Wojtek Gierlach

Wojtek Gierlach
In 2017/18, Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach makes his house debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as the Priest Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, as well as his role debut as Rocco Fidelio at Theater St. Gallen, where he previously sang Conte Rodolfo Sonnambula. A favourite at Polish National Opera, he returns to Warsaw to sing Hermes in Rozicky’s Eros i Psyche and he also sings Widmo of the opera Widma by Moniuszkoen at the Polska Opera Królewska - Teatr Królewski.. Later this season he sings Oroveso Norma with the Teatre Principal de Palma, a role he previously sang at Teatro National Sao Carlos in Lisbon. He also sings Credo by Penderecki in Warsaw, with M.Valdes, Requiem by Saint-Saens with the Poznan Philharmonic and M.Wieloch, a New Year's Eve Concert in Opera Ba?tycka in Gda?sk, with W.Kunc, a New Year Gala Concert with José Cura at Warsaw Philharmony with M.de Rose and joins the London Philharmonic Orchestra for Verdi's Requiem with Matthew Hopkins.

Last season he sang Sir Giorgio I Puritani – a role that already brought him great acclaim at Welsh National Opera – and Alidoro La cenerentola at Danish National Opera, the latter being somewhat of a signature role for him, which he has also performed with Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Teatro Maestranza in Seville. In Poland, appearances in 2016/17 included Colline La bohème at Podlaska Opera, Gesler Guillaume Tell at Polish National Opera and Escamillo Carmenwith the Warsaw National Philharmonic.  He also sang a wide range of repertoire in concert, including Prokofiev’s Ivan the Terrible in Lisbon.

Other recent engagements include concert appearances with Helmuth Rilling at Konzerthaus Berlin, and with The English Concert under Harry Bicket as Melisso to Joyce DiDonato’s Alcina at the Barbican, Carnegie Hall, Théâtre des Champs Élysées and Theater an der Wien. He also sang Melissoin productions at Royal Danish Opera and Opéra national de Bordeaux.

Past engagements include Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Assur Semiramide at Royal Danish Opera, Oroveso Norma with Teatro National Sao Carlos Lisbon, Mustafa L'Italiana in Algeri at Minnesota Opera, Orbazzano Tancredi in Seville, Leuthold Guillaume Tell as well as Sydney and Profondo Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, and Leporello Don Giovanni with Nico Opera Cape Town.

At Polish National Opera in Warsaw he also appeared as Zbigniew Straszny Dwor, Talbot Maria Stuarda, Colline, Figaro Le nozze di 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 much in demand as a concert performer, in repertoire spanning from the Baroque era to contemporary music. He has appeared in Dettingen Te Deum, Saul and Elijah at Warsaw National Philharmonic Concert Hall, and Sang Bach's Magnificat at Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, Bruckner's Te Deum and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast, Salieri's The Passion Of Jesus Christ With Solisti Veneti and Claudio Scimone and Rossini's Stabat Mater with Orquesta del Principado de Asturias under 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. A special performance of Penderecki's Dies Irae with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra led him to Caracas.

Wojtek's large discography includes Mose in Egitto and La Donna del Lago, Meyerbeer's Semiramide under Richard Bonynge, Penderecki's Magnificat and Janacek's Glagolithic Mass (all NaxOS), G.S. Mayr's Medea in Corinto (Oehms), Luigi Mosca's L'Italiana in Algieri (Bongiovanni), Lodoïska by Cherubini and Weber's Euryanthe (both Polskie Radio), Guillaume Tell with Michele Mariotti (Deutsche Grammophon), and a Live recording of the World premiere of Il dissoluto punito by Ramón Carnicer, conducted by Alberto Zedda.

He won prices in numerous international vocal competitions, including at the Francisco Viñas Competition in Barcelona.
Date Last Edited: 06/02/2018
Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.
RIGOLETTO (Sparafucille). Welsh National Opera. 2019

"Vocally, there were, thankfully, some highlights. 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)

LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK. Royal Opera House. 2018

“Wojtek Gierlach makes a sonorous Priest”. Yehuda Shapiro (The Stage)

“Gierlach’s voice has huge resonance”.  Colin Clarke (Seen and Heard International)

“Solo roles were all extremely well sung, notably the sonorous bass of Wojtek Gierlach as the priest” (Mark Ronan Blog)

“Wojtek Gierlach as the Priest and Peter Bronder as the Shabby Peasant — offer highlights among the large cast”.  (Financial Times)

“Wojtek Gierlach’s Priest  compel belief”. Michael Church (Independent)

FIDELIO. Theater St. Gallen. 2018

"Wojtek Gierlach's interpretation of Rocco is really excellent; he delights with an unforced sonority in his lower register.” Kaspar Sannemann (Oper Aktuell)

"What luck that in Polish singer Wojtek Gierlach there is an absolutely wonderful, reliable, clear and charismatic bass singing Rocco; this instils life in the entire work from start to finish and makes this a tonal and musical feast.” Christoph Schlüren (Neue Musikzeitung)

"Wojtek Gierlach gives Rocco with sonorous bass.” Peter Hagmann (Musikkritiker)

MARIA STUARDA.Deutsche Oper am Rhein. 2017

"Musically, this is a very pleasing performance… culminating in the great scene between Maria and her confessor Talbot in act 3. … Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach, who had stepped in at short notice (but was clearly familiar with the role) was a worthy vis-à-vis for [Olesya Golovneva’s} Maria with his mighty bass voice.Christoph Zimmermann (Der Neue Merker)

I PURITANI. Welsh National Opera. 2015

“... properly thrilling thanks to his partnership with the Giorgio of Wojtek Gierlach. The Polish bass-baritone is much more of a bel cantist, and his mellifluous singing is based on a foundation of excitingly virile tone, making him convincing as the most avuncular figure among the Roundhead-Orangemen. Gierlach captures the character’s goodness and proves again the ‘Cinta di fiori’ is one of the most beautiful things written for that voice on account of not only Bellini’s melodic gifts but also his celebrated way of matching them so intimately with text.”
John Allison (Opera)

“There’s a strikingly powerful Giorgio from the Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach.” Richard Morrison (The Times)

"David Kempster (Riccardo) and Wojtek Gierlach (Giorgio) spearheaded a stunning supporting cast." Steph Power (The Guardian)

“This was a stirring evening, with ... sturdy support from David Kempster as the dogged protestant Riccardo Forth, and Wojtek Gierlach as Sir Giorgio”. Fiona Maddocks (The Guardian)

“Wojtech Gierlach’s Giorgio Valton had a richness of tone that made him more than simply the avuncular figure who supports Elvira’s wish to marry Arturo, and his duet with Elvira, “Sai com’ardi in petto mio”, gave this gifted Polish bass an equal partnership with Rosa Feola’s outstanding coloratura soprano.” Simon Rees (bachtrack)

“Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach is splendid as her uncle Giorgio.” Peter Collins (Wales Online)

“Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach presents a sterling account of Elvira’s uncle, Giorgio Valton.” George Hall (The Stage)

“Elvira’s uncle Giorgio, Wojtek Gierlach has a warmth and sensitivity that inform both his acting and his fine bass singing.” Michael Kelligan (Theatre in Wales)

I PURITANI. Den Jyske Opera . 2016

“Bass Wojtek Gierlach is really excellent in the sizable role of the good uncle who looks out for Elvira.” Thomas Michelsen (Politiken)

“Wojtek Gierlach as the Protestant pastor and Elvira's uncle is convincing in both respects [vocal and dramatic].”
Ole Straarup (Stiften.dk)

“The second act is dominated by Wojtek Gierlach, portraying the role of Protestant pastor Giorgio Valton and brother of Elvira's father. Vocally this is one of the show's highlights. Mogens H Andersson (Operalogg)

Alcina. Tour. 2014

"Wojtek Gierlach’s sturdy Melisso sang stylishly."
Anna Picard (The Times)

"The crisp bass of Wojtek Gierlach as Melisso contributed richly to the menu."
Rupert Christiansen (The Daily Telegraph)

"Wojtek Gierlach's resonant bass Melisso completed the sublime blend of voices."
Clare Colvin (Daily Express)

"The bass Wojtek Gierlach was a stentorian Melisso."
Anthony Tommassini (The New York Times)

NORMA. Teatro Nacional de São Carlos de Lisboa. 2014

"Very good were also bass Wojtek Gierlach, who had a solid and energetic presence in the important role of Oroveso,..."
Manuel Pedro Ferreira (Público)

"The cast proved to be much more balanced than the in previous "Gioconda", been greatly appreciated the Adalgisa by Patrizia Biccirè (Adalgisa) and Wojtek Gierlach (Oroveso).”
Bernardo Mariano (Diário de Notícias)

"Leaves good memory the well timbre voice of Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach in the role of Oroveso the druids' chief"
Ana Rocha (Expresso)

"...and bass Wojtek Gierlach (Oroveso) gave an excellent reply, singing the difficult musical phrases that Bellini was keen to compose for the male element of the opera."
Zita Ferreira Braga (Hardmusica)