BiographyBorn in 1994, Slovenian baritone Jaka Mihelač studied at the Music Academy Ljubljana with Prof. Matjaž Robavs. Between 2019 and 2021, he was a member of the International Opera Studio at Staatsoper Berlin. In 2022, he was chosen to take part in the Académie du Festival Aix-en-Provence.
Last season, he debuted in the title role of Eugene Onegin for Slovenian National Opera, where he also appeared as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos, performed Mahler’s Lied von der Erde with Ensemble Dissonance and Jonathan Stockhammer at the Ljubljana Festival, and returned to Staatsoper Berlin for his debut in the title role of Georg Friedrich Haas’ Thomas, as Dancaïro in Carmen and in performances of Peter Eötvös’ Sleepless. More recently, Jaka Mihelač gave his house debut at Opera National de Montpellier as Marullo and performed Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with the Slovenian Philharmonic.
In 2023-24, he will give several role debuts: at Staatsoper Berlin as Aslik/Sleepless, Papageno/Die Zauberflöte and Peter in Beat Furrer’s Violetter Schnee, conducted by Matthias Pintscher, and at Slovenian National Opera as Albert/Werther and Guglielmo/Cosi fan tutte.
Other roles at Staatsoper Berlin include the title role in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Marullo/Rigoletto, Notar/Der Rosenkavalier, Perückenmacher/Ariadne auf Naxos, Varsonofyev/Khovanshchina, 2nd Philistine/Samson et Dalila, Fiorillo/Il barbiere di Siviglia, Sciarrone/Tosca, Don Alfonso in Jobst Liebrecht’s La Piccola Cubana, Kilian/Der Freischütz and Sid/Fanciulla del West. He also appeared in the world premiere of Peter Eötvös’ opera Sleepless, with subsequent performances at Müpa Budapest and Grand Théâtre de Geneve.
Prior to joining the Opera Studio at Staatsoper Berlin, he performed in a staged version of Orff’s Carmina Burana in Berlin and the Meistersängerhalle in Nuremberg, as Ottokar/Der Freischütz at Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg, Yamadori/Madama Butterfly at the Slovenian National Opera in Ljubliana and Valentin/Faust at the Slovenian National Theatre in Maribor. He has also premiered new operas by Dušan Bavdek, Aleš Makovac und Tom Kobe.
Jaka Mihelač’s concert repertoire ranges from Bach’s Passions to works by Britten and Michael Tippett. He has performed with the Staatskapelle Berlin, the orchestras of the Gran Teatre Liceu, Teatro Real Madrid and Slovene National Theatres Maribor and Ljubliana, the Berliner Symphoniker, the Slovenian Phillharmonic orchestra, the Orchestra of Radio Serbia and worked with conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Vladimir Jurowski, Bertrand de Billy, Antonio Pappano, Peter Eötvös, Peter Ruzicka, Maxime Pascal, Thomas Guggeis, Massimo Zanetti and Alessandro De Marchi and directors such as Claus Guth, Alvis Hermanis, Bart Sher and Martin Kušej.
He is the winner of the 1st prize in the 2016 Slovenian national singing competition, 1st prize and Mozart prize in the 2017 Ferruccio Tagliavini competition, the Wil Keune prize in the 2018 Belvedere Competition and 4th prize in the 56th Francisco Viñas competition.
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