|Year of Birth:||1941|
Paul Plishka (born August 28, 1941) is an American operatic bass.
Plishka comes from Old Forge, Pennsylvania, and Paterson, New Jersey; his parents were American-born children of Ukrainian immigrants. He studied at Montclair State College and with Armen Boyajian (also the pedagogue of Marisa Galvany, Harry Theyard, Samuel Ramey, and Eric Owens), and made his operatic debut with the Paterson Lyric Opera, in 1961.
Plishka made his formal debut with the Metropolitan Opera as the Monk in La Gioconda, in 1967. He became one of the company's leading basses, and has appeared in many other theatres, including the Teatro alla Scala and the New York City Opera (I puritani, 1981). He retired from the Metropolitan Opera after playing the Sacristan in Tosca, on the Saturday broadcast on January 28, 2012. He had performed at the Metropolitan Opera for forty-five years and in 1,642 performances, placing him at number ten on their official list of most-frequent performers, which dates back to the company's inception in 1883. There was a special tribute after Act I on stage, and on the air during the intermission. In 2016 he was invited back to the Metropolitan Opera for five post-retirement performances as Benoît and Alcindoro in La bohème in April and May of that year, and 10 more in November, December, and January in the 2016/2017 season.
At La Scala, the bass appeared in La damnation de Faust (Concert Version, with Nicolai Gedda, 1975), Boris Godunov (as Pimenn, conducted by Claudio Abbado, 1981), Anna Bolena (a revival of the Luchino Visconti production, 1982), I lombardi (1986), Nabucco (conducted by Riccardo Muti, 1988), Turandot (with Ghena Dimitrova, 1988 and 1989), and I Capuleti e i Montecchi (1988 and 1989). His last performance with the company was in 1992, in the Verdi Requiem.