born in 1981 in Elbasan, Albania
Links www.saimirpirgu.com (English, French, German)
Saimir Pirgu (born 23 September 1981 in Elbasan) is an Albanian opera tenor.
He originally studied the violin, before he moved to Bozen, Italy, where Vito Brunetti discovered his tenor voice.
Pirgu won the award for Best Young Singer in 2001 at the Umberto Sacchetti Competition in Bologna and first prize at the Caruso Competition in Milan and at the Tito Schipa Competition in Lecce in 2002, and in 2009 the Franco Corelli Prize in Ancona. His first professional engagement was at the Rossini Festival in Bad Wildbad with Alberto Zedda conducting, then at the Rossini Opera Festival (Pesaro) in Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims and in Adina, and in 2003 at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.
At the age of 22 he was chosen by Claudio Abbado as Ferrando in Così fan tutte. He collaborates with the most prestigious theaters in the world as: Teatro alla Scala, Opéra National de Paris, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera New York, Vienna State Opera. He regularly works with Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Daniele Gatti, Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon and Antonio Pappano. Among his engagements are Don Giovanni (Paris), L'elisir d'amore (Vienna), La traviata (London), Rigoletto (Zurich), The Magic Flute (Teatro alla Scala), Gianni Schicchi at the Metropolitan Opera and at the Los Angeles Opera directed by Woody Allen. He made his debut as Idomeneo conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Festival in Graz. Riccardo Muti chose him for Verdis Requiem at the Salzburg Festival.
In March 2012, Pirgu made his debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, performing as Rodolfo in La bohème with the Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu as Mimì. In September 2012, he made his debut with San Francisco Opera as Tebaldo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi. In March 2013, he returned to the Metropolitan Opera in New York to perform the role of Alfredo Germont in La traviata.
- Idomeneo Idomeneo
- Nemorino L'elisir d'amore
- Edmondo Manon Lescaut
- Alfredo La traviata
- Rinuccio Gianni Schicchi
- Ottavio Don Giovanni
- Ferrando Così fan tutte
- Tebaldo I Capuleti e i Montecchi
- Opera Night for the German AIDS Foundation, 2005, DVD
- Gioachino Rossini La cambiale di matrimonio (Rossini Opera Festival 2006) 2006, DVD
- Gioachino Rossini La cambiale di matrimonio (Rossini Opera Festival 2006) 2007, CD
- Angelo, Casto e Bel 2007, CD
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Idomeneo, Styriarte Festival, 2009, DVD
- Ramon Carnicer Elena e Costantino 2009, CD
- Vicente Martín y Soler Il burbero di buon cuore 2009, DVD
- Giuseppe Verdi La traviata, Opéra Royal de Wallonie Belgium, 2010, DVD
- Giacomo Puccini La bohème im Hochhaus, Live from Berne, Switzerland, 2010, DVD
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Die Zauberflöte, Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 2012, Blu-ray
- "Ein Sängerleben ist nicht so einfach" by Daniel Ender, Der Standard (9 December 2010) (German)
- Saimir Pirgu at Styriarte Festival
- Matthew Gurewitsch "Tenor Saimir Pirgu Hits his Stride", The New York Times, March 8, 2013