola/Welsh National Opera, October 2018

“Alidoro was sung by Wojtek Gierlach in one of the star turns of the night: his voice had the velvety authority of Sarastro, albeit on prozac, and he was all magic and atmosphere, impressing with patter and pure cantabilealike.”  Benjamin Poore, Bachtrack

“Wojtek Gierlach was an authoritative Alidoro, bringing just the right degree of gravitas to the role, which can easily seem either flippant or over solemn.”  Glyn Pursglove, Seen and Heard International

“Wojtek Gierlach commands the stage and adds a glorious air of mystery to the role of Alidoro, who is in effect, the Fairy Godmother of the show.”  Entertainment Views 

For Priest/Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk/Royal Opera House, April 2018

“Some notable cameos … Wojtek Gierlach as the Priest and Peter Bronder as the Shabby Peasant … offer highlights among the large cast.”  Richard Fairman, Financial Times

“This revival is very strongly cast. Rosie Aldridge as the gang-raped Aksinya, John Daszak’s cuckolded Zinovy, and Wojtek Gierlach’s Priest each compel belief” Michael Church, The Independent 

“Wojtek Gierlach a sonorous Priest” Yehuda Shapiro, The Stage 

“Gierlach’s voice has huge resonance”  Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International 

“…the many solo roles were all extremely well sung, notably the sonorous bass of Wojtek Gierlach as the priest”  Mark Ronan, The Article

“There are strong cameos … from Wojtek Gierlach as a slippery, corrupt Priest.” Peter Reed, Classical Source

 

Wojtek Gierlach