The young Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien has won accolades worldwide for his handsome voice, incisive musicianship, and strong stage presence. A native of Krakow, Mr. Kwiecien is an alumnus of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. His operatic engagements take him to the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Vienna State Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, and the Glyndebourne Festival.
Mariusz Kwiecien returns to the Metropolitan Opera in the 2004-2005 season to sing Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, conducted by James Levine, and Silvio in I pagliacci. He will join Maestro Levine and members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in December for a performance of Bach's Cantata No. 82. He makes his debut at the Vienna State Opera in the title role of Don Giovanni, conducted by Seiji Ozawa, and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Marcello in La Bohème. He concludes his season in Verona for his debut at the Arena as Marcello.
Mariusz Kwiecien began the 2003-2004 season at Teatro Maggio Musicale, Fiorentino, singing Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, conducted by Zubin Mehta. He was unanimously heralded for his performances of Marcello in La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as for his debut with San Francisco Opera and his return to Japan with Seiji Ozawa. New York audiences also heard Mr. Kwiecien perform Haly in L'Italiana in Algeri. He completed the season singing the title role in a new production of Don Giovanni for his debut with The Santa Fe Opera.
Mr. Kwiecien opened Lyric Opera of Chicago's 2002-2003 season with his debut there singing Silvio in a new production of I Pagliacci. He sang Malatesta in Don Pasquale with Michigan Opera Theatre before making his debut at Seattle Opera in the same role. He performed Marcello at the Metropolitan Opera, and sang Ravel's Don Quichotte songs and Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes with James Levine and the MET Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall. He portrayed the title roles of Don Giovanni (new production) and Eugene Onegin at the National Opera in Warsaw, and concluded his season with reprise performances of the Count in Le nozze di Figaro at the Glyndebourne Festival.
Mariusz Kwiecien's growing European career has included Guglielmo in Così fan tutte at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, and his Glyndebourne Festival debut as Count Almaviva in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro. His La Scala debut was as Ottokar in Der Freischütz, and he made his debut with the Hamburg State Opera in the world premiere of Zemlinsky's Der König Kandaules, which was recorded and is available on CD. He made his debut with The Netherlands Opera as Belcore in a new production of L'elisir d'amore, and with Graz Opera in a new production of Eugene Onegin. He has sung Marcello in La Bohème with both Michigan Opera Theatre and De Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp and Ghent. With Strasbourg's Opéra National du Rhin he has performed Dunois in Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans. Vienna audiences have heard him as Count Robinson in Cimarosa's Il matrimonio segreto, and by Brazilian audiences as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro Municipal in Sao Paulo.
Mr. Kwiecien began his professional career with performances as Aeneas in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at the Krakow Opera in 1993. In 1995 he sang the title role in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at Luxembourg's Theatre Municipale and at Posen's Grand Theater. In 1996 he made his Warsaw Opera debut as Stanislaw in Moniuszko's rarely performed Verbum Nobile, and also sang Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. That same year he appeared as Janusz in Moniuszko's Halka in Toronto under the auspices of the Polish-Canadian Society of Music.
Mariusz Kwiecien has won prestigious awards in several international vocal competitions, including First Prize in the 1994 Breslau International Competition, the Vienna State Opera and Hamburg State Opera prizes in the 1996 Hans Gabor/Belvedere Competition in Austria, and the Mozart Interpretation Prize and Audience Choice Award at the 1998 Francisco Viñas Competition in Barcelona. He was also selected to represent his native Poland in the June 1999 "Singer of the World" Competition in Cardiff, Wales.