Described as a ‘honeyed bass-baritone’ with ‘a lively voice with strong textures and tonal definition’ and ‘surely a Fine Figaro and Leporello in waiting’, young British Bass-Baritone of Serbian descent, Božidar Smiljanić, is steadily being recognised as a singer of international quality. He is a member of the ensemble at Oper Frankfurt where his roles in the 2018/19 season will include Garibaldo in Claus Guth’s new staging of Rodelinda, Elviro (Xerxes) under Constantinos Carydis, Sprecher (Die Zauberflöte), Hunter/Gamekeeper (Rusalka), and Zuniga in Barrie Kosky’s Carmen.
Božidar made his professional debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Captain (Eugene Onegin) under Omer Meir Wellber and returned as Masetto (Don Giovanni) on the Glyndebourne Tour last season. In his first freelance season, Božidar debuted at Garsington Opera as Haly (L’italiana in Algeri) under David Parry, and at Scottish Opera as Schaunard (La Bohème). Following his debut at English National Opera last season as a Harewood Artist (The Marquis in Daniel Kramer’s new production of La Traviata), Božidar continues there this season as Schaunard.
A regular on the concert platform, Božidar has already debuted with Bamberger Symphoniker under Jakub Hrůša (Masetto), the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under John Nelson (Brander in Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust), and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under John Wilson (Sullivan’s Yeoman of the Guard). Božidar reunites with Wilson and the CBSO again this season for Belshazzar’s Feast, and joins Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel for Handel’s Messiah.
Božidar studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he received the Principal’s Prize for exceptional all-round studentship. With the support of a full scholarship, he trained at the Academy for four years under Professor Mark Wildman and Iain Ledingham. Božidar’s highly-lauded student performances included the title role in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, The Mayor in Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night, many Cantatas by JS Bach including BWV 82: Ich habe genug, BWV 56: Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen and BWV 158: Der Friede sei mit dir and wide selection of song and oratorio repertoire.
Božidar was born and raised in London and gained a degree in Law at the University of Nottingham before embarking on a performance career.
Božidar’s studies at the Royal Academy of Music were supported by the generosity of numerous benefactors and trusts. He is most heartily grateful for all the support he received from the Robert Easton Award, the Charles Mackerras Opera Scholarship, the Matthew & Sally Ferrey Scholarship, the Friends of Clumber Music Studio, the Leverhulme Trust, the Fishmonger’s Company, interested persons in Lincoln, Help Musicians UK (Ian Fleming Award), the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Josephine Baker Trust.
1, 3, 7, 10, 15, 23 Mar; 4 Apr 2019
Oper Frankfurt – Opernhaus, Frankfurt
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Saturday 6 April 2019, 7.00pm
CBSO Chorus & University of Birmingham Voices
John Wilson – Conductor
BOŽIDAR SMILJANIĆ – Bass-Baritone
Sunday 14th April 2019 – 8PM – Kölner Philharmonie, Köln, Germany
Trevor Pinnock: Dirigent
Kate Royal: Sopran
Claudia Huckle: Alt
Oliver Johnston: Tenor
BOŽIDAR SMILJANIĆ: Bass