"There’s a strikingly powerful Giorgio from the Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach."
"Vocally [he] is one of the show's highlights."
"Wojtek Gierlach proved himself a first-rate comedian: his weighty bass and hammy acting made a delightfully incongruous package. This young Pole is on the verge of a major career."
In 2017/18, Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach makes his house debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as the Priest Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and at Deutsche Oper am Rhein as Talbot Maria Stuarda. He makes his role debut as Rocco Fidelio at Theater St. Gallen, where he previously sang Conte Rodolfo Sonnambula. A favourite at Polish National Opera, he returns to Warsaw to sing Hermes in Rozicky’s Eros i Psyche. Later this season he sings Oroveso Norma with the Teatre Principal Palma, a role he previously sang at Teatro National Sao Carlos Lisbon, and joins the London Philharmonic Orchestra for Verdi’s Requiem.
Last season he sang Sir Giorgio I Puritani – a role that already brought him great acclaim at Welsh National Opera – and Alidoro La cenerentola at Danish National Opera, the latter being somewhat of a signature role for him, which he has also performed with Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Teatro Maestranza in Seville. In Poland, appearances in 2016/17 included Colline La bohème at Podlaska Opera, Gesler Guillaume Tell at Polish National Opera and Escamillo Carmen with the Warsaw National Philharmonic. He also sang a wide range of repertoire in concert, including Prokofiev’s Ivan the Terrible in Lisbon.
Other recent engagements include concert appearances with Helmuth Rilling at Konzerthaus Berlin, and with The English Concert under Harry Bicket as Melisso to Joyce DiDonato’s Alcina at the Barbican, Carnegie Hall, Théâtre des Champs Élysées and Theater an der Wien. He also sang Melisso in productions at Royal Danish Opera and Opéra national de Bordeaux.
Past engagements include Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Assur Semiramide at Royal Danish Opera, Oroveso Norma with Teatro National Sao Carlos Lisbon, Mustafa L'Italiana in Algeri at Minnesota Opera, Orbazzano Tancredi in Seville, Leuthold Guillaume Tell as well as Sydney and Profondo Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, and Leporello Don Giovanni with Nico Opera Cape Town.
At Polish National Opera in Warsaw he also appeared as Zbigniew Straszny Dwor, Talbot Maria Stuarda, Colline, Figaro Le nozze di Figaro, Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor, Duce Alfonso Lucrezia Borgia, and Escamillo. Elsewhere in Poland, roles also include Selim Il turco in Italia and King of Clubs The Love for Three Oranges at Krakow Opera, and the title role of Don Giovanni at the Warsaw Mozart Festival.
This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.
Maria Stuarda (Talbot), Deutsche Oper am Rhein
Musically, this is a very pleasing performance… culminating in the great scene between Maria and her confessor Talbot in act 3. … Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach, who had stepped in at short notice (but was clearly familiar with the role) was a worthy vis-à-vis for [Olesya Golovneva’s} Maria with his mighty bass voice.
Christoph Zimmermann, Der Neue Merker
CD recording: Nowowiejski Quo Vadis (Peter), Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra
Peter, sung by the outstanding Wojtek Gierlach … [the oratorio] takes the listener on a dramatic journey in an almost cinematic fashion, made utterly convincing by this superb recorded performance.
Ivan Moody, Gramophone
La cenerentola (Alidoro), Den Jyske Opera
The show is driven by Alidoro, sung perfectly by Wojtek Gierlach.
Alidoro was elegantly handled by Wojtek Gierlach.
The bass Wojtek Gierlach is excellent in a sympathetic role.
I Puritani (Giorgio), Den Jyske Opera
Bass Wojtek Gierlach is really excellent in the sizable role of the good uncle who looks out for Elvira.
Thomas Michelsen, Politiken
Wojtek Gierlach as the Protestant pastor and Elvira's uncle is convincing in both [vocal and dramatic] respects.
Ole Straarup, Stiften.dk
The second act is dominated by Wojtek Gierlach, portraying the role of Protestant pastor Giorgio Valton and brother of Elvira's father. Vocally this is one of the show's highlights.
Mogens H Andersson, Operalogg
Il turco in Italia (Selim), Krakow Opera
We were able to enjoy the excellent in terms of acting and vocal soloists, they [included] Wojtek Gierlach (Selim).
I Puritani (Giorgio), Welsh National Opera
... properly thrilling thanks to his partnership with the Giorgio of Wojtek Gierlach. The Polish bass-baritone is much more of a bel cantist, and his mellifluous singing is based on a foundation of excitingly virile tone, making him convincing as the most avuncular figure among the Roundhead-Orangemen. Gierlach captures the character’s goodness and proves again the ‘Cinta di fiori’ is one of the most beautiful things written for that voice on account of not only Bellini’s melodic gifts but also his celebrated way of matching them so intimately with text.
John Allison, Opera
There’s a strikingly powerful Giorgio from the Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach.
Richard Morrison, The Times
David Kempster (Riccardo) and Wojtek Gierlach (Giorgio) spearheaded a stunning supporting cast.
Steph Power, The Guardian
This was a stirring evening, with ... sturdy support from David Kempster as the dogged protestant Riccardo Forth, and Wojtek Gierlach as Sir Giorgio.
Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian
Wojtech Gierlach’s Giorgio Valton had a richness of tone that made him more than simply the avuncular figure who supports Elvira’s wish to marry Arturo, and his duet with Elvira, “Sai com’ardi in petto mio”, gave this gifted Polish bass an equal partnership with Rosa Feola’s outstanding coloratura soprano.
Simon Rees, bachtrack
Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach is splendid as her uncle Giorgio.
Peter Collins, Wales Online
Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach presents a sterling account of Elvira’s uncle, Giorgio Valton.
George Hall, The Stage
Elvira’s uncle Giorgio, Wojtek Gierlach has a warmth and sensitivity that inform both his acting and his fine bass singing.
Michael Kelligan, Theatre in Wales
Guillaume Tell (Gessler) June 2015
Warsaw Teatr Wielki
Excellent singing and acting by Wojtek Gierlach as Gessler.
Jacek Marczyński, Rzeczpospolita
Wojtek Gierlach greatly proved himself as a tyrant psychopath.
Dorota Szwarcman, Polityka
Wojtek Gierlach was admirable.
Wojciech Giczkowski, Teatr dla Was
Alcina (Melisso) October 2014
The English Concert
The bass Wojtek Gierlach was a stentorian Melisso.
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
Wojtek Gierlach only got one aria as Melisso, but he sang this with vigorous commitment and throughout the opera was vividly characterful in his recitative.
Wojtek Gierlach’s Melisso ... impressed.
Kevin W Ng, Bachtrack
Bass Wojtek Gierlach ... as Melisso ... sang strongly.
George Grella, New York Classical Review
Wojtek Gierlach’s resonant bass Melisso completed the sublime blend of voices.
Clare Colvin, Express
Wojtek Gierlach, with his solid and even-scaled bass-baritone, was an accurate and imposing Melisso.
Moore Parker, The Opera Critic
Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach was a warmly communicative Melisso.
Christopher Corwin, Parterre
Wojtek Gierlach’s sturdy Melisso sang stylishly.
Anna Picard, The Times
Even the smaller roles emerged in sharp focus: the crisp bass of Wotjek Gierlach as Melisso ... contributed richly to the menu.
Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph
With regard to men, Wojtek Gierlach's beautiful, warm and flexible bass voice made it regrettable that his role was not longer.
Norma (Oroveso), Teatro Nacional de São Carlos
Lisbon (June 2014)
Equally impressive was bass Wojtek Gierlach, who had a solid and energetic presence in the important role of Oroveso.
Manuel Pedro Ferreira, Publico
Wojtek Gierlach (Oroveso) gave an excellent interpretation, convincingly performing the difficult musical phrasing that Bellini was always so keen to compose for the male roles in his operas.
Zita Ferreira Braga, Hardmusica
The cast was much more balanced…with noteable performances from Patrizia Biccirè and Wojtek Gierlach.
Bernardo Mariano, Diário de Notícias
Polish bass Wojtek Gierlach sang Oroveso with a pleasing timbre, giving a memorable performance.
Ana Rocha, Expresso
Semiramide (Assur) December 2012
Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen
On the male side, I was particularly impressed with Wojtek Gierlach as the demigod Prince Assur.
Special attention should be paid to Polish bass, Wojtek Gierlach, as Assur... [who] combines intense stage presence with technical mastery.
Erik Exe Christoffersen, Peripeti
Beethoven Symphony No.9 (March 2011)
Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra
In the demanding vocal parts, bass W. Gierlach was the most convincing of all the soloists. Gifted with a dark, succulent voice, he showed an aptitude for projecting his upper register.
Diario de Noticias
L’Italiana in Algieri (Mustafa) October 2007
And as Mustafà, the Bey of Algiers - simpatico despite his casual allusions to impalement - Wojtek Gierlach proved himself a first-rate comedian: his weighty bass and hammy acting made a delightfully incongruous package. This young Pole is on the verge of a major career.
Larry Fuchsberg, Opera News
But Rossini's score and director Helena Binder's interpretation allow everyone on stage an opportunity to show off their vocal and comedic capabilities. In both regards, Wojtek Gierlach is a standout as Mustafa.
Rob Hubbard, The Twin Cities Newspaper
Wojtek Gierlach's Concert Repertoire
Mass in C Major
Mass in F Minor
Saint Cecilia Mass
Symphony No. 1
Dettingen Te Deum
Die Schöpfung (The Creation)
St Matthew Passion (Jesus)
Ivan the Terrible
Messa di Gloria
Petite Messe Solennelle
The Passion of Jesus Christ
Requiem for Mignon
Die sieben Todsünden
Wojtek Gierlach's Opera Repertoire
Fidelio (Rocco, Don Fernando)
Il Dissoluto Punito (Commendatore)
Lodoiska (Baron de Dourlinski)
Lucia di Lammermoor (Raimondo)
Monbar (Don Alonzo)
Orfeo ed Euridice (Orfeo)
Medea In Corinto (Creonte)
Straszny Dwór (Zbigniew)
L'Italiana in Algeri (Mustafa)
Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni/Leporello/Commendatore)
The Love for Three Oranges (The King of Clubs)
La Bohème (Colline)
Mozart and Salieri (Salieri)
Ciro in Babilonia (Zambri)
Eros i Psyche (Hermes)
Der Berggeist (Domoslav)
Euryanthe (King Ludwig the 7th)