Lithuanian bass-baritone Kostas Smoriginas is one of the most sought-after singers of today. Known for his “smouldering, god’s-gift” voice as well as his “complete performance” Kostas can “command the stage with a single phrase” and “sings as well as he acts.”
During 2022/23 season, Smoriginas returned to the Opernhaus Zurich for his critically acclaimed Jochanaan in Andreas Homoki’s production of Salome before making his house debut at the Hamburg Opera as Escamillo in Carmen, a role he has impressed as throughout the world. That season Smoriginas also appeared in concert as Orest Elektra with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Antonio Pappano) and performed KurwenalTristan und Isolde at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia. Previously Smoriginas performed his house debut at the Opernhaus Zurich as Jochanaan, also singing the role in concert at the Bergen International Festival (Edward Gardner), title role Eugene Onegin for the Opéra de Lausanne, Escamillo for Norwegian Opera and in his return to the Cologne Opera, and Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London’s Barbican Centre (John Storgårds). In the 23-24 season and beyond Smoriginas returns to Covent Garden for two new productions: Barrie Kosky’s new Ring Cycle with Antonio Pappano as Donner Das Rheingold and for Damiano Michieletto’s new production of Carmen as Escamillo (his 3rd Carmen production in the role for Covent Garden). He sings Amonasro Aida for Lithuanian National Opera; make concert appearances in London and Cologne; and returns to the Opernhaus Zurich, Hamburg State Opera and Bregenz Festival, among others.
Recent highlights include: an Eastern European tour as Escamillo in concert performances with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra under Karel Mark Chichon; Escamillo in Barrie Kosky’s production of Carmen, Heerrufer in David Alden’s new Lohengrin, and Tchelakov in a new production of Boris Godunov at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; Scarpia Tosca at Opéra de Rouen; Jochanaan Salome in Cologne and for the Hannover State Opera; Kurwenal Tristan und Isolde in Cologne; the title role Don Giovanni at Opéra de Lausanne; Figaro Le nozze di Figaro in Dresden; Escamillo in Kasper Holten’s new production of Carmen and Monterone Rigoletto at the Bregenz Festival; Escamillo, Tomsky Pique Dame, Eugene Onegin, Le nozze di Figaro and Germont Pere La traviata for Lithuanian National Opera; Count Le nozze di Figaro in Malmo; title roles in Aleko and The Demon at La Monnaie; and his role debut as High Priest Samson et Dalila in Vilnius.
Smoriginas made his US opera debut in 2010 as Figaro Le nozze di Figaro at Washington National Opera, a role he later performed at San Francisco Opera. Other operatic engagements have included Colline La bohème at Covent Garden, title role Don Giovanni at Teatro Municipal Santiago, Chile and in Toulouse, Leporello Don Giovanni at Opera de Bordeaux, Tomsky with the New Israeli Opera, Eugene Onegin, Guglielmo Cosi fan tutteand Scarpia Tosca at Vilnius City Opera, and Masetto Don Giovanni in his debut at the Teatro alla Scala and in a new production by Dmitri Tcherniakov conducted by Marc Minkowski at the Aix-en-Provence Festival.
Smoriginas is in high demand on the concert platform. His repertoire includes Verdi, Brahms, Mozart and Faure Requiems, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Janacek Glagolitic Mass, Dvorak Te Deum and Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater, which he sang with Edward Gardner and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev. He won rave reviews for his BBC Proms debut in Stravinsky Les Noces at the Royal Albert Hall. Other concerts include Dvorak Te Deum with the Orchestre de Paris, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, Rachmaninov The Bells with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Andris Nelsons), and Shostakovich Symphony No. 13 with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra at the 2017 Prague Spring Festival. He has recorded as Pietro Simon Boccanegra alongside Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Ildar Abdrazakov and Barbara Frittoli.
Smoriginas studied at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy before representing his country at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. He spent two years at the Royal College of Music and was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House.