Agata Bienkowska

Born in Gdynia, Poland, Agata Bienkowska began her musical education at seven years of age, studying piano, taking on voice and performing arts, later on, in Gdansk. There, she graduated with highest honours. Parallelly she graduated at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, and obtained a post-graduate diploma with honours under the guide of Julia Hamari. During her studies, she has won numerous scholarships.

Bienkowska participated in several international competitions reaching the finals and winning prizes in Vienna and Luxemburg, the European Union Opera Competition, Placido Domingo Operalia and the Teinacher Förderpreis (Germany) to name but few. During her years of studies, Bienkowska had already kicked off her busy operatic and concert career. Her first roles were those of Bastien and Apollo in Bastien and Bastienne and Apollo et Hyacintus by the Mozart Academy of Music in Gdansk and Nero in The Coronation of Poppea by Monteverdi in the Wilhelma Theater in Stuttgart.

She performed mezzo-soprano and alto parts in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, The Passion according to John and Magnificat, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Masses, Freisslich’s Passio Christi and Handel’s Messiah. Other sacred works include the Gloria and Stabat Mater by Vivaldi, Stabat Mater by Pergolesi, and Petite Messe Sollennelle by Rossini. Furthermore, Bienkowska sang Mahler’s Rückert Lieder and the folks songs by Berio. In Stuttgart she followed the course of lieder with Robert Hiller and thanks to her knowledge of six languages, she has established a vast and heterogeneous lieder repertoire.

Agata Bienkowska’s professional debut came about during her studies when she sang the role of Marchesa Melibea in Il Viaggio a Reims by Rossini and the role of the Countess of Arc in Matilde di Shabran during the Rossini Festival in Wildbad (Germany). Soon after, she made her debut in Italy singing the role of Teresa in La Sonnambula in Palermo under the direction of Daniel Oren next to Eva Mei and Gregory Kunde. This was followed by numerous debuts in major Italian and European theaters, namely Il Viaggio a Reims by Rossini, The Night of May by Rimsky-Korsakov and Lucrezia Borgia by Donizetti at the Teatro Comunale of  Bologna, Wozzeck by Gurlitt and The Maid of Orleans by Tchaikovsky at the Teatro Regio of Turin and La Cenerentola, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and The Italian in Algiers, all by Rossini, at the Rome Opera. Other appearances have been secured at the Verona Philharmonic Theatre, the Teatro Comunale of Modena, Ferrara, Amela, Narni, Terni, Cesena, Fano as well as the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, Gran Teatre Liceu in Barcelona and Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville. She has also been a guest of important opera festivals in Tuscany, Pesaro, Wildbad, Dordrecht, Belgium, Wexford (Ireland), La Coruña and Strasbourg.

Throughout her career, Bienkowska has collaborated with many different conductors and raised an extensive discography, to include Rossini’s Matilde di Shabran (Bongiovanni), Elizabeth, Queen of England (Bongiovanni), and The Touchstone (Naxos), Massenet’s Sapho (Fone), Mosca’s The Italian Girl in Algiers (Bongiovanni) and Mercadante’s La Vestale (Naxos). She even recorded  Rossini’s La Gazzetta and Verdi’s Nabucco on DVD.

Agata Bienkowska is a professor of singing at the Vincenzo Bellini Conservatory of Palermo, and holds master classes for singers. In 2011, she set up her school of singing within the Fondazione Teatro della Fortuna, which she currently directs. She is at present reading for a doctorate of musical arts at the University of Music of Gdansk.

Agata Bienkowska’s debuting at the Aurora, as Meg Page.