Vitalij Kowaljow has in recent years established a name for himself as a leading bass in the world of opera. Among the more than 40 roles that he has performed onstage are Filippo II (Don Carlo), Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra), Zaccaria (Nabucco), Banco (Macbeth), Ramfis (Aida), Barbarossa (La battaglia di Legnano), Procida (I vespri siciliani), Padre Guardiano (La forza del destino), Walter (Luisa Miller), the title role in Attila, Caspar (Der Freischütz), Wotan and the Wanderer in Wagner’s Ring, Méphistophélès (Faust), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte) and Russian roles such as Prince Igor, Pimen (Boris Godunov) and Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin).
Vitalij Kowaljow made his United States debut as Baldassare (La favorita) with the Opera Orchestra of New York and since then has appeared regularly at the Metropolitan Opera as well as in San Francisco, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. In Europe he has performed with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Paris Opéra, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Vienna State Opera and La Scala, Milan.
Vitalij Kowaljow made his acclaimed role debut as Wotan and the Wanderer in a new production of the Ring under James Conlon in Los Angeles in 2010. On the strength of this success, Daniel Barenboim invited him to open La Scala’s 2011/12 season as Wotan in Die Walküre. Other career highlights have included Wotan (Die Walküre) under Christian Thielemann at the 2017 Salzburg Easter Festival, Wotan and the Wanderer under Valery Gergiev at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Zaccaria (Nabucco) at La Scala, at the Arena di Verona, at the Bavarian State Opera, at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and at Covent Garden, Frère Laurent (Roméo et Juliette) at Covent Garden and in Los Angeles, Ramfis at the Arena di Verona and at Covent Garden and Banco in Washington, under Gianandrea Noseda in Turin and at the Liceu in Barcelona.
Vitalij Kowaljow’s most recent successes include Pogner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) under Thielemann at the 2019 Salzburg Easter Festival, King René (Iolanta) at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia and at the Met, Pimen at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor) at the Met and Wotan and the Wanderer under Thielemann at the Dresden Semperoper.