The young bass Marcell Bakonyi was born in Györ, Hungary, in 1980. From 1999 to 2002
he studied voice at the Leo Weiner Conservatory in Budapest. He continued his studies
with Julia Hamari and Cornelis Witthoeft at the Academy for Music and Drama in Stuttgart,
where he passed his diploma with distinction in 2007.
In 2003, Marcell Bakonyi was choosen to take part at the International Schlossfestspiele
Rheinsberg, a developement programme for up and coming young singers. In 2004, the
young bass was granted a scholarship from the Richard Wagner association, and in
2006 he was the winner of the International Classic Mania Competition`s special prize
in Vienna. In 2011, Marcell Bakonyi was awarded the 1st prize at the International
Rolando Nicolosi Competition in Rome, and the special prize at the Marcello Giordani
Competition in Catania.
Concurrently with his studies, he appeared at the Pforzheim Theatre and at the Heidelberg
Theatre, followed by the role of Der Träumer in the world premiere of M. Heeb’s opera
‘Papa’ for Stuttgart State Opera’s ‘Junge Oper’ in 2007. Within the Academy of the
Rossini Festival Pesaro 2007, Marcell Bakonyi sang Lord Sidney in Il Viaggio a Reims
under the baton of Alberto Zedda.
In the 2008-09 Season, Marcell was a member of the Zurich Opera Studio, where he
appeared in roles such as Fafner (Siegfried) and Alberich (Rheingold) in a version
for children of Wagner`s Ring Cycle, and as the Steuermann in the premiere of Tristan
und Isolde for the Zurich Opera.
2009-10 to 2012-13, Marcell was a member of the Landestheater Salzburg where he performed
a wide range of roles: Bartolo and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Kaspar in Der Freischütz,
Angelotti in Tosca, Bacco in Arianna, a baroque opera by B. Marcello, Dulcamara in
L‘Elisir d’Amore, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Grenvil in La Traviata, Alidoro in La
Cenerentola, Don Alfonso in Mozart`s Cosi fan tutte and Il re di Scozia in Handel`s
As a guest soloist the young bass has appeared at renowned venues: at the Schwetzingen
Festival 2009 he sang with great success the part of Varo in Handel`s opera Ezio
(director: Günter Krämer, conductor: Attilio Cremonesi). In 2010, Marcell Bakonyi
appeared at the International Davos Festival as Joachim Ziemssen in the world première
of Gregory Vajda’s opera Der Zauberberg, and at the Herrenchiemsee Festspiele as
the Second ArmouredMan in The Magic Flute under the baton of Enoch zu Guttenberg
in 2010 and 2011, followed by a revival at the Munich Prinzregententheater in 2013-14.
Engagements in 2011-12 included his debut at the Budapest State Opera as Il Endre
in Ferenc Erkel´s opera Bánk Bán followed by the part of Pietro in Simon Boccanegra.
He made his debut at the Oslo Norske Opera as Antinoo in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno
d´Ulisse in patria under the baton of Alessandro De Marchi, and his USA debut as
the Speaker in The Magic Flute at Crested Butte Festival, Colorado, where he sang
Sarastro in a concert performance of The Magic Flute as well. In 2012-13, Marcell
appeared as Kaspar in Der Freischütz at the Stadttheater Giessen (Conductor: Michael
Hofstetter; Director: Nigel Lowery), and returned to the Budapest State Opera as
Colline in La Bohème, Masetto in Don Giovanni and Pietro in Simon Boccanegra. He
was Nanni in L’Iinfedeltá delusa at the Haydn Festival Schloss Esterházy 2013, and
Publio in Mozart´s La Clemenza di Tito at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music under
the baton of Alessandro De Marchi.
Projects in the 2013-14 Season have included Colline in La Bohème and Leporello in
Don Giovanni at the Oslo Norkse Opera, Colline in La Bohème, Escamillo in Carmen
and Ferrando in Il Trovatore at the Budapest State Opera, the Second Armoured Man
in The Magic Flute at the Opéra de Vichy, and the part of Polifemo in the Handel
pastizzio ‘Duello Amoros’ at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music under Attilio
Cremonesi, staged by Christoph von Bernuth.
Marcell will return to Oslo Norske Opera in 2014-15 and 2014-16 for Leporello alongside
Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, and for Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria under
Alessandro De Marchi.
In oratorio Marcell focuses on Bach`s major Passions as well
as on works by Mozart, Handel and Dvorák, for instance he took part as the bass soloist
in a concert seria with Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in 2007 with the boys choir ‘collegium
juvenum’ and the baroque orchestra L’Arpa Festante under Friedemann Keck. In 2008,
he appeared as Pilatus in J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion at the Herrenchiemsee Festspiele
under Enoch zu Guttenberg. In 2009, he sang Handel’s Messiah with the Klassische
Philharmonie Bonn under Heribert Beissel. In 2010, he appeared in a programme with
Mozart arias at the Munich Philharmonie am Gasteig with the Bach Collegium Munich
to great acclaim, he sang Bruckner’s Mass in F-Minor at the Tonhalle Zurich with
the Musikkollegium Winterthur and the Gemischter Chor Zurich under Joachim Krause,
and the bass-arias in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion under Enoch zu Guttenberg with the
Hofer Symphoniker. In 2011-12, he sang Verdi´s Requiem with the Brussels Choral Society
at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels under Bartholomeus-Henri Van De Velde. Concert
highlights in 2014-15 are Dvoráks Stabat Mater with the Hungarian Radio Symphony,
and Bach’s Mass in B minor under Alessandro De Marchi at the Innsbruck Festival of
Early Music. Plans for 2016 include for instance the role of Gazna in Schubert’s
oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw as a part of the