BiographyPolish bass Rafał Pawnuk has been praised as a “sonorous” (Opera Magazine) “powerful and profound bass” (Das Opernglas). Over the last few seasons, he has given role and house debuts at the Salzburger Festspiele as Mars in Barrie Kosky’s new production of Offenbach’s Orphee aux enfers, as Sciarrone and Sagristano at Theater an der Wien in a new production of Tosca by Martin Kusej, as Hunding/Die Walküre at Stadttheater Klagenfurt, at Opera de Lille as Nourabad in a new production of Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de perles, as Cherea in Detlev Glanert’s Caligula at Nationaltheater Weimar and appeared as Vodnik/Rusalka at Opéra de Limoges as well as Colline/La bohème and Gremin/Eugene Onegin with Nederlandse Reisopera. Most recently, he returned to Salzburger Festspiele as Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro, conducted by Raphaël Pichon, and to Stadttheater Klagenfurt as Fafner/Siegfried.
In 2023-24 he will give his house debut at Opéra de Lyon as Ashby in Tatjana Gürbaca’s production of La Fanciulla del West, conducted by Daniele Rustioni, return to Reisopera to reprise his role in Eugene Onegin, perform Escamillo/Carmen at Castle Opera Szczecin, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater at Opera Limoges and Stravinsky’s Les noces with Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal under Kent Nagano.
Rafał Pawnuk is a regular guest at Castle Opera Szczecin in parts such as the title role in Penderecki’s King Roger, Ferrando/Il trovatore, Guglielmo/Cosi fan tutte, Betto/Gianni Schicchi and Priest in Philipp Glass’ The Trial. At National Theatre Brno he has appeared as Vodnik, Il Re/Aida, Marchese d’Obigny/ La Traviata and Banco/Macbeth.
As a former member of the Opera Studio of the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, he performed roles such as Thierry/Dialogues des Carmélites, Brabantischer Edler/Lohengrin and Dr. Wilhelm Reischmann/Elegy for Young Lovers. He has worked with conductors such as Marc Albrecht, Ingo Metzmacher, Vasily Petrenko, Marco Armiliato, Massimo Zanetti, Lothar Koenigs, Paolo Carignani, Enrique Mazzola and Kent Nagano.
In concert, he has collaborated with NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Orchestre de Pau Pays de Béarn, Choeur Accentus, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Insula Orchestra, performing Handel’s Messiah, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, works by Schumann and Beethoven, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Requiem as well as Penderecki’s oratorio Kosmogonia at venues including the Philharmonie Paris, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Pisa’s Anima Mundi Festival.
Rafał Pawnuk studied at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz with Leszek Skrla and at the Academy of Music in Krakow with Marek Rzepka. Awards include first prize at the 13th International Vocal Competition Iuventus Canti in Slovakia.
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