September 12, 2018


On September 12, 2018 Saimir Pirgu will make his debut as Don José in Carmen at Bangkok’s 20th International Festival of Dance and Music in a Daniele Finzi Pasca production revived by Paolo Vettori, with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro San Carlo of Naples conducted by Maestro Zubin Mehta. He will share the stage with Veronica Simeoni in the title role, Federica Lombardi as Micaëla and Vito Priante as Escamillo.

“I’m looking forward to enlarging my repertoire of French operas with this first Don José in Carmen”, states the Albanian born Italian naturalized tenor. “It is wonderful to make my debut under the baton of Maestro Zubin Mehta, who conducted me in other debuts such as Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera in the past and who knows my voice very well. Don José is no doubt one of the most exciting roles for a tenor, a torn character full of contrasts, developing from a caring lover to murderous maniac who is obsessed with Carmen. The role contains some wonderful lyrical parts such as the first duet with Micaela and Don José’s beautiful “Flower Song” and requires a lot of stamina for the challenging final duet with Carmen. It fits my voice and temperament like a glove and I can’t wait to go on stage in this fantastic staging by Daniele Finzi Pasca and to making music with the extraordinary orchestra and choir of the Teatro San Carlo and my colleagues with a special mention to the wonderful protagonist Veronica Simeoni.”

Saimir Pirgu has been enjoying a long and fruitful collaboration with the Teatro San Carlo, where in very recent seasons he has sung some of the staples of his repertoire, such as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor,  the Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto and the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and made his debut as Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra.

Saimir Pirgu’s 2018/2019 season engagement include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony again with the San Carlo forces in Bangkok, Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto at the Théâtre des Champs Élysèes Paris and Philharmonie Luxembourg, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem at the Auditorium RAI Turin, Alfredo in La traviata at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées Paris and at the Vienna State Opera, Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera at the Teatro Regio Parma, the title role in La damnation de Faust at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore at the Vienna State Opera, the title role of Werther at the New National Theatre of Tokyo and Mozart’s Requiem at the Chicago Symphony Center.


Information about Carmen at Bangkok’s 20th International Festival of Dance and Music:

Carmen: Veronica Simeoni; Don José: Saimir Pirgu; Escamillo: Vito Priante; Micaëla: Federica Lombardi; Escamillo: Vito Priante; Frasquita: Sandra Pastrana; Mercedes: Candida Guida; Le Dancaïre: Fabio Previati; Le Remendado: Francesco Pittari; Zuniga: Costantino Finucci; Morales: Enrico Maria Marabelli.

Zubin Mehta, conductor; Daniele Finzi Pasca, director

Performances: September 12 and 14, 2018


[Photo: Veronica Simeoni and Saimir Pirgu in Carmen in Bangkok, photo by Thanakorn Chomnawang]