A pioneer of the countertenor voice in Poland, Jakub Józef Orliński has become a rising star of international opera in the 2010s. He has made critically acclaimed appearances in the U.S. and Germany, and released a debut solo album, Anima Sacra.
Orliński was born in Warsaw on December 8, 1990. When young, he sang in the newly formed boychoir Gregorianum and got a taste of international touring with that group. Orliński attended the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and went on for a master's degree there, studying vocal performance with Anna Radziejewska. Landing a spot in one of Poland's top young artist programs, that at the Grand Theater in Warsaw, Orliński went on for a second graduate degree at he Juilliard School in New York, receiving his diploma in 2017; his teacher there was Edith Wiens. Important roles began to earn Orliński major international attention; he performed in Polish productions of Handel's Agrippina (as Narciso) and John Blow's Venus and Adonis. A sojourn in Germany, during which he played Ruggiero in Handel's Alcina at the Theater Aachien and gave a Purcell song recital at the Leipzig Opera, helped spread his name beyond Poland, as did several major first-place finishes in U.S. vocal competitions, including those at the Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. These led to important roles, focusing on Handel, in the 2017 and 2018 seasons: Ottone in Agrippina at Carnegie Hall with La Serenissima; Handel's Messiah with the Oratorio Society of New York; Jonathan Dove's Flight with the Juilliard Opera; the title role in Handel's Rinaldo at the Frankfurt Opera, and sacred works by Handel and Vivaldi at the Karlsruhe Handel Festival in Germany. A widely publicized video recording of Vivaldi's "Vedrò con mio diletto" (from the opera Giustino, RV 717), released on the France Musique YouTube channel, made the charismatic young countertenor an internet star. Orliński made his recital debut at London's Wigmore Hall in the 2017-2018 season, and in 2018 he released Anima Sacra, an album of little-known, 18th century, sacred arias, with the Italian historical-performance orchestra Il Pomo d'Oro. In addition to his busy operatic schedule, Orliński finds time to maintain his championship-level breakdancing skills; he is a member of the breakdancing group Skill Fantastikz Crew. ~ James Manheim