Rafal Bartminski was born in 1977 in Lublin. He graduated from the Department of Voice and Instruments in the Music Academy of Karol Szymanowski in Katowice where he studied singing with prof. Eugeniusz Sasiadek. He also took part in several master classes taught by Ryszard Karczykowski, Helena Lazarska and Christian Elsner.
Even during his junior year he was involved in an extensive concert activities. He debuted as Lensky in Eugene Onegin by Peter Tchaikovsky (The Teatr Wielki — Polish National Opera, small stage, 2002). He began his cooperation with Warsaw Chamber Opera as a student and he has been continuously cooperating with The Teatr Wielki — Polish National Opera in Warsaw since 2003. Along with artists of this theatre he performed in Sadler’s Wells in London, the Opera in Vilnus and at Peralada Festival in Spain and in 2005 he went on tour of Japan performing in Salome by Richard Strauss directed by Martin Ottawa.
In 2001 he won the 3rd prize at the 9th Ada Sari International Vocal Artistry Festival And Competition in Nowy Sacz. He was also given the title of “the most promising Polish tenor” at the 4th Stanislaw Moniuszko International Vocal Competition in Warsaw and in 2007 he won the 2nd prize and several extra recognition awards at the 6th edition of the same competition in 2007.
Along with artists of the Polish Opera he went on tour to Austria, Germany and Switzerland in 2003 and 2005, performing Tamino (Die Zauberfloete by Mozart). He debuted in the Teatr Wielki in Poznan in the same part in 2005.
He has been also continuously cooperating with Opera Wroclawska since 2006 and performed as Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore by Donizetti), Sheperd (King Roger by Szymanowski), Gabriel (Paradise Lost by Penderecki), Stefan (The Haunted manor by Moniuszko).
He works with majority of the best polish orchestras and philharmonic halls including the Warsaw Philharmonic, National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, Polish Radio Orchestra, Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Filharmonia Krakowska, Sinfonia Viva. He also participates in most important music festivals in Poland and Europe. Rafal Bartminski had also guest appearance in the television theatre production of Casting session (Sesja castingowa) directed by Krzysztof Zanussi.
He has worked with such great conductors as: Mariss Jansons, Marc Minkowski, Jacek Kaspszyk, Antoni Wit, Gabriel Chmura, Krzysztof Penderecki, Kazimierz Kord, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Tadeusz Wojciechowski, Andrzej Straszynski, Jose Maria Florencio, Alberto Zedda, Ewa Michnik, Michal Dworzynski, Wojciech Michniewski, Lukasz Borowicz.
His greatest concert achievements are: Messiah by Handel, 2006, concert hall of Polish Radio; Wojciech Kilar 75th Anniversary Gala Concert NOSPR, Katowice; Falstaff by Verdi, the concert version (part of Fenton) Polish Radio Orchestra conducted by Lukasz Borowicz at the Polish Radio Orchestra 2007 Season Opening (the concert was broadcasted by the Polish Radio II and recorded); Seven Deadly Sins by Weill conducted by Marc Minkowski with Ute Lemper performing part of Anna at the opening of Sacrum Profanum Festival in Cracow; 3rd Symphony by Szymanowski with Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks conducted by Mariss Jansons (the concerts took place in the Munich Concert Hall and the Cologne Concert Hall and were broadcasted by German radios).
In 2009, he made his Bolshoi Theatre debut as Drum-major (Berg’s Wozzeck).
© Bolshoi Theatre