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 season he portrays the role of Ferrando in Il Trovatore with Opera in the Heights, and recently performed as soloist in Dvořák’s Te Deum with Canton Symphony; Rachmaninov’s The Bells with the University of Texas at Austin Symphony, as well as Kum in Sorochintsi Fair at the Scottish Rite Theater in Austin. Other performances include numerous roles with Miami Lyric Opera: Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Alidoro in La Cenerentola, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Zuniga in Carmen, as well as Leporello in Don Giovanni, the title roles of Falstaff and Eugene Onegin, and Bhaer in Little Women with Butler Opera Center; 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, a Carnegie Hall solo debut in a Gala Concert by the Russian Cultural Center of New York; and the title role of Aleko at the Scottish Rite Theater in Austin.
From the outset of his professional career, this versatile artist 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 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