Kostas Smoriginas is one of the most promising bass-baritones of today. He made his debut at the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin as Escamillo Carmen and has since performed the role with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle (recorded for EMI Classics), the Salzburg Easter Festival, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Santa Fe Music Festival, Dresden Semperoper, and with Beijing’s National Centre for Performing Arts.
The coming seasons see some important role debuts for Smoriginas, who will perform his first Jochanaan in Salome as well as singing his first Scarpia in Tosca, and debuting in his first Verdi role.
Highlights of the 2018-19 season include Jochanaan in Salome for Oper Koln as well as his role debut in the title role of Bluebeard’s Castle for Lithuanian National Opera and Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon. He will reprise the role of Escamillo for the Bolshoi Theatre and Lithuanian National Opera, and in concert will sing Rachmaninov The Bells for the Oslo Philharmonic. Future seasons include the title role in Eugene Onegin in major European houses, his role debut as Scarpia in Tosca, and returns to the Bregenz Festival and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
Recent successes include Escamillo in Barrie Kosky’s new production of Carmen and Heerrufer in Lohengrin, both for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, his role debut as High Priest in Samson et Dalila in Vilnius; the title role in Don Giovanni at Opera de Lausanne; Figaro Le nozze di Figaro in Dresden; Escamillo in Kasper Holten’s new production of Carmen at the Bregenz Festival; the title roles in Eugene Onegin and Le nozze di Figaro for Lithuanian National Opera, as well as Count Le nozze di Figaro in Malmo, title roles in Aleko and The Demon at La Monnaie and Tchelakov in the new production of Boris Godunov at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
Smoriginas made his US opera debut in 2010 as Figaro Le nozze di Figaro at Washington National Opera, a role he later repeated at San Francisco Opera. He has recorded the role of Pietro Simon Boccanegra alongside Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ildar Abdrazakov and Barbara Frittoli. In addition to Escamillo and Tchelakov and various other roles, Smoriginas has performed Colline La bohème at Covent Garden. Other operatic engagements have included title role Don Giovanni at Teatro Municipal Santiago, Chile and in Toulouse; Leporello Don Giovanni at Opera de Bordeaux; Tomsky Pique Dame with the New Israeli Opera; title role Eugene Onegin, Guglielmo Cosi fan tutte and Scarpia Tosca at Vilnius City Opera; and Masetto Don Giovanni for his Teatro alla Scala, Milan debut and in a new production by Dmitri Tcherniakov conducted by Marc Minkowski at the Aix-en-Provence Festival.
Smoriginas is in high demand on the concert platform. His repertoire includes Verdi, Brahms, Mozart and Faure’s Requiems, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9, Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass, Dvorak’s Te Deum and Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater, which he sang with Edward Gardner and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev. He won rave reviews for his BBC Proms debut in Stravinsky’s Les Noces at the Royal Albert Hall. Recent concert engagements include Dvorak’s Te Deum with the Orchestre de Paris and Rachmaninov’s The Bells with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andris Nelsons. In the 2017 Prague Spring Festival he performed Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 13 with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2018 he performed Beethoven 9 with Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Smoriginas studied at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy before representing his country at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. He spent two years at the Royal College of Music and was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House for two years.
Title role Bluebeard's Castle
Riccardo I puritani
Zurga Les pêcheurs de perles
Golaud Pelleas et Melisande
Malatesta Don Pasquale
Enrico Lucia di Lammermoor
Guglielmo Cosi fan tutte
Title role Don Giovanni
Figaro / Il Conte Le nozze di Figaro
Shchelkalov Boris Godunov
Sharpless Madama Butterfly
Lescaut Manon Lescaut
Title role Aleko
Title role The Demon
Samson et Dalila High Priest
Title role Eugene Onegin
Tomsky Pique Dame
Rodrigo / Posa Don Carlo
Renato Un ballo in maschera
Paolo Simon Boccanegra
Kurwenal Tristan und Isolde
Wotan The Ring Cycle*
Songs and Dances of Death
*Jochanaan in a new Ted Huffman production of Salome for Oper Koln (role debut).
*Rachmaninov The Bells with Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vasily Petrenko.
*Escamillo in Carmen at the Bolshoi Theatre, conducted by Tugan Sokhiev.
Smoriginas swaggered into Lillas Pastia's café as the reigning bullfighter and sang his 'Toreador Song' with resonant, robust sounds. He seemed to be having fun with the role and the part fit him perfectly.
New Orleans Advocate
As Figaro, bass-baritone Kostas Smoriginas sang with power and clarity, at his best when venting righteous anger on learning of Almaviva's designs on Susanna the night before her scheduled marriage to Figaro.
The real revelation of the evening is the young Lithuanian bass-baritone Kostas Smoriginas... The voice is splendid, powerful and rich in a great variety of colours. But Smoriginas is also a fine musician who manages to give a lot of humanity to his character, and to make him almost sympathetic despite his dark designs.