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George Gagnidze (Georgian: გიორგი გაგნიძე) is a Georgian operatic baritone specializing in the Italian dramatic repertoire. He has performed at New York's Metropolitan Opera every season since 2008/09, including playing Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto.
Gagnidze was born in Tbilisi and trained at the State Conservatory of his hometown.
He made his debut as Renato in Giuseppe Verdi's Un ballo in maschera at the Paliashvili State Opera in 1996. As an award-winner of the “Leyla Gencer Voice Competition” and the “Elena Obraztsova Competition”, he entered and won the “Concorso Voci Verdiane” chaired by Katia Ricciarelli and José Carreras in 2005.
Following engagements in the ensembles of the opera houses of Osnabrück, and Weimar in 2008 Gagnidze performed the role of Scarpia in Giacomo Puccini's Tosca with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Lorin Maazel at Avery Fisher Hall (renamed David Geffen Hall in 2015) at Lincoln Center in New York City. Anthony Tommasini praised his performance in The New York Times: “The Georgian baritone George Gagnidze was an exceptionally menacing Scarpia, singing with robust, earthy power and seductive lyricism when the villain turns on the charm”.
Gagnidze made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2009 in the title role of Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto. He performed Scarpia in Luc Bondy's new production of Tosca conducted by James Levine in 2009, including a performance that was broadcast in HD in cinemas around the world.He has since returned to the Met as the protagonist of Verdi's Macbeth, Alfio in Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, Tonio in Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci and Šakovlity in Modest Mussorgsky's Hovanščina. In 2013 he participated in another HD cinema broadcast of Tosca at the Met.