"Countertenor Cameron Shahbazi created a highly sympathetic lead, using his clear, flexible voice to portray the young, impetuous lover who vacillates between intense ardor and indecision"
SAN DIEGO STORY
Rising countertenor Cameron Shahbazi, praised for his “full, voluminous” voice and “personal and beautiful” timbre (De Trouw), is celebrated for his acclaimed interpretations of both baroque and contemporary music. In 2023, he was awarded the prestigious Opus Klassik Award in the ‘Innovative Concert of the Year’ category for his brainchild entitled “Woman.Life.Freedom.”, a benefit concert at Oper Frankfurt produced in support of human rights in Iran.
The 2023/24 season marks numerous exciting projects for Cameron Shahbazi. He debuts the role of Hamor in Oliver Mears’ new staging of Handel's Jephtha at the Royal Opera House in London, and sees his first performances with the Glyndebourne Festival as Tolomeo in a revival of David McVicar’s groundbreaking staging of Handel’s Giulio Cesare. He adds role of Orfeo to his repertoire in a new production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice for his company debut with Tel Aviv’s Israeli Opera, and makes his house debut at the Linbury Theater in the UK premiere of George Benjamin’s Picture a Day Like This. On the concert stage the countertenor returns to his native Canada to sing Handel’s Messiah with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra at Toronto’s Koerner Hall, and also gives a solo recital with pianist Malcolm Martineau under the auspices of Oper Frankfurt.
Last season, Shahbazi appeared with the Dutch National Opera as Tolomeo in a new production of Giulio Cesare under the baton of Emmanuelle Haïm. He made his company debut with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich as Anfinomo in Il ritorno/The Year of Magical Thinking, a new production of Monteverdi’s opera combined with text by the renowned American writer Joan Didion. At Festival Aix-en-Provence, the countertenor was featured in the world premiere of Picture a Day Like This by George Benjamin, with whom he enjoys a close collaboration. A sought-after concert performer, Shahbazi sang Carl Orff's Carmina Burana with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal in Versailles, and George Benjamin’s acclaimed Dream of the Song for countertenor and female chorus with the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne. Following the invitation to the Leipzig Bach Festival, the countertenor paid tribute to the genius composer in a grand open-air gala alongside Lang Lang, Daniel Hope, and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig.
Highlights of recent seasons include his debut at Oper Frankfurt as Oberon in a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and his involvement at Internationale Handel-Festspiele Karlsruhe where he took on the title role in Tolomeo, re d’Egitto in a production by Benjamin Lazar. In 2021, Shahbazi gave his Russian debut as Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare with the Moscow Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Christopher Moulds. His portrayal of First Angel/Boy in George Benjamin's opera Written on Skin at Oper Köln under François-Xavier Roth earned the countertenor unanimous critical acclaim. Also in Cologne, the countertenor sang Guildenstern in a new production of composer Brett Dean's Hamlet under the baton of Duncan Ward. As an associate artist of the Dutch National Opera Studio in the 2019/20 season, he created the role of Sergey Diaghilev in Willem Jeth’s new opera Ritratto, which was one of The Guardian’s top picks of opera and classical concerts to watch during the first COVID-19 lockdown. Further performances include the role of Disinganno in Handel's Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno at Theater Aachen, and the title role in Cavalli’s Il Giasone for Opera NEO.
Cameron Shahbazi has received distinguished international honors such as the Sylva Gelber Award (2021), the Walter Prsytawski Prize (2021) and the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Award (2019). He was a finalist at the 2019 Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition, was awarded the Royal Opera House Covent Garden Prize at the 2018 International Belvedere Competition, Second Prize at Innsbruck’s Cesti Competition in 2018, and top prizes at the 2017 Opéra Avignon Jeunes Espoirs Competition.
Hamilton-born, Shahbazi is an alumnus of the University of Toronto and Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and a grateful recipient of grants from the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation and Staetshuys Fonds.
© CSAM GmbH, August 2023