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. Mr. Bilgili’s 2010-2011 season engagements included his Bayerische Staatsoper debut as Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, role debuts as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte in Avignon, and Hunding in Die Walküre with 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. Concert engagements included his return to Carnegie Hall for Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the New York Choral Society, and Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with the Atlanta Symphony. Future engagements include his debuts with Washington National Opera, the National Symphony, Dallas Opera, Atlanta Opera, Beijing, Edmonton Opera, The AmerIcan Symphony Orchestra, the role of Procida in Vespri Siciliani with the Caramoor Festival, a return to Savonlinna Festival for the world premiere of La Fenice, and Nabucco with the Auckland Symphony.
He opened the 2009-2010 season with his San Francisco Opera debut as Ferrando in Il Trovatore, returned to the Grand Théâtre de Gèneve as Leporello in Don Giovanni, the Michigan Opera Theatre as Zaccaria in Nabucco and Leporello in Don Giovanni, and made his L’Opéra de Montréal debut as Fiesco in Simon Boccangra. He finished the season in Cagliari as Giorgio in I Puritani.
In the 2008-2009 season, he returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Ferrando in Il Trovatore and made his Grand Théâtre de Gèneve debut in the same role. He returned to Florida Grand Opera as Nilkanatha in Lakme, the Michigan Opera Theatre as Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore and Palermo for I Puritani. He opened the 2007-2008 season as the Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann for the Virginia Opera, followed by his debut at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino with Zubin Mehta as Padre Guardiano in La forza del destino, Don Basilio with Michigan Opera Theater and the Canadian Opera Company, Nourabad in Les Pêcheurs de Perles for Florida Grand Opera, and completed the season in Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas.
Mr. Bilgili’s 2006-2007 season began at Den Norske Oper as Escamillo in Carmen, followed by Banquo in Verdi’s Macbeth with the Vancouver Opera, and Walter in Luisa Miller with the Canadian Opera Company. With the Florida Concert Association he was heard as Ferrando in an all-star cast of Verdi’s Il Trovatore, followed by Colline in La Bohème at the Las Palmas Opera Festival. He closed the season as Ramfis in Aida at Cincinnati Opera. Mr. Bilgili opened the 2005-2006 season with Banco in Macbeth for the Canadian Opera Company, followed by Timur in Turandot for the New York City Opera, Leporello for Vancouver Opera, and Banquo for his Seattle Opera debut. Other engagements included Escamillo at the Savonlinna Opera Festival, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphonywith the Louisville Symphony Orchestra.
Highlights of Mr. Bilgili’s 2004-2005 season included two debuts: his Canadian Opera Company debut in Toronto Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, followed by his debut at the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona as Timur in Turandot. He was also Colline in La Bohème and Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Cincinnati Opera Festival. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Leporello in a new production of Don Giovanni in the 2003-2004 Season, under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. His schedule in 2003-2004 also included house debuts with Pittsburgh Opera and Vancouver Opera as Don Basilio in I Barbiere di Siviglia.
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.