Piotr Beczala is one of the world’s premier tenors. Born on Dec. 28, Beczala has become one of the go-to leading men around the world, amassing a plethora of diverse roles and an enviable repertoire to boot. He straddles Italian opera as well as he does German or Polish or Russian or French.
Speaking of said repertory, he has also put together one of the finest recorded legacy in recent years, his output ranging from CDs to concert DVDs to staged operas. Here are some of the can’t miss Beczala recordings.
Un Ballo in Maschera – 2017
Arguably Beczala’s greatest Verdi interpretation, maybe ever, this “Ballo” features the tenor at the top of his game in both the singing and acting department. Throw in the top-notch cast around him (Anja Harteros for one) and this is a must-buy DVD. The production might not be to everyone’s liking, but Beczala’s singing will be.
The French Connection – 2015
Beczala is an ideal French interpreter thanks to his versatile vocal style. He possesses the gentle qualities that allow him to play into the suave lyrical phrases of the bel canto, Gounod, and some Massenet selections. But he also possesses the heft for trickier work in “Werther,” “Carmen,” and especially the rare “La Dame Blanche” by Francois-Adrien Boieldieu, arguably the gem of the entire set. As the rarity of the set, Beczala makes a strong case musically, his voice combining all of its qualities to create an irresistible tour de force.
Eugene Onegin – 2014
One of the single finest moments of his career is his Lenski at the Metropolitan Opera alongside Mariusz Kwiecien and Anna Netrebko. His “Kuda kuda” is undeniably gorgeous in its melancholic heartbreak, but it is his chemistry with Kwiecien during the party scene that takes the cake. The tension that the two build is among the finest things about the entire performance.
La Bohème – 2012
Another masterful production from Salzburg, Beczala and Netrebko showcase their incredible chemistry together. Beczala is in fine voice and as passionate as ever as Rodolfo, though he also shows off an aloof personality that only makes the character’s fall into tragic despair all the more wrenching.
Rigoletto – 2007
The Met recording is better known, but this early version shows the tenor at a time where his voice was simply perfect for the Duke. It was far lighter and brighter in quality. While he certainly doesn’t have the musical expansiveness of the latter recording, his work here is refreshing. Throw in the definitive Rigoletto interpreter of his time, Leo Nucci, and this is must-watch opera.