INTRODUCTION

Rame Lahaj is a tremendously talented and celebrated lyric tenor with an impressive international career. His recognizable voice all’ italiana has exceptional color and timbrical qualities. He has ’present’ passion in his singing and charismatic scenic presence.

He is considered one of the most prominent singers in his generation.

RECENT AND FUTURE ENGAGEMENTS

Most recent engagements in 2022, 2023 and 2024 and future highlights include among others:

  • Alfredo Germont/La Traviata at Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Ópera Nacional de Chile.
  • Cavaradossi/Tosca at Seattle Opera, Opera National Lorraine de Nancy, the Latvian National Opera in Riga, and Opera Hong Kong;
  • Corrado/Il Corsaro at Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari;
  • Rodolfo/La Bohème and Edgardo/Lucia di Lammermoor at Wrocław Opera;
  • Duca/Rigoletto at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb;
  • Verdi’s Requiem w. Goetzel and Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire in Angers and Nantes;
  • Tenor Guest Soloist at Placido Domingo Galà Concert at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg;
  • New Year’s Gala Concert at Teatro Verdi di Padova;
  • “3 Tenors” Gala Concerts in Ankara and Istanbul (w. Marcelo Álvarez and Murat Karahan);
  • “3 Tenors” Gala Concerts in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir (w. Ramón Vargas and Murat Karahan);
  • A Gala concert w. the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra.

BIOGRAPHY

Rame Lahaj is an operatic tenor well-known for regularly performing in the most prestigious opera houses in the world. Among his notable roles are Alfredo (La Traviata), Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto), Rodolfo (La Bohème), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), and Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly).

Born in Istog, Kosovo, he grew up in a non-musical family of eight children. Being born and raised in a country ruled by a totalitarian regime for many years had a significant impact on Lahaj’s early life; he was only 15 years old when the Kosovo war broke out. Rame Lahaj is the first artist in Kosovo, both before and after the war, to perform in the most important scenes of the international arena in the world of opera, alongside big names like opera legend Placido Domingo, who also awarded him The World Opera Competition’s most prestigious and important prize, “Operalia” in 2016.

Lahaj spent the first decade of his worldwide career performing in the most famous theaters, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Paris National Opera, Bolshoi Theater Moscow, Arena di Verona, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Los Angeles Opera, Teatro Real-Madrid, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin, Haus Für Mozart-Salzburg, Opera Australia Sydney, Royal Albert Hall, Semperoper Dresden, Opera Tel Aviv, Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Teatro Petruzzelli, La Monnaie de Munt, Staatsoper Hamburg, Polish National Opera, Hungarian State Opera, Oslo Opera House, Finnish National Opera, and others.

Highlights from Previous Seasons

Following the pandemic, Rame Lahaj began the 2020/21 season at Opera Australia Sydney as Alfredo in the Handa Opera On Sydney Harbour open-air production of La Traviata, broadcasted in many cinemas around the world. In 2021 he performed in the role of Rodolfo in La Bohème at the Royal Opera House in London, followed by Duca di Mantova/Rigoletto in Montpellier and a debut in the new role of Mario Cavaradossi in Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca at Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari, where he shared the stage together with Ailyn Pérez, Franco Vassallo, and others and Giampaolo Bisanti as a conductor.

Season 2019/2020‘s highlights include Alfredo in La Traviata at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Nemorino/L’Elisir d’amore at Teatro Real de Madrid. By the end of 2020, Rame returned to the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow to reprise his roles in La Traviata and La Bohème.

Most notable engagements in 2018/19 include house debut as Pinkerton/Madama Butterfly at Gran Teatre de Liceu de Barcelona, Alfredo/La Traviata at Los Angeles Opera w. James Conlon, Alfredo/La Traviata and Rodolfo/La Bohème at Bolshoi Theatre, Alfredo/La Traviata at Staatsoper unter den Linden Berlin, Bruckner: Te Deum in C major (25’) at Borusan Istanbul Philharmonics as well as the Latvian National Opera’s 100th-anniversary celebration.

Highlights in 2017/18 include Alfredo/La Traviata with Placido Domingo at the Paris National Opera and at the Bolshoi in Moscow w. Sokhiev, where Rame Lahaj also performed Rodolfo/La Bohème, Duca/Rigoletto at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki and with Kasper Holten in Malmoe, a Verdi Opera Night Concert in Arena di Verona as well as international concert tours, among others with Angela Gheorghiu in South Korea and in Mexico with Orquestra Filarmonica de Jalisco

Highlights in season 2016/17 include Edgardo/Lucia di Lammermoor at the Paris National Opera, the title role of Faust in Tel Aviv, Duca/Rigoletto with McVickar at Savonlinna Opera Festival as well as concerts in London and Mexico next to Placido Domingo.

In 2014/15 and 2015/16 the artist performed Duca di Mantova/Rigoletto at Haus für Mozart in Salzburg, Duca di Mantova/Rigoletto and Alfredo/La Traviata at Polish National Opera in Warsaw, Alfredo/La Traviata at Opera Australia in Sydney, Rodolfo/La Bohème at Teatro Verdi in Trieste, Pinkerton/Madama Butterfly at Puccini Festival Torre del Lago and at Opera Las Palmas. He also inaugurated the new ‘Amber’ Concert Hall in Latvia.

In 2014 Rame Lahaj made his house debuts as Duca di Mantova/Rigoletto at La Monnaie de Bruxelles, as Alfredo/La Traviata at the Hamburg State Opera and as Duca di Mantova/Rigoletto at Deutsche Oper Berlin.

In season 2013/2014 the artist was also at Semperoper Dresden as Duca di Mantova/Rigoletto, Alfredo/La Traviata and Rodolfo/La Bohème. Moreover, he performed Rodolfo/La Bohème at Royal Albert Hall in London.

In 2012 he performed Rodolfo/La Bohème in France at National Opéra de Montpellier. His Italian debut turned out to be a great success with the performance of Rigoletto in the role of Duca di Mantova at Teatro Massimo di Palermo.

A first major success was his debut at the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest in 2011 with the role of Macduff/Macbeth.

EDUCATION

Rame Lahaj graduated as an honor student from The Academy of Arts in Tirana.

AUDIO & VIDEO

Rame Lahaj – Turandot by G. Puccini – Non piangere liu – Three Tenors concert w. Limak Philharmonic Orchestra, Feb. 2024

Rame Lahaj and Murat Karahan – Senede Galmaz by T. Guluyev – Three Tenors concert w. Limak Philharmonic Orchestra, Feb. 2024

Rame Lahaj – No puede ser – Three Tenors concert w. Limak Philharmonic Orchestra, Jan. 2023

Rame Lahaj – Tosca by G. Puccini – Recondita Armonia – Bari, Dec. 2021

Rame Lahaj – La Traviata by G. Verdi – Libiamo ne lieti calici – Los Angeles Opera, June 2019

Rame Lahaj – La Danza by G. Rossini – Three Tenors concert w. Limak Philharmonic Orchestra, Feb. 2024

Rame Lahaj – La bohème by R. Leoncavallo – Testa adorata – Three Tenors concert w. Limak Philharmonic Orchestra, Jan. 2023

Rame Lahaj – Granada by A. Lara – Three Tenors concert w. Limak Philharmonic Orchestra, Jan. 2023

Rame Lahaj – Tosca by G. Puccini – E lucevan le stelle – Bari, Dec. 2021

Rame Lahaj – La Traviata by G. Verdi on Sydney Harbour – Opera Australia, March 2021

THE RAME LAHAJ INTERNATIONAL OPERA FESTIVAL

The Rame Lahaj International Opera Festival (RLIOF) originated out of the need to create a bridge between the Kosovar and international scene. The necessity of such an initiative has been driven by the many talents who are growing every day in Kosovo and the region. With the support of the Municipality of Prishtina, the Ministry of Culture, the Swiss Embassy, and the Kosovo Philharmonic, the concert “Rame Lahaj & Friends” was held in 2019, which would later lead to the establishment of the first-ever Opera Festival in place “Rame Lahaj International Opera Festival” in 2021. RLIOF is the first local and regional festival of operatic nature. Moreover, it takes place in a country that doesn’t have any opera houses yet, due to the post-war developments in Kosovo.

Lahaj believes that classical music education has the potential to affect positive social change and bring communities together. As a result, he founded The Rame Lahaj Foundation in 2022 with the purpose of expanding awareness of classical music education in Kosovo. The main aim of the Foundation is to identify undiscovered talent as well as strive to develop each artist’s strengths but also skills, and abilities in order to provide them with an early road into the world of classical music. At the same time, the Foundation provides financial support to exceptional students. Furthermore, the Foundation’s goal is to provide instruments to local music schools. Rame Lahaj Foundation also aims to actively help the Kosovo Philharmonic’s advancement by bringing in globally renowned conductors, opera singers, and instrumentalists to share their expertise with professional performers as well as local and regional students.

RLIOF GALLERY

REVIEWS

Tosca – Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari, December 2021

“Mario Cavaradossi è interpretato dal bravissimo Rame Lahaj, dalla splendida voce di tenore lirico, omogenea nell’intera gamma, morbida e rotonda, dal bellissimo colore, assolutamente ben proiettata. Il suo Mario è un giovane appassionato, lirico nell’aria d’entrata “Recondita armonia“, dove l’artista ha modo di esibire un ottimo legato. Nel confronto con Scarpia diviene eroico, pronto a difendere con la vita il fraterno amico Angelotti, mentre nella celebre aria “E lucean le stelle“, il cantante è un Mario assorto nei ricordi dei momenti trascorsi con la sua Floria, il suo canto è a fior di labbra con una meravigliosa mezza voce, che successivamente si dispiega in drammatica disperazione nel toccante finale dell’aria, dove il pittore canta il suo amore per la vita. Il si naturale della difficile frase “La vita mi costasse” e il la diesis tenuto sul celebre “Vittoria!” Sono impressionanti per forza e volume.”

– Paola Labarile, OperaLibera.net

La traviata – The Los Angeles Opera, June 2019

“Kosovan tenor Rame Lahaj, in his company debut, proved hardly to be outdone. The music poured out of him eloquently and ardently, his lyricism never tarnished with harsh excess at the louder dynamics.”

– Timothy Mangan, Los Angeles Times

La traviataSydney Opera House, 4 July 2015

“Hailing from Kosovo, Lahaj is the most exciting Alfredo seen locally since Gianluca Terranova in the inaugural Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour. A terrific actor, Lahaj charts the full emotional journey of Alfredo, from ardent admirer to impassioned lover, through to his brutish anger and subsequent shame and sorrow. Despite his striking looks, Lahaj clearly conveys Alfredo’s shy awkwardness at first meeting Violetta. His countenance changes as a dark storm cloud overtakes Alfredo’s logic, which then melts away with as deep regret takes over […] Possessing a rich, luxurious voice, Lahaj moves easily from middle to upper register with equal strength. If there are fleeting moments when his pitching is not quite accurate, it may well have be due to opening night nerves, which will soon dissipate as the season progresses. Combined with his charismatic presence, and his clear enjoyment of being on stage, the tone and lustre of Lahaj’s voice portent a very exciting future […] The perfect choice for newcomers, long-term operagoers will also enjoy and appreciate this season of La Traviata for the thrilling debuts of Gore and Lahaj.”

– Simon Parris, simonparrismaninchair.com

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