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Artist Hyperion Records
Hunka, Pavlo (bass)
© Andrew Waller

Pavlo Hunka (bass)

Internationally acclaimed opera singer Pavlo Hunka was born in England, the son of a Ukrainian father and an English mother. He initially qualified as a linguist and then practised as a lawyer in the United Kingdom for four years before embarking on a stellar singing career. He began his vocal studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and completed them in Switzerland with Maria Săndulescu.

Pavlo began his operatic journey in Basel, Switzerland, where he sang many of the bass-baritone roles in the Russian, German, French and Italian repertoires. For the last 27 years, he has sung in the most prestigious opera houses of the world—Paris, Vienna, Munich, Florence, Amsterdam, Madrid, Moscow, London, Salzburg, Rome, Berlin, and Toronto—under a glittering array of conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Jeffrey Tate, Semyon Bychkov, Zubin Mehta, Peter Schneider, Mark Wigglesworth, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Daniel Barenboim, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Kirill Petrenko, and Kasushi Ono.

Performance highlights include Don Pizarro (Beethoven’s Fidelio) with the Bayerische Staatsoper and Wiener Staatsoper; the title role in Berg’s Wozzeck at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; Doctor (Wozzeck) at the Staatsoper Unter Den Linden; Schigolch (Berg’s Lulu) in Brussels and Munich; Verdi’s Macbeth in Berlin and Falstaff at the Canadian Opera Company; Count Tomsky (Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame) at Teatro Real Madrid; Klingsor (Wagner’s Parsifal) and Hunding (Wagner’s Die Walküre) at the Bolshoi in Moscow; Alberich (Wagner’s Siegfried) in Lyon; Nekrotzar (Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre) in Brussels; the General in Prokofiev’s The Gambler in Amsterdam; Simone in Zemlinsky’s Eine florentinische Tragödie in Geneva; Boris (Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) in London; and Šiškov (Janáček’s From the House of the Dead) in Berlin in the acclaimed Patrice Chéreau production with Sir Simon Rattle. Other appearances include Dikoy in Janáček’s Katya Kabanova at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Berlin), Wagner’s 'Ring' Cycle in Denmark, Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel in Brussels, Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre with the London Symphony Orchestra, and Klingsor in Parsifal in Budapest.

Pavlo is the Artistic Director of the Ukrainian Art Song Project (www.ukrainianartsong.ca) whose aim is to record an anthology of over 1,000 Ukrainian classical art songs by 26 Ukrainian composers—songs never heard by the world that deserve to be performed on the world stage.


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