Biography

Michael Nagy, a baritone with Hungarian roots, was initially an ensemble member of the Komische Oper Berlin before moving on to Frankfurt Opera, where he was able to develop his repertoire in leading roles such as Papageno (The Magic Flute), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), The Count (The Marriage of Figaro), Hans Scholl (Die weiße Rose), Wolfram (Tannhäuser), Valentin (Faust), Prince Yeletsky (Pique Dame), Marcello (La Bohème), Albert (Werther), Frank/Fritz (Die tote Stadt), Jason (A. Reimann’s “Medea”), Dr. Falke (Die Fledermaus) and the title role in Owen Wingrave. Between 2011 and 2013 he sang the role of Wolfram at the Bayreuth Festival. He appeared as a guest at the Oslo Opera House, Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, at Zurich Opera House and the Theater an der Wien, among others. In 2013 he performed the role of Papageno (The Magic Flute) with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle at the Whitsun Festival in Baden-Baden.

Michael Nagy received his first musical training at the Stuttgart Hymnus Boys’ Choir, and later studied singing with Rudolf Piernay and conducting under Klaus Arp in Mannheim, as well as song interpretation with Irwin Gage in Saarbrücken. He enhanced his education by attending master classes held by Charles Spencer, Rudolf Piernay and Cornelius Reid. His international career took off in 2004 when he won the ’International Art Song Competition’ hosted by Hugo-Wolf-Akademie in Stuttgart.

In autumn 2014 Michael Nagy made his debut as Eugene Onegin at the Grand Théatre de Genève, and he subsequently reprised this role at the Bavarian State Opera. In Munich he had outstanding success as Stolzius in Andreas Kriegenburg’s new staging of Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten under Kirill Petrenko, hailed as the ’Opera Production of the Year 2014’. The 2015/16 season saw him in three further role debuts: Hans Heiling in Heinrich Marschner’s eponymous opera at the Theater an der Wien, Kurwenal (Tristan und Isolde) at the Baden-Baden Easter Festival in Mariusz Trelinski’s new production, again under Sir Simon Rattle, and the title role in Luigi Dallapiccola’s Il Prigioniero in a concert performance under Thomas Hengelbrock. Guest engagements in the 2016/2017 season include Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro at Zurich Opera House and Marcello (La Bohème), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) and Papageno (The Magic Flute) at the Bavarian State Opera. Moreover, he will perform the title role in the world premiere of Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini’s new work Edward II. at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Michael Nagy is highly in demand as a concert and oratorio singer around the globe. He appeared with the Berlin and Munich Philharmonic Orchestras, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the Museumsorchester Frankfurt, the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and the Salzburg Festival. Performances during the current season will take him to the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo (Mahler’s Symphony No. 8), the Spanish National Orchestra in Madrid (Mendelssohn’s Walpurgisnacht), the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris (Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem) and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam (Bach’s Christmas Oratorio). Ádám Fischer, Paavo Järvi, Alan Gilbert, Christoph Eschenbach, Daniel Harding, Christoph von Dohnányi, Philippe Herreweghe and Daniele Gatti are among the musical partners for his widespread concert repertoire. Together with Gerold Huber at the piano, Michael Nagy performs recitals regularly; in the current season at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg and at the Philharmonie Essen.

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Statements

"Magnificent and almost over-casted for the rowdy role: the young, accomplished and powerful Michael Nagy as Kurwenal."

Opernwelt, Stephan Mösch, Edition No. 5 / May 2016 - "Über allen Gipfeln keine Ruh'"

"Michael Nagy, who was making his CSO debut, sang of finding solace in the face of mortality. To his several solos he bought a burnished, focused lyric baritone with superb projection, pliant phrasing and a lieder singer's regard for the German texts and the meanings they convey through Brahms' music. The Hungarian singer is a real find."

Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein, 11/12/2016,

"Amongst the soloists the undoubted star is the young [...] bass, Michael Nagy, whose accomplished portrayal of Elijah balances the requisite qualities of patriarchal strength and human vulnerability."

Limelight magazine, Tony Way, 4/26/2017 ("Alt-Mendelssohn brings a leaner take on the classic oratorio")

„Young Michael Nagy is already to be numbered among the finest Wolframs I have experienced, and he will only get better with age. His mellifluous, honeyed baritone is sizable enough to ring out in the house, and nuanced enough to create a musically diverse portrayal. And he is highly persuasive as an actor, remaining sympathetic even as the director has Wolfram kill Elisabeth (whom he loves) by stuffing her through a door into a gas tank, and then proceeding to sing a ravishing “Ode to the Evening Star”…to a pregnant Venus. Yes, somehow we still manage to love him, Michael is that good.“

Opera today, 8/30/2011

"Michael Nagy’s strong, easily projected baritone conveyed the stern admonitory passages without losing a humane expression in his warnings of the finality of death and the transitory nature of earthly life."

Chicago Classical Review, Lawrence A. Johnson, 11/11/2016

„Michael Nagy offers an engaging, robustly sung Papageno, ...“

The New York Times, George Loomis, 3/26/2013 - "'Zauberflöte' in a New Easter Home"

„Michael Nagy carves out the title role as a magnificent psychological study and is capable of handling every single note of the demanding score.“

Nachrichten.at, Michael Wruss, 9/15/2015 - „Gruselgeschichte zwischen Geisterwelt und Dorfleben. Saisonauftakt mit "Hans Heiling" im Theater an der Wien”

„Michael Nagy, acclaimed ‚Wolfram‘ of Bayreuth Festival’s „Tannhäuser“-production delivers a masterpiece as Papageno. “

Die Welt, Lucas Wiegelmann, 3/24/2013 - "Kann Mozarts 'Zauberflöte' den Tod überwinden?"

„Hats off! This man is a revelation!“

Abendzeitung Munich, Robert Braunmüller, 11/13/2011 - "Mahler 'Wunderhornlieder', Sinfonieorchester des BR, Daniele Gatti"

„But the big surprise – and the biggest ovation – went to newcomer Michael Nagy as Wolfram. Here’s another young guy who has everything going for him, especially with respect to technique, breathing, shading and all the little tools that master singers employ, not to mention respect for the score. He’s also the most sympathetic character in the opera, and is not at all hard on the eye. So some wishes did come true.“

Musical America, 8/15/2011

„Staged like a sung play and relying on the subtle acting skills of a fine ensemble cast – led by the vocally outstanding Michael Nagy as the pacifist protagonist who defies family tradition and honour by refusing to become a soldier- ...”

The Sunday Times, 1/31/2010 (Britten Owen Wingrave)

"The performances all seem to me exemplary. Michael Nagy sings well; he has a rich fruity baritone and he really projects the words. The final song in its orchestral version sounds like a riposte to Alberich’s renunciation of love which sets the tragedy of Wagner’s Ring in motion."

Musicweb International, Stephen Barber, April 2017 (CD Brahms / Glanert, Four Preludes and Serious Songs)