Saimir Pirgu to Return to Los Angeles Opera

Over the past decade, Albanian tenor SAIMIR PIRGU has become an indispensable part of musical life here and abroad. During this time, audiences have witnessed his development from a highly-gifted fledgling singer to a seasoned world-class performer.

In this current season he continues on a career trajectory which began at the behest of Maestro Claudio Abbado. Along the way many other conductors have been supportive and influential in Saimir's development, but perhaps none more so than James Conlon. It was he who provided the tenor with his U.S. debut in September 2008 as Rinuccio in the LA Opera's Woody Allen-directed production of Gianni Schicchi. Saimir subsequently appeared with the company in the fall of 2011 as Ferrando in Così fan tutte.

Additionally , he has worked with Maestro Conlon at the Ravinia Festival, also in Così (Summer 2010), and will go back there this summer in another Mozart role, as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni(August 14 & 16, 2014). They also previously collaborated on Macbeth at Florence's Maggio Musicale (June 2013).

Now, under the Music Director's baton, he returns to Los Angeles as Edgardo in the company's new production of Lucia di Lammermoor, which opens on March 15, with subsequent performances on March 20, 23m, 26, 29 and April 6m. He has previously performed this role to particular acclaim at the Hamburgische Staatsoper (2 seasons) and the Washington National Opera.

California audiences will also have the opportunity to see Saimir perform Alfredo in La traviata at the San Francisco Opera (June 11, 14, 25 & 29m), a role he also recently sang at the Metropolitan Opera.

He just completed an engagement at the Opéra National de Paris as the title character in La clemenza di Tito (his first time singing the role). Among his other engagements this season include: the Verdi Requiem in Grafenegg, Bucharest, Munich and Vienna; the Duke in Rigolettowith the London Symphony and in Zurich; the Berlioz Messe solennelle (Vienna, under Riccardo Muti); a gala benefiting the Albanian Down Syndrome Foundation, as well as concerts in Barcelona with Angela Gheorghiu.

His newest DVD, of a 2013 New Year's Day concert at Venice's Teatro la Fenice conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, is scheduled for release at the beginning of the new year on the Arthaus Musik label. His most recent recognition came to him when he was chosen as the winner of the "Pavarotti d'Oro" Award earlier this season.

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