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Ever since his sensational debut as Rigoletto at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 2009, the Georgian baritone George Gagnidze has ranked among the leading singers of his genre.

Born in Tbilisi and trained at the State Conservatory of his home town, George Gagnidze debuted as Renato in Giuseppe Verdi's Un ballo in maschera in 1996 at the Paliashvili State Opera.

He entered the Concorso Voci Verdiane in 2005 as an award-winner of the Leyla Gencer Voice Competition and the Elena Obraztsova Competition. The jury, chaired by José Carreras and Katia Ricciarelli, awarded him first prize for his outstanding vocal interpretation.

George Gagnidze launched his international career from Germany - he soon became familiar with many of the world's important opera houses.

Guest performances followed, for example, at the German Opera of Berlin, La Scala in Milan, the Vienna State Opera, the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Verdi Festival in Parma, the Teatro Felice in Genoa, the Paris Opéra Bastille, the Los Angeles Opera, as well as several performances at the New York Metropolitan. George Gagnidze has also toured China, Japan and South Korea.

His acclaimed performance of Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca at the MET, which strengthened his reputation as an outstanding singer-actor, was screened at cinemas worldwide and published on DVD.

His celebrated debut in the role of Rigoletto at the Festival in Aix-en-Provence in 2013 under the direction of Robert Carsen, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, was broadcasted live on ARTE, the cultural channel.

In the course of his career, George Gagnidze, who now masters the genre of dramatic heroic baritone, has worked with many renowned conductors and directors, including Lorin Maazel, James Levine, James Conlon, Fabio Luisi, Daniele Callegari, Gustavo Dudamel, Robert Sturua, Giancarlo del Monaco, Henning Brockhaus and Luc Bondy.

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