From the time of his professional operatic debut at the Teatro alla Scala in 2002 as Don Alfonso in Lucrezia Borgia, bass Burak Bilgili has enjoyed a busy international career. His upcoming engagements include Ramfis in Verdi’s Aida for the Atlanta Symphony, Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Dallas Opera, Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri for Atlanta Opera, the four villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann for Beijing, Nilakantha in Lakme for L’opera de Montreal and his debut as Daland with the Michigan Opera Theatre.
Recent engagements include Zaccaria in Nabucco with the Auckland Symphony and the Washington National Opera, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with the National Symphony, Ramfis in Aida with Edmonton Opera, Quasimodo in Bizet’s Notre Dame with The American Symphony Orchestra, Procida in Vespri Siciliani with the Caramoor Festival, and a return to Savonlinna Festival for the world premiere of La Fenice, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte for Avignon, and Hunding in Die Walküre for the Coloradao Symphony, his return to the Grand Théâtre de Gèneve and the Seattle Opera as Don Basilio, and his return to Vancouver Opera as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, his San Francisco Opera debut as Ferrando in Il Trovatore, Leporello in Don Giovanni for Grand Théâtre de Gèneve, Zaccaria in Nabucco and Leporello in Don Giovanni for Michigan Opera Theatre, Fiesco in Simon Boccangra for L’Opéra de Montréal, and Giorgio in I Puritani for Cagliari. Concert engagements include Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall, and Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with the Atlanta Symphony.
The 2008-2009 season included Ferrando in Il Trovatore for the Metropolitan Opera and Grand Théâtre de Gèneve, Nilkanatha in Lakme for Florida Grand Opera, Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore and Palermo in I Puritani for Michigan Opera Theatre. He opened the 2007-2008 season as the Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann for the Virginia Opera, followed by Padre Guardiano in La forza del destino for Maggio Musicale Fiorentino with Zubin Mehta, Don Basilio with Michigan Opera Theater and the Canadian Opera Company, Nourabad in Les Pêcheurs de Perles for Florida Grand Opera, and the Captain in Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas for Cincinnati Opera.
Prior seasons have included Escamillo in Carmen for Den Norske Oper, Banquo in Verdi’s Macbeth for Vancouver Opera, Walter in Luisa Miller for the Canadian Opera Company, Colline in La Bohème for the Las Palmas Opera Festival, Ramfis in Aida for Cincinnati Opera, Banco in Macbeth for the Canadian Opera Company, Timur in Turandot for the New York City Opera and the Gran Teatro del Liceu, Leporello for Vancouver Opera, Banquo for Seattle Opera, Escamillo for the Savonlinna Opera Festival, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor for the Canadian Opera Company, Colline in La Bohème and Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia for the Cincinnati Opera Festival, Leporello in Don Giovanni for the Metropolitan Opera under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, and Don Basilio in I Barbiere di Siviglia for Pittsburgh and Vancouver Opera.
A recipient of numerous awards, the Turkish bass garnered First Prizes in the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition 2002 in Vienna, the International Alfredo Kraus Competition 2002 in Las Palmas, the Neue Stimmen International Opera Competition in 2001, the Mario Lanza Opera Competition, and the J. Parkinson Italian Opera Competition. He was also a winner of the Loren Zachary Opera Competition, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Voice Competition, and was First Place winner in both the Giargiari Bel Canto Voice Competition and 1998 Siemens Opera Competition in Turkey.
A graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Mr. Bilgili’s repertoire there included the title role in Don Giovanni, Count Rodolfo in La Sonnambula and Colline in La Bohème. Mr. Bilgili also graduated from Conservatory of Mimar Sinan University in 2000. He studied with Maestro Bonaldo Giaiotti and Katia Ricciarelli at the Academia Lirica Internationale in Parma, Italy.