Paulo Szot is one of the most acclaimed and versatile baritones in the world, having garnered international acclaim as an opera singer, an award winning musical theatre star, a consummate concert performer and an actor.
Paulo Szot was born in São Paulo and raised in Ribeirão Pires, Brazil. He began his musical training at the age of five, first studying piano and later adding violin and dance. Szot studied at Jagiellonian University in Poland, the country from which his parents had emigrated following World War II. He began singing professionally in 1990 with the Polish National song and dance ensemble Slask, and he made his operatic debut in a production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Teatro Municipal de São Paulo. He has gone on to appear with most major opera companies throughout the world in Europe, the United States, Australia and Brazil.
In 2008, Szot was cast as Emile De Beque in the Broadway revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theatre, directed by Bartlett Sher. He was awarded the Tony Award, Drama Desk, Outer Critic’s Circle and Theater World Awards for his portrayal, becoming the first Brazilian actor to receive such honors.
No stranger to the cabaret stage, Szot appeared in concert in the Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center as part of the American Songbook Series, and several times at New York City’s famous 54 Below and Café Carlyle for a series of critically acclaimed solo performances. In concert, he appeared with the New York Philharmonic alongside Liza Minnelli in a concert conducted by Marvin Hamlisch, and made his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops Orchestra in a program of Lerner and Lowe. He performed a solo recital at Teatro Real de Madrid as a salute to Frank Sinatra’s recordings of Antonio Jobim’s bossa novas, and played the Ravinia Festival in concert with Kelli O’Hara. This year he will sing Bernstein’s Mass with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival and with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at the Royal Festival Hall in London, conducted by Marin Alsop.
Szot sang the title role in Eugene Onegin at Opera Australia in 2014. Favourite opera performances have included Don Alfonso in a new production of Cosi fan tutte at the Opera National de Paris, the title role in Don Giovanni at Dallas Opera and Washington National Opera, Lescaut in Manon Lescaut at Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at the Michigan Opera Theatre and the Aix-en-Provence Festival in Bahrain, Dr Falke in Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan Opera, and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at Opera Municipal de Marseille. Szot sang Lescaut in Manon at the Metropolitan Opera, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro for his debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Escamillo in Carmen at the Glyndebourne Festival and for his debut at San Francisco Opera. He also created the roles of Alexander Hamilton, Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney in the world premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s The New Prince at Dutch National Opera. This season he also played Frank Mourrant in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene at the Teatro Real in Madrid.