As a boy Georg Nigl was a soloist with the Wiener Sängerknaben, later becoming a student of Hilde Zadek. Today he is internationally renowned as a specialist of early music and also as a highly sought-after interpreter of contemporary music. He also regularly performs works of the late eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries.
Last season saw him in the title role in Wozzeck at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and the Staatsoper unter den Linden in Berlin, where he also appeared as “N” in Rihm’s Dionysos. He sang the principle male roles in Hosokawa’s Hanjo at the Ruhr Triennale and in Sasha Waltz’s production of Passion by Pascal Dusapin at l’Opéra de Lille. Dusapin features significantly in his current season too, with Passion at the Theatre Royal de La Monnaie in Brussels as well as the staged recital Oh Mensch! in Marseille, Metz, Rouen and Reims. He also makes his house debut at the Teatro Real in Madrid in the title role of Il Prigioniero, sings Xenakis’s Kassandra at the Acht Brücke Festival in Köln and returns to Berlin for Hanjo.
On the concert and recital stage he appears at the Vienna Konzerthaus for Die Schone Müllerin, Carmina Burana and the continuation of his cycle of Bach Cantatas with the NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg; and in the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, the Theatre des Bouffes du Nord and the Wigmore Hall. Other recent concert performances include Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen on tour with Dmitri Jurowski and the Orchestra of De Vlaamse Oper and recitals with Tzimon Barto (Kölner Philharmonie), Alexander Melnikov (Stadtstheater Stuttgart) and Andreas Staier (in Zurich, Geneva and St Gallen).
If asked to name his favourite opera roles, Georg Nigl would respond without a moment’s hesitation: Monteverdi’s Orfeo (which he sang recently at Teatro alla Scala), Mozart’s Pagageno and Berg’s Wozzeck, all of which exhibit genuine human qualities but possess inherent disfunctionality. Nigl’s ability to lend his highly expressive personality to these and other roles have resulted in recent successes at Europe’s leading opera houses and at Festivals such as Aix-en-Provence and the Salzburger Festspiele. Nigl’s interpretations of roles in contemporary operas have earned particular praise, including Pascal Dusapin’s Faustus, The Last Night and Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz.
Nigl has collaboarated with Directors including Andrea Breth, Frank Castorf, Andreas Homoki, Calixto Bieito, Jürgen Flimm and Peter Mussbach. He has also performed under Daniel Barenboim, Daniele Gatti, Ádám Fischer, René Jacobs, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Jordi Savall, Thomas Hengelbrock, Daniel Harding and Giovanni Antonini.
Nigl’s extensive discography on Opus Arte, ECM, col legno, Bel Air Media and Naïve includes Richard Dünser’s Radek, Wolfgang Mitterer’s Im Sturm, Heiner Goebbels Landschaft mit Entfernten Verwandten and L’Orfeo, Faustus, The Last Night and Wozzeck (the last three in video). Highlights of recent seasons include Wozzeck at the Wiener Festwochen, the Bolshoi Theatre and Teatro alla Scala; the title role in Peter Eötvös’s Die Tragödie des Teufels at the Bayerische Staatsoper; Mercurio in Cavalli’s La Calisto at La Monnaie; Schoenberg’s Von Heute auf Morgen at La Fenice; and recitals at the Salzburger Festspiele, Shanghai Concert Hall and Wiener Konzerthaus.
© Bernd Uhlig