In Chicago - An Evening with Tomasz Konieczny, Lyric Opera's Holländer!
The Wagner Society of America is hosting a conversation with the renowned Tomasz Konieczny, currently appearing in the title role in Lyric Opera of Chicago's Der fliegende Holländer! Click below for details!
Oct 05, 2023, 7:00 PM CDT
Hotel Allegro in Chicago, 171 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
7:00 PM Reception
7:30 PM Program
Hotel Allegro 171 W. Randolph Street Chicago Cost: $15 person - Payable at the door by cash or check (payable to The Wagner Society) Questions: 847-256-1292
Opera information and tickets available here.
With his sensational success first as ALBERICH at the Vienna State Opera, through performances both as Alberich at the Met, and this summer as Wotan in this summer's Ring at Bayreuth, Tomasz Konieczny (born in 1972 in Łódź, Poland) has risen to prominence as a formidable figure in the world of opera, captivating audiences and critics alike. Possessing a baritone voice imbued with youthful brilliance, his artistry knows no bounds. Konieczny's journey through the world of music and opera is a testament to his versatility and remarkable talent.
His musical journey began on a unique path. Initially, Konieczny studied acting at the Film Academy in Łódź, and he embarked on a career as an actor, participating in various theater productions and film projects. However, a deep-seated passion for singing gradually drew him towards a different destiny. Formal vocal training commenced at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy in Warsaw, and it continued at the University of Music in Dresden under the guidance of Prof. Christian Elßner. Konieczny's dedication and innate talent shone through, and he garnered recognition at the 33rd International Dvořák Singing Competition in Karlovy Vary in 1998.
In 1997, Konieczny made his debut as a singer at the Opera Poznań in Poland, where he portrayed Figaro in Mozart's "Le nozze di Figaro." It marked the genesis of a career that would see him grace the stages of theaters across Europe, from Leipzig to St. Gallen, Chemnitz to Mannheim. In 2002, he became a permanent ensemble member at the National Theatre Mannheim, solidifying his reputation as a rising star. It was here that he received the Arnold Petersen Prize, a coveted honor bestowed upon talented emerging artists.
During his tenure at the National Theatre Mannheim, Konieczny displayed his vocal prowess and versatility. He tackled a wide array of challenging roles, such as Golaud in Debussy's "Pelléas et Mélisande," Amfortas in Wagner's "Parsifal," and Kurwenal in Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde." His performances as the Dutchman in Wagner's "Der fliegende Holländer," Barak in Strauss's "Die Frau ohne Schatten," and Balstrode in Britten's "Peter Grimes" were met with critical acclaim.
Konieczny's presence extended far beyond Mannheim. He graced prestigious opera houses and festivals as a guest artist, leaving an indelible mark. His role choices at the Budapest Wagner Days included Amfortas and Wotan in "Die Walküre." In 2008, his debut as Alberich in Wagner's "Das Rheingold" and "Siegfried" at the Semperoper Dresden received widespread acclaim. By 2010, Konieczny had made his debut as one of the Four Villains in Offenbach's "Les Contes d'Hoffmann" at the National Theatre Prague, where he later achieved a significant artistic triumph as Amfortas in the premiere of Wagner's "Parsifal" in 2011. The year 2010 marked a pivotal moment when Konieczny debuted as Alberich in Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen" at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, a monumental achievement. His first appearance at the Opéra National de Paris as Biterolf in Wagner's "Tannhäuser" in 2011 further cemented his status as a force to be reckoned with in the opera world.
Konieczny's international acclaim continued to grow as he performed with renowned orchestras and conductors. He made his debut as Pizarro in Beethoven's "Fidelio" at the Kennedy Center with the NSO Washington, leaving audiences in awe. His performance at the Salzburg Festival in 2012 as Stolzius in Zimmermann's "Die Soldaten" further solidified his reputation as a remarkable artist. In 2016, he achieved remarkable success in Salzburg as Jupiter in Strauss's "Die Liebe der Danae," conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. His collaborations with esteemed conductors led to two significant recordings of Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen" in 2013, one under Marek Janowski for Pentatone Classics, where Konieczny portrayed Wotan, and another under Christian Thielemann for Deutsche Grammophon, with Konieczny as Alberich.
In 2015, Sir Simon Rattle released a recording of Wagner's "Das Rheingold," featuring Konieczny as Alberich. Konieczny continued to make waves in the opera world with his performances as Telramund in Wagner's "Lohengrin" and various other roles. In that same year he made his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut in an extraordinary performance in the title role of Alban Berg's "Wozzeck," directed by Sir David McVicker.
However, perhaps one of the most significant moments in Konieczny's career occurred when he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 2019 as Alberich in Wagner's "Das Rheingold." Critics lauded his performance, describing him as a powerhouse bass who brought depth and nuance to the character. In May of this year he performed "Der fliegende Holländer" to equally enthusiastic response, and with his Wotan at Bayreuth this firmly established him as "today's reigning Wotan" (Opera Wire) And of course Chicago audiences are currently fortunate enough to hear his powerful Holländer first-hand for just two more weeks.
Amidst his many accomplishments, Tomasz Konieczny has found a home at the Vienna State Opera since 2009, where he receives an enthusiastic welcome from Vienna's discerning audience. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the world of opera, Tomasz Konieczny was awarded Austrian Chamber Singer status in 2017. This prestigious honor reflects the high regard in which he is held by both the Austrian government and the international opera community. On January 16, 2019, Tomasz Konieczny was bestowed with the title of Austrian Kammersänger on the stage of the Vienna State Opera, further cementing his status as a celebrated and influential figure in the world of opera.