Malgorzata Walewska – Polish mezzo-soprano – Biography
Malgorzata Walewska is one of the world’s leading dramatic mezzo-sopranos, enjoying an international operatic career. Born in Poland, she graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw under the tutelage of Professor Halina Slonicka. In 1991 during her studies, she made her operatic debut on stage at the Polish National Opera performing the role of Aza in Manru.
In 1992 Malgorzata Walewska was awarded first prize in the Alfredo Kraus International Competition in Las Palmas and was a finalist of the Luciano Pavarotti Vocal Competition in Philadelphia and Belvedere Competition in Vienna. That same year she was laureate of two Best Mezzosoprano awards in the Moniuszko International Competition in Warsaw. In subsequent years, Ms. Walewska was engaged by the Vienna State Opera where she debuted her role as Polina in The Queen of Spades, followed by performances of Carmen, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Olga in Eugene Onegin, Pierotto in Linda di Chamounix and was invited to share the stage with artists such as Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo.
In 1999, Malgorzata Walewska collaborated with the Semperoper Opera House in Dresden, where she performed the roles of Ms. Quickly in Falstaff, and Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera. That same year, she appeared at the Deutsche Oper Berlin once again as Ms Quickly and then as Amneris in Aida and for the first time as Azucena in Il trovatore. She was invited to return to Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2007 where she performed in Cassandra and again in 2011 in Samson et Dalila.
In 2005, Ms. Walewska made her Metropolitan Opera stage debut in the title role of Dalila in Samson et Dalila opposite tenor José Cura and was invited to return to the Metropolitan Opera to perform as Amneris and Dalila again. Shortly thereafter, she performed for the first time in Japan at the New National Theater in Tokyo in her role as Eboli in Don Carlos.
In 2009, Malgorzata Walewska made her debut engagement at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in the role of Azucena, opposite tenor Roberto Alagna. In 2012, she made her first appearance at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City as Amme in Frau Ohne Schatten and in the same year, at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, she performed in one of her favourite operas Samson et Dalila, under Maestro Michel Plasson. In 2015, she debuted her role as Kundry in Parsifal and performed the part of Countess in The Queen of Spades at the Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg.
In the beginning of the 2016/2017 season she sung the part of the Widow in premiere production of Goplana by W. Zelenski at the Polish National Opera. Later that season she returned to the Grand Theater in Poznan as Kundry in R. Wagner’s Parsifal. In the 2017/2018 season Małgorzata Walewska has recorded W. Kilar’s Missa pro pace with Podlaska Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the part of Jochebed, the mother of Moses in A. Rubinstein’s religious opera Moses with Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra under the baton of Michail Jurowski. She has sang the part of Zofia at The Man from Manufaktura International Opera Composition Competition at the Grand Theatre in Lodz. She has also came back as Kundry and Carmen to the Grand Theatre in Poznań and as the Widow in Goplana to the Polish National Opera. At the end of the season she has performed Mistress Quickly in Falstaff at the Oper Köln in Germany.
In the 2018/2019 season the artist will return to the Oper Köln to perform the part of the Auntie in a premiere production of B. Britten’s Peter Grimes. She will also sing the part of Zofia in the world premiere of The Man from Manufaktura composed by the winner of International Opera Composition Competition, Rafał Janiak, at the Grand Theatre in Lodz.
Malgorzata Walewska has enjoyed collaborations with many premier conductors including such renowned Maestri as: Marco Armiliato, Seymon Bychkov, Jesus Lopez Cobos, Asher Fish, Valery Gergiev, Philippe Jordan, Vladimir Jurowski, Nicola Luisotti, Carlo Montanaro, Pier Giorgio Morandi, Stefan Soltesz, Carlo Rizzi, Massimo Zanetti, Andriy Yurkevych. She has headlined in over 30 major Opera houses in the world, including: Teatro Real in Madrid, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, Krakow Opera, Opera Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Grand Théâtre Luxemburg, Finnish National Opera in Helsinki, Graz Opera, Washington National Opera, Baltimore Opera and Herodion Theater in Athens.
In addition to her operatic career, Ms. Walewska performs in concert. Her repertoire includes the G. Verdi Messa da Requiem, G. Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Petite Messe Solennelle, G.B. Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, the Ninth Symphony of L. van Beethoven, the Symphonies No. 2 and 3 of G. Mahler, W.A. Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and A. Bruckner’s Te Deum. Ms. Walewska gives numerous recitals accompanied by piano or harp. She sings the selection of songs by G. Fauré, F. Schubert, S. Moniuszko, K. Szymanowski, F. Chopin, P. Tchaikovsky as well as the cycle of Les nuits d’été by H. Berlioz and Wesendonck Lieder by R. Wagner. Since 2013, she has added to her repertoire French songs by R. Hahn.
Ms. Walewska’s discography continues to expand with her latest solo CDs with G.F. Händel’s arias, religious songs and organ pieces entitled Farny, Christmas carols Christmas Time and Panta Rhei (Dux) which followed a solo album presenting her most frequently performed opera roles on Sony Classical entitled Voce di Donna and Sony Music Poland CD Mezzo (songs and arias in contemporary arrangements).
In 2014, Malgorzata Walewska was nominated Artistic Director of the Ada Sari International Festival and Vocal Artistry Competition which 16th edition was held in Nowy Sacz (Poland) in May, 2015. In October 2016, she has received the most prestigious decoration bestowed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, a Gloria Artis medal of the highest class, in recognition of her tremendous contribution to Polish culture.