Among the more than 40 roles performed by Vitalij Kowaljow – whose first profession was fireman in his native Ukraine – are Verdi`s King Philip in Don Carlo, Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra, Zaccaria in Nabucco, Banquo in Macbeth, Ramfis in Aida, Procida in Vespri Siciliani, Padre Guardiano in La Forza del Destino, Walter in Luisa Miller and the title-role of Attila.
A highlight of this season is his La Scala debut as Wotan in the new Die Walkure production conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Other engagements include Zaccaria in Nabucco at Bayerische Staatsoper and Arena di Verona and Ramfis in Aida at Covent Garden. He continues his series of German appearances in Baden-Baden for a recorded concert performance of Don Giovanni.
Recent highlights of Vitalij Kowaljow's career include his debuts as Giorgio in I Puritani at the Vienna Staatsoper, the Verdi’s Requiem with the San Francisco and the Chicago Symphony orchestras. In 2010 he debuted to great acclaim the roles of Wotan and Der Wanderer in Los Angeles Opera new production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, conducted by James Conlon and staged by Achim Freyer. He also sung the role of King Philip in Don Carlo at the New National Theatre of Tokyo, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Walter in Luisa Miller and Padres Guardiano in La Forza del destino at the Metropolitan Opera, Pimen in Boris Godunov and Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra at San Francisco Operas. Other engagements include Banco in Macbeth at the Washington National Opera and Zaccaria in Nabucco at the Bayerische Staatsoper.