INTRODUCTION

Referred to as “Penélope Cruz of the opera” by the media and compared at various times to Audrey Hepburn and Anna Magnani, Nino Surguladze is one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of the modern generation, admired for her warm and velvety voice, incisive musicianship, excellent acting abilities, notable stage presence, and physical beauty.

RECENT AND FUTURE ENGAGEMENTS

  • Azucena/Il Trovatore at Teatro Comunale di Bologna;
  • Amneris/Aida and Preziosilla/La Forza del destino at Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Liège;
  • Maddalena/Rigoletto in Beijing, at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia (with Maestro Abbadò), and at Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona;
  • Verdi’s Requiem with Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, directed by Gelmetti;
  • a debut as Giulietta/Les contes d’Hoffmann at Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona;
  • Fenena/Nabucco at Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari;
  • Posadera/The Fiery Angel at Teatro Real de Madrid.

BIOGRAPHY

Nino Surguladze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia. She graduated from Children’s Music School, where she took part in several musicals, debuting at the age of 7 at the Philharmonie in Tbilisi, and toured abroad in several countries, including the US.

Ms. Surguladze enrolled at V. Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire, where she studied singing with Professor Guliko Kariauli. She graduated with distinction and won prizes in a number of prestigious international voice competitions, including the Francisco Viñas International Singing Contest in Barcelona. She completed her musical training in Milan under Leyla Gencer, Luciana Serra and Luigi Alva, graduating from the Accademia Teatro alla Scala in 2003, and simultaneously performing roles in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Aulide, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, and Verdi’s Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio at the Teatro alla Scala.

Nino Surguladze joined Riccardo Muti for the opening of the 2003-04 La Scala season as Marie in a production of Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon, and since then has sung many other roles at the theatre, including Meg Page/Falstaff (conductor Riccardo Muti, season-opening), Olga/Eugene Onegin (director Graham Vick), Idamante/Idomeneo (conductor Daniel Harding), Solokha in Tchaikovsky’s Cherevichki, Siebel/Faust, Fenena/Nabucco, and Valencienne/Die Lustige Witwe. Elsewhere in Italy, Ms. Surguladze sang Nicklausse/ Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Olga/Eugene Onegin at the Teatro Regio di Torino, Marguerite/La Damnation de Faust (conductor Plasson) at the Teatro Regio di Parma, Dorabella/Così fan tutte and Cuniza/Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, as well as Carmen in Macerata (director Dante Ferretti, winner of three Academy Awards, as well as three BAFTA awards), Bologna, Naples and Bari, and Fenena/Nabucco at the Arena di Verona and in Piacenza.

She made her debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona at the age of 22 as Sonyetka in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. At the Liceu, she then performed Federica and Laura/Luisa Miller opposite Samuel Ramey, and Maddalena/Rigoletto, the role she also sang at the Teatro Real in Madrid, with Leo Nucci in the title role. Elsewhere in Spain, Ms. Surguladze attained great success as Dorabella/Così fan tutte (opposite Barbara Frittoli) at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia.

In the USA, she sang to great acclaim Maddalena/Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Olga/Eugene Onegin at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Carmen in San Diego.

In the UK, Ms. Surguladze sang Olga/Eugene Onegin (conductor Philippe Jordan) and Dorabella/Così fan tutte at the Royal Opera House in London, and Clara in Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery at the Glyndebourne Festival.

Ms. Surguladze made her debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2009 as Sinaïde in Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon (conductor Riccardo Muti), the opera she also sang under the baton of Maestro Muti at the season-opening in Rome. Elsewhere in Austria, she took on the role of Carmen in Graz.

In Germany Ms Surguladze has performed Sesto/La clemenza di Tito, Nicklausse/Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Carmen, and Idamante/Idomeneo in Hamburg; Polinesso and Ariodante/Ariodante in Frankfurt; Maddalena/Rigoletto in Cologne; Federica/Luisa Miller at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, where she also sang Maffio Orsini/Lucrezia Borgia (opposite Edita Gruberová).

In Tokyo, Ms. Surguladze sang Suzuki/Madama Butterfly, Dorabella/Così fan tutte, and the title role in Carmen. In Seoul, Ms. Surguladze has performed Carmen. She has also sung the latter opera in Istanbul in a concert performance dedicated to the memory of Leyla Gencer.

Nino Surguladze’s recent successes include Romeo/I Capuleti e i Montecchi in Bergen, Marguerite/La Damnation de Faust in Liège, Amneris/Aida at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Bologna, Hong Kong and Bari, the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège, and the Bergen Nasjonale Opera in Bergen; Carmen in the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and in Sassari, New Zealand Opera on tour in Wellington, Christchurch, and Auckland. Santuzza/Cavalleria rusticana in Avignon; Adalgisa/Norma in Beirut; Stéphano in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at the Arena di Verona; Maddalena/Rigoletto (conductor Fabio Luisi) at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, in Bogota, and at the Sferisterio Opera Festival in Macerata; and Federica/Luisa Miller in Naples and Budapest. Not to forget is her Rosenblatt Recital at the Wigmore Hall in London, where she performed songs, lieder and arias by Mozart, Donizetti, Verdi, Saint-Saëns, Cilea, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, and Wolf.

Among notable concerts she took part in as a soloist, mention should be made of the Christmas concert at the San Marco church in Milan (conductor Riccardo Muti); performance of Dvorák’s Requiem in B-flat minor at the Berliner Philharmonie, with Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Nicola Luisotti; and the performance of Schubert’s Mass No. 6 in E flat major at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In 2016, at the anniversary concert of Giya Kancheli in Tbilisi, she premiered songs written and dedicated to her by the composer.

Nino Surguladze’s discography to date counts nine titles and includes recordings of live performances from Milan, Barcelona, Glyndebourne, Verona, and Macerata.

In September 2010, Ms Surguladze performed Maddalena in the unique Rigoletto filmed live on location in Mantua opposite the opera stars like Plácido Domingo (Rigoletto), Vittorio Grigolo (Duke of Mantua), Julia Novikova (Gilda), and Ruggerio Raimondi (Sparafucile), and under the baton of Zubin Mehta, directing the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, broadcasted simultaneously in 148 countries. After the performance, for her contributions to the culture and promotion of the Georgian cause abroad, Ms. Surguladze was awarded the Presidential Order of Excellence, one of the top distinctions of the Republic of Georgia.

In 2015, for her promoting and fostering links between Italy and Georgia, upon recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy and by the decision of the President of Italy Sergio Mattarella, she was conferred a high decoration of the Cavaliere della Stella d’Italia.

In spring 2016, for the role of Fenena/Nabucco that she performed at the Arena di Verona, Ms. Surguladze was awarded the GBOSCAR of the 2014-2015 opera season in the category of the best mezzo-soprano (GBOSCAR – L’Eccellenza dell’Opera e della Danza – 2a edizione).

Together with Ezio Bosso and Carmen Giannatasio she performed the traditional charity concert held on 1st May (2018), that acclaimed over seven standing ovations and was watched by over 4 million people worldwide broadcast live on TV and online.

In March 2018 she just made her debut in Maggio Musicale di Firenze with the title role in Gluck’s Alceste, and she made her debut in the part of Azucena/Il Trovatore with Maestro Abbado and Robert Wilson in Parma in October 2018.

AUDIO & VIDEO

Nino Surguladze – Carmen – “Habanera” – Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, 2018

Nino Surguladze – Carmen – “Chanson boheme” – Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, 2018

Nino Surguladze – Norma – duett with Arturo Chacon Cruz
– Beirut Festival 2015

Nino Surguladze – Carmen – “Seguidilla” – Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, 2018

Nino Surguladze – Aida – “Ohime, morir me sento…” – Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, 2019

Nino Surguladze – I Capuleti e i Montecchi – Act I Duet – Bergen National Opera, 2016

REVIEWS

Nabucco at Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari – Oct. 2021

“Molto a fuoco anche la Fenena di NINO SURGULADZE, di timbro scuro da mezzosoprano e bel fraseggio. L’attacco dell’unica aria affidata al suo personaggio, “Oh dischiuso è il firmamento”, grazie al sonoro registro di petto posseduto dall’artista, è meraviglioso. La voce è ben proiettata e ambrata.”
– Paola Labarile, OperaLibera

Nabucco at Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari – Oct. 2021

“Nondimeno deliziosa si è rivelata la coppia formata… e dal mezzosoprano Nino Surguladze, che ha offerto al pubblico un delicato e intenso cameo solistico (“Oh, dischiuso è il firmamento”).”
– Fernando Greco, Il Tacco d’Italia

Aida at Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège – Mar. 2019

“Nino Surguladze (Amneris) emporte la palme tant elle campe avec aisance toutes les facettes de ce personnage complexe, de l’amoureuse inquiète à la vengeresse implacable. Le timbre est magnifique, le jeu scénique solide, la large tessiture du rôle parfaitement maîtrisée. Un régal!”
– Jacques Holbeux, Crescendo Magazine

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