Rafał Bartmiński graduated from the Vocal and Drama Faculty of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, having studied under Professor Eugeniusz Sąsiadek. He won third prize at the 11th International Ada Sari Vocal Artistry Competition in Nowy Sącz, Poland as well as second prize and a few additional awards at the 6th International Stanisław Moniuszko Competition in Warsaw in 2007. He started a busy performing career already as a student.
He made his stage debut singing Lensky in Maciej Prus’s production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Oneging at the Polish National Opera in 2002. Further engagements at the Teatr Wielki followed. To-date he has sang the following tenor roles in Warsaw: Tamino in Mozart’s Magic Flute, Jontek in Moniuszko’s Halka and Stefan in The Haunted Manor by the same composer, Ismaele in Verdi’s Nabucco, Boris in Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová, Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Madwoman in Britten’s Curlev River, Duke of Mantua in Verdi’s Rigoletto, and Tamburmajor in Berg’s Wozzeck. The latter was also his debut at the Bolshoi in Moscow in a production by Dmitr Tcherniakov under Teodor Currentzis.
Highlights include Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (Wrocław Opera), Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Wrocław Opera, Kraków Opera), Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata (Podlasie Opera, Latvian Opera), Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème, Wacław in Statkowski’s Maria (Wexford Opera Festival), and Shepherd in Szymanowski’s King Roger (Wrocław Opera, Oper Wiesbaden, Teatro Real in Madrid, Opéra Bastille in Paris, Opernhaus Wuppertal), Don José in Bizet’s Carmen (Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic – European Arts Centre in Białystok), Števa in Janáček’s Jenůfa (Poznań Opera House), Grigoriy (Dmitry) in MussorgskY’s Boris Godunov (Poznań Opera House).
Mr Bartmiński is also a frequent guest on concert stages. He sang leading tenor parts in Krzysztof Penderecki’s oratorios Te deum, Kosmogonia, and Credo (CD, Warsaw Philharmonic under Antoni Wit) as well as Seven Gates of Jerusalem and Polish requiem (with the MDR Sinfonieorchester, Leipzig; with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Bronfman Auditorium, Tel Aviv, Municipal Auditorium, Haifa, International Convention Centre, Jerusalem). He also performed Credo under Valery Gergiev at the composer’s 80th birthday gala. He sang Verdi’s Messa di requiem (International Sacred Music in Riga; Ljubljana Festival), Mahler’s 8th Symphony (The Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion under Noam Sheriff), Szymanowski’s Harnasie (Théâtre du Châtelet), Missa solemnis (NOSPR under Jerzy Semkow), Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Warsaw Philharmonic under Stanisław Skrowaczewski), and Handel’s Messiah. He performed Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 3 – The Song of the Night with: the Warsaw Philharmonic under Antoni Wit (DVD), the Sinfonieorchester des Bayreischen Rudfunks in Munich and Cologne under Mariss Jansons (CD), and the Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE in Madrid under Hannu Lintu.
He collaborates on a regular basis with most Polish orchestras, including the Warsaw Philharmonic, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR), Simfonia Varsovia, Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, excellent conductors, such as Gabriel Chmura, Teodor Currentzis, Miguel Gomez-Martinez, Tomas Hanus, Mariss Jansons, Jacek Kaspszyk, Hannu Lintu, Marc Minkowski, Tadeusz Wojciechowski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Andrzej Straszyński, Antoni Wit, Tadeusz Wojciechowski, Alberto Zedda, Andriy Yurkevych, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Marcin Nałęcz-Niesiołowski, Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk, Tomasz Radziwonowicz, and prominent directors: David Alden, Dmitri Tcherniakov, Mariusz Treliński, Jakob Messer, Michał Znaniecki, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Tomasz Konina, Andrzej Domalik, Krzysztof Zanussi, Krystyna Janda, Alvis Hermanis, Ivan Vyrypaev.
He has recorded Weinberg’s Symphony No. 8 ‘Polish Flowers’, Penderecki’s Credo and Kosmogonia, Moniuszko’s Masses (Fryderyk Award, 2009), Tasman’s Psalms, Lutosławski’s Vocal-Instrumental Works, Verdi’s Falstaff, Dobrzyński’s Monbar, czyli Flibustierowie, Koperski’s Missa solemnis ex B, and Pasquale Anfossi’s Oratorio la morte di San Filippo Neri (Złoty Orfeusz Award, 2015).
Rafał Bartmiński has also made two acting appearances: in Sesja castingowa, a television play directed by Krzysztof Zanussi, and Maria Callas master class directed by Andrzej Domalik opposite Krystyna Janda. As an active propagator of Stanisław Moniuszko’s oeuvre he was presented by Maria Fołtyn with Małe Berło, and award of the Fundacja Kultury Polskiej (Foundation for Polish Culture).
(photo: artist’s archive)