Saimir Pirgu figures among the brightest stars in today’s international operatic firmament. “Exceptionally boyish, gently ardent and at ease in stratospheric flights” (Financial Times), the “sweet-voiced, energetic tenor” (New York Times) has been celebrated at every major international operatic venue, including the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Teatro alla Scala, the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Paris Opéra, the Berlin Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Opernhaus Zurich, Barcelona’s Liceu, the San Francisco Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, the Salzburg Festival, and the Arena di Verona.
Performances of the 2018/2019 season include his role debut as Don José in Carmen in Bangkok conducted by Zubin Mehta and in the title role of Faust for Opera Australia, his scenic debut as Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera in a new production at the Teatro Regio of Parma, a new Deborah Warner production of La traviata at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and of Madama Butterfly at the Teatro San Carlo of Naples; La traviata and L’elisir d’amore at the Vienna State Opera, the title role of Werther at the New National Theatre Tokyo, Alfredo at the Herodes Atticus in Athens, the title part of La damnation de Faust at the Wiener Konzerthaus and the Birmingham Symphony Hall, Duca in Rigoletto at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and the Philharmonie of Luxembourg, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem in Turin and Mozart’s Requiem with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti, Berlioz’ Requiem at the Vienna Musikverein conducted by Philippe Jordan, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at the Teatro San Carlo of Naples under the batons of Zubin Mehta and Juraj Valčuha.
In recent seasons Saimir Pirgu enlarged his repertoire making important debuts in iconic tenor roles such as the title role of La damnation de Faust in a new Peter Stein production at the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow, Pinkerton in a new staging of Madama Butterfly at the Opernhaus Zurich, Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra at the Teatro San Carlo and Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta.He also recently performed Roméo in Roméo et Juliette (Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona), Duca in Rigoletto (Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, Arena di Verona, Dutch National Opera Amsterdam, Zurich Opera House, Bavarian State Opera), Alfredo in La traviata (Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Vienna State Opera, Teatro Colón Buenos Aires), Shepherd in Król Roger (Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Sydney Opera House), Macduff in Macbeth (Gran Teatre del Liceu, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino), Rodolfo in La bohème (Gran Teatre del Liceu), Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor (Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Teatro San Carlo), Tamino in Die Zauberflöte (Teatro alla Scala), Tito in La clemenza di Tito (Opéra National Paris), Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore (Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, New National Theatre Tokyo); Idomeneo (Styriarte Festival in Graz, Austria); Iolanta and Francesca da Rimini (Theater an der Wien, Vienna); I due Figaro (Teatro Colón) and Don Giovanni (Vienna State Opera, Theater an der Wien and Arena di Verona in the first production of the piece in the history of the Arena staged by Franco Zeffirelli).
Equally esteemed as a concert singer, Saimir Pirgu has performed the tenor solo of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with Riccardo Muti and the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival, with Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich and at the Vienna Musikverein, and with Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia.