Canadian bass Robert Pomakov begins his 2014⁄2015 season returning for his third season at the Metropolitan Opera, performing in Laurent Pelly’s production of Manon by Massenet alongside Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume. He will also take part in the MET’s new production of Le Nozze di Figaro conducted by James Levine, in Don Carlo, and in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. During the summer, Pomakov will make his debut with Santa Fe Opera as Monterone in Rigoletto and in the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon’s, Cold Mountain, alongside Nathan Gunn and Isabel Leonard.
The 2013⁄2014 season saw Pomakov’s return to the Canadian Opera Company as Hobson in Britten’s Peter Grimes opposite Ben Heppner led by Johannes Debus. He then returned to the Metropolitan Opera to sing Monterone in the highly acclaimed Michael Mayer’s production of Rigoletto opposite Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and as Mathieu in Nicolas Joël’s production of Andrea Chénier opposite Patricia Racette and Marcelo Álvarez. Pomakov once again took the stage at Houston Grand Opera in Weinberg’s The Passenger and as Monterone in their production of Rigoletto both under Patrick Summers. Apart from his busy operatic calendar, Pomakov performed with the Gryphon Trio at the College of Wooster and University of Georgia. During the summer months, he again performed in Houston Grand Opera’s The Passenger as part of the Lincoln Center Festival, accompanied by a concert with Artists of the Royal Conservatory. He also stepped in to perform in Schubert’s opera, Fierrabras, with the Bard Music Festival.
Pomakov’s 2012⁄2013 season included a debut with San Francisco Opera as Monterone in Rigoletto under the baton of Nicola Luisotti. He then returned to Houston Grand Opera to open the company’s season in performances of Benoit in a new production of La Bohème as well as Haly in a new production of L’italiana in Algeri. Pomakov made his house debut at the Metropolitan Opera where he sang Monterone in the Michael Mayer’s new staging of Rigoletto in a production that was seen live in high definition in cinemas around the world. In concert, Mr. Pomakov was the bass soloist in performances of Mozart’s Requiem with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, and Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières. He performed Handel’s Messiah with both the North Carolina and Phoenix Symphonies and sang with the Calgary Philharmonic in performances of the Verdi Requiem. Pomakov also kept an active festival schedule performing the Verdi Requiem in the Elora Festival and his first König Heinrich in a concert version of Wagner’s Lohengrin with Le Festival de Lanaudière conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Highlights of past seasons include performances with the Canadian Opera Company, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, among others. Notable appearances include his Washington Opera debut as Leporello in Don Giovanni in a new production conducted by Plácido Domingo, his debut at the Teatro Real as Nikitich in Boris Godunov conducted by Jesus Lopez-Cobos and opposite Samuel Ramey, a repeat of Varlaam for his debut at the Theatre Royale de la Monnaie in Brussels, the role of the Chamberlain in a new production of Le Rossignol by visionary director Robert Lepage in a co-production with the Canadian Opera Company and Brooklyn Academy of Music and a joining of the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for the title role of a new production of Verdi’s Attila by Pierre Audi conducted by Riccardo Muti.
Aside from his staged opera performances, Pomakov has performed with a number of concert organizations such as The Bard Music Festival, Le Festival de Lanaudière, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia Festival, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Edinburgh Festival, Royal Conservatory of Music, Pacific Symphony, among others. Notable concert performances of past seasons include his Ravinia Festival debut in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy conducted by James Conlon, the role of Virgil in Rachmaninov’s Francesca da Rimini and the Hector Berlioz version of Der Freischütz all under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach, his Canadian Opera Company debut in a concert with Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the Roy Thomson Hall Millennium Opera Gala with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (released on CBC Records), Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 14 with the Canadian Opera Company, a European tour of Handel’s Apollo e Dafne (Released on Naxos Records), his Concertgebouw debut with the European Union Baroque Orchestra and performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Orchestre Métropolitain under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Recital credits include two recitals at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio one of which was broadcast by the CBC.
Robert Pomakov has been a prizewinner in several of the world’s premier singing competitions: a finalist in the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Belgium, second place at the Belvedere Competition in Vienna and third place in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia. In September 2006, Mr. Pomakov was decorated with the Simeon, the First Honorary Medal from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria, and with a diploma from the Minister of Culture for his achievements in opera’s art and special merit to Bulgarian culture and its dissemination all over the world. Other prizes have included first prize in the 2000 Oratorio Society of New York’s solo competition, an encouragement award in the 2000 George London Foundation Competition, an encouragement award from the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition, the 1999 Victoria Scholars Grant, Second Prize in the 1998 Canadian Music Competition and First Prize in the 1997 Kiwanis Music Festival in Toronto. Pomakov is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music.