Saimir Pirgu

Born in 1981, he starts his musical studies in 1988 at the Liceo d'Arte in his hometown Elbasan (Albania) as a violinist and continues studying singing at the Conservatories of Tirana and Bolzano, with Vito Brunetti, who is still his teacher. After moving to Italy, he wins in 2002 the International Competition "Enrico Caruso" in Milan and the "Tito Schipa" International Competition in Lecce. He received the important Franco Corelli award at Teatro delle Muse in Ancona (February 2009). He makes his debut at the Rossini Opera Festival with Il viaggio a Reims and Adina. Later starting an important collaboration with the Wiener Staatsoper, winning the prestigious prize "Eberhard Waechter Gesangsmedaille" for his interpretation of N orino in L'elisir d'amore. At Teatro Comunale di Ferrara he sang Cosi fan tuttle directed by Claudio Abbado and at the Salzburger Festspiele with Philippe Jordan. Important debuts follow, which brought him to the major opera houses throughout the world from the Hamburgische Staatsoper, to the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, from the Berlin Staatsoper, to the Teatro dell'Opera and Accad ia Santa Cecilia in Rome. He regularly sings at the Opernhaus in Zurich, at the Covent Garden, at the Teatro Real in Madrid; he makes his debut in Valencia, at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He collaborates with conductors like Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, Daniele Gatti, Seiji Ozawa, Franz Welser Most, Gustav Kuhn, James Conlon, Antonio Pappano and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Among his principal roles, it is worth mentioning Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Ferrando (Cosi fan tuttle), N orino (Elisir d'Amore), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), Fenton (Falstaff), Alfredo Germont (La Traviata), Il Duca di Mantova (Rigoletto). Among his recent concert engagements, it is worth mentioning Mozart's Requi at the Lingotto Auditorium in Turin with Claudio Abbado. He sang the role of Idomeneo at the Styriarte Festival Steirische in Graz, conducted and directed by Harnoncourt and the role of Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto at the Opernhaus in Zurich. 2008 has also marked his US debut singing Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi at the Los Angeles Opera, Woody Allen directing, James Conlon conducting. He has recently sung La Traviata at Opera Royal de Wallonie in Liege, Alfano's Cyrano (Christian) at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. In July 2009 he made his debut at the Santa Fe Opera Festival with La Traviata, after that he performered the role of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni in Zurich. He made his debut in the role of Rodolfo in the Schweizer Fernsehen production of La Boheme staged in Bern, lived broadcasted (2009) on SF 1, TSR 1, RSI LA 1 e Arte. He has recently performed La Traviata at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale in Florence and a Recital in Busseto, native village of Giuseppe Verdi, for the Festival Verdi of the Teatro Regio in Parma. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York singing Gianni Schicchi (Rinuccio) and in Lucia di Lammermoor (Sir Edgardo di Ravenswood) at the Hamburgische Staatsoper. He also portrayed the role of Rinuccio in a concertemperformance conducted by Vladimir Jurowski at the Accad ia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He has just sung Idomeneo (title role) at the Zurich Opernhaus; Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio) at the Teatro delle Muse in Ancona; La Traviata at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; Ferrando in Cosi fan tuttle at the Ravinia Festival; Romeo et Juliette in Salerno; La Traviata in Hamburg; Don Giovanni in Vienna; Cosi fan tuttle in Toulouse. He made his successful debut at the Opera de Paris with Gianni Schicchi. He has just been a wonderful N orino for his debut at the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome and a convincing Tamino in Die Zauberflote for his debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. He was invited by Riccardo Muti to participate in a highly acclaimed Verdi's Requi at the most recent edition of the Salzburger Festspiele. He also returned in Los Angeles where he sang as Ferrando in Cosi fan tuttle. Saimir Pirgu's future plans include: Lucia di Lammermoor and L'elisir d'amore at the Hamburgische Staatsoper; Rigoletto and La Traviata at the Zurich Opernhaus; Cosi fan tuttle in Los Angeles; Iolanta and Francesca da Rimini (Theater an der Wien) in Vienna; Lucia di Lammermoor at the Washington Opera; La Boheme in Barcelona; La Traviata in Berlin, in New York, in Vienna; Rigoletto at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London; Don Giovanni in Paris; La favorite in Toulouse; I Capuleti e i Montecchi in San Francisco. October 2011