Hailed as “phenomenal,” “impressively epic” and for his “wine-dark bass,” bass-baritone MIKHAIL SMIGELSKI enjoys a career of vast and various genres, including opera, oratorio, early music, musical theatre and contemporary music. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, this versatile artist recently performed Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Zuniga in Carmen with Miami Lyric Opera, Bhaer in Little Women with Butler Opera Center and in two world premieres, the lead role of Henry in Aylward’s Switch with East Coast Contemporary Ensemble and Blue in Zapruder’s Golden with Cohen New Works Festival in Austin; Zbigniew in Moniuszko’s The Haunted Manor with Cleveland Opera, the title role in Falstaff with Butler Opera Center and a Carnegie Hall solo debut in a Gala Concert by the Russian Cultural Center of New York. Upcoming appearances include Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Alidoro in La Cenerentola with Miami Lyric Opera, the title role of Aleko at the Scottish Rite Theater in Austin, as well as Leporello in Don Giovanni and the title role of Eugene Onegin with Butler Opera Center.
From the outset of his professional career, Mr. Smigelski toured Russia, Europe and the United States, not only as an opera soloist, but also as part of various vocal ensembles and as a conductor. His portrayals include Mars in Orphée aux enfers, Superintendant Budd in Albert Herring, both Figaro and Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, Nikitich and Varlaam in Boris Godunov, Herrmann and Schlémil in Les contes d’Hoffmann and Cold Genius in Purcell’s King Arthur. Mr. Smigelski has collaborated with Theater Sankt-Peterburg Opera, Theater Aachen, Theater Solingen, Theater Leverkusen, Theater Remscheid, Raven Opera, Opera Leggera and the Ferus Festival in New York.
Mr. Smigelski began his advanced musical studies at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, where he received the Bachelor of Music degree and, subsequently, Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne, Germany, where he completed the Master of Music degree in opera performance. Upon moving to United States he earned the Master of Music degree in choral conducting at Sam Houston State University and is currently working toward the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in opera/vocal performance at the University of Texas at Austin. Teachers include Alexander Loginov, Evgeniy Fedotov, Henner Leyhe, Dr. Walter Foster and Nikita Storojev.
“Smigelski's wine-dark bass [complimented his] body language for Henry's self-absorption [in the world premiere of Aylward’s Switch], gamely channeling his impulsive, awkward attempts at connection.”
- Boston Globe
"Smigelski had the regal bearing and low bass notes for the lieutenant Zuniga."
"Smigelski’s deep, rolling Slavic basso timbre commanded attention."
- South Florida Classical Review
“As the skulking, spying CEO Alfonso, [Smigelski] cuts an elegant and dark figure, wonderful on his own or when lending a sonorous depth to intimate duets and trios.” - Austin Chronicle
"Smigelski is a phenomenal singer, with a robust, melodious bass-baritone with serious power."
- Harvard Crimson
"A deep voice of very special timbre."
- El Nuevo Herald