Since his debut in the 2006 Russian premiere of Delius’ Eine Messe des Lebens with the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Spivakov, Igor Golovatenko has been quickly making a name for himself on both the concert and operatic stage.
Igor Golovatenko made his debut in the 2006 Russian premiere of Delius’ Eine Messe des Lebens with the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Spivakov. Since then he has quickly made a name for himself on both the concert and operatic stage. Having studied at the Moscow Academy of the Choral Arts with Professor Dmitry Vdovin, Golovatenko is a first prize winner of the St Petersburg Three Centuries of Classical Romance competition and a second prize winner in Dresden’s International Competizione dell’Opera.
A guest soloist at the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow since 2010 and a soloist with the Novaya Opera since 2007, his roles have included Belcore L’Elisir d’Amore; Germont La traviata in the premiere of Francesca Zambello’s 2012 Bolshoi production conducted by Laurent Campellone; Figaro Il barbiere di Siviglia directed by Elijah Moshinsky; Olivier Capriccio; Robert Iolanta; and title role Eugene Onegin.
Recent highlights have included his debut at the Opéra National de Paris as Lopakhin in Fénelon’s La Cerisaie conducted by Tito Ceccherini and directed by Georges Lavaudant, a role that he had already sung to critical acclaim in the world premiere at the Bolshoi Theatre. Golovatenko also made debuts with the Teatro Massimo Palermo as Shchelkalov and Rangoni Boris Godunov; at the Teatro san Carlo di Napoli as Monfort Les Vêpres Siciliennes, directed by Gianluigi Gelmetti; and at the Bayerische Staatsoper as Shchelkalov conducted by Kent Nagano and directed by Calixto Bieito.
Equally at ease on the concert platform, he has appeared with the Yaroslavl Symphony Orchestra in performances of Rachmaninov’s The Bells conducted by Murad Annamamedov, and with the Russian National Orchestra in Grieg’s Peer Gynt conducted by Mikhail Pletnev. He has appeared with the Goettingen Symphony Orchestra in concert performances of La traviata conducted by Christoph-Mathias Mueller, and with the Russian National Orchestra and Moscow State Chamber Choir in concert performances of Eugene Onegin conducted by Mikhail Pletnev. In addition, he regularly performs at the Russian National Orchestra Festival.
In the 2013-14 season, he performed the role of Carlo Gustavo to great acclaim in Foroni’s Cristina regina di Svezia at the Wexford Opera Festival; Renato Un ballo in maschera at the Teatro Sociale di Rovigo and Opera Giocosa di Savona as part of the Bergamo Music Festival; debuted the role of Rodrigo Don Carlo at the Bolshoi, directed by Adrian Noble; performed Eugene Onegin at the Teatro san Carlo di Napoli and Luna Il trovatore in Riga, Latvia.
Highlights of the 2014-15 season include Sharpless Madama Butterfly at the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires; a return to the Wexford Opera Festival as Iokanaan in Mariotte’s Salome; Rachmaninov’s Spring Cantata in his debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre; and his debut at the Glyndebourne Festival. Further ahead he will sing leading roles with Opera de Lille, Luxemburg and Caen.
Igor Golovatenko is represented by Simon Goldstone at Intermusica.
October 2014 / 467 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.
Rachmaninov Spring / BBC Symphony Orchestra / Barbican Hall
Cond. Sakari Oramo
“The dark glamour of the baritone soloist Igor Golovatenko’s voice”
Anna Picard, Times, December 2014
“The work was given a spirited and radiant performance by baritone Igor Golovatenko”
Christian Hoskins, Music OMH, December 2014
“Igor Golovatenko was the idiomatic baritone soloist”
Martin Kettle, Guardian, December 2014
Sharpless Madama Butterfly / Teatro Colón
Cond. Ira Levin / dir. Hugo De Ana
“The young Russian baritone Igor Golovatenko…brought depth and understanding to the role of Sharpless.”
Jonathan Spencer Jones, Seen and Heard International, December 2014
Rodrigo Don Carlos / Bolshoi
Cond. Robert Trevino / dir. Adrian Noble
“Best of all were South Ossetian-born soprano Veronika Dzhioeva, as Elizabeth, and baritone Igor Golovatenko… as Rodrigo. Both shone with particular brilliance in their respective arias toward the end of opera…, Golovatenko coming up with a beautifully sung, straightforward interpretation of Rodrigo's farewell to Carlo and death scene that happily avoided the maudlin sentimentality so often heard from even the most distinguished of baritones.”
Raymond Stults, The Moscow Times, January 2014
“Igor Golovatenko, perhaps, did his best role at the Bolshoi: his juicy, passionate baritone coupled with the dynamics of his interpretation created a fantastic Rodrigo.”
Marina Gaykovich, Bolshoi News, January 2014
“The male bass voices made the difference on opening night… the baritone Igor Golovatenko…was the most brilliant of them all.”
Pyotr Pospelov, Bolshoi News, December 2013
“The part of the goodie Rodrigo was performed by the conscientious and skillful Igor Golovatenko.”
Sergei Khodnev, Bolshoi News, December 2013
Carlo Gustavo Cristina, regina di Svezia / Wexford Opera Festival
Cond. Andrew Greenwood / dir. Stephen Medcalf,
“Igor Golovatenko as Gustavo…offered a classic demonstration of baritonal bel canto.”
Tom Sutcliffe, Opera Now, January 2014
“The other discovery was the Russian baritone Igor Golovatenko as Carlo Gustavo, with beautifully round, firm tone and fine musical instincts – we must hear more of him.”
Rodney Milnes, Opera magazine, January 2014
“But the wonder among this male-dominated production was Russian baritone Igor Golovatenko… as the queen’s cousin and nominated eventual successor, Carl Gustav. I would travel Europe to hear this voice and see this massive onstage presence. Bolshoi – and indeed Paris – star he may be, but the Royal Opera and the Met should move mountains to get this man on board. Golovatenko was the big sensation of this year’s Wexford – and his noble-cum-scary characterisation was as riveting as the voice.”
Roderic Dunnett, The Arts Desk, November 2013
“The smooth, burnished singing of Igor Golovatenko (Gustavo) signals a new talent…”
John Allison, Daily Telegraph, November 2013
“Russian baritone, Igor Golovatenko was a strong Gustavo, resonantly exhibiting his love and loyalty for his Queen.”
Opera Today, November 2013
“Russian Igor Golovatenko was – easily – the best of a series of outstanding baritones or bass-baritones at this year’s Wexford…”
Roderic Dunnett, Seen and Heard International, November 2013
“Carlo Gustavo (a superb Igor Golovatenko)…”
Charles Jernigan, Donizetti Society, October 2013
“The two most demanding roles, mastered by Igor Golovatenko and Helen Dix, were the absolute highlights of the festival. Golovatenko equips Carlo Gustavo with a varied baritone, alternating easily between the enormous depths of this role and the dramatic outbursts. A musical highlight is surely his aria in the second act, when he meets with the conspirators on the desert island, in order to crush the rebellion against his beloved Cristina.”
[“Die beiden wohl anspruchsvollsten Partien meistern Igor Golovatenko und Helen Dix auf absolutem Festspiel-Niveau. Golovatenko stattet Carlo Gustavo mit einem absolut variablen Bariton aus, der problemlos zwischen den enormen Tiefen dieser Partie und den dramatischen Ausbrüchen changiert. Einen musikalischen Höhepunkt stellt sicherlich seine Auftrittsarie im zweiten Akt dar, wenn er sich mit den Verschwörern auf der einsamen Insel trifft, um so die Rebellion gegen seine geliebte Cristina zu zerschlagen.”]
Thomas Molke, Online Musik Magazin, October 2013
“the two baritone parts are vigorously sung by David Stout and Igor Golovatenko”
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, October 2013
“...but the festival's true star, alongside Dix, is Russian Igor Golovatenko (Cristina's heir, Carl Gustav): a baritone of marvellous strength, imposing range and magnificent authority. Superlative casting - such as Wexford excels at.”
Irish Independent, November 2013
Germont in Verdi La traviata / Bolshoi Theatre
Cond. Laurent Campellone / dir. Francesca Zambello
“The role of Giorgio Germont was beautifully sung, in true Verdian style, and played with conviction by Igor Golovatenko”.
Raymond Stults, Moscow Times, November 2012