Pavlo Balakin is one of the most outstanding opera soloists of his generation in Estonia today.
Pavlo’s first music degree is from the jazz saxophone class of the Donetsk Music Academy in Ukraine (2006). Thereafter the Ukrainian born bass studied singing at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre with Prof Mati Palm. In addition, he has worked regularly with a number of great coaches, among them Richard Barker, Roberta Ferrari, Kristina Vavolo, Kristin Okerlund and Jeffrey Goldberg. Between 2002-2008 Pavlo sang in the chorus of the Ukrainian National Opera and between 2008-2013 in the chorus of the Estonian National Opera. Besides, he sang many bass solo roles until being officially hired as a soloist by the Estonian National Opera in 2013.
In 2016, Pavlo Balakin made his debut in Italy – singing the title role of Attila in Verdi’s “Attila” at Teatro Massimo di Palermo – and continued during the summer as Dottore Grenvil in the production of “La Traviata” at Opera di Firenze. In 2017, his main roles include the title role in Verdi’s “Attila” and Hermann in Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” at Teatro La Fenice; Ramfis in “Aida” and Provost marshal in Hindemith’s “Cardillac” at the Estonian National Opera; as well as singing in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Estonia and Israel.
In Autumn 2017 he will debut in the Den Jyske Opera in Denmark as Dulcamara in their new production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and in February 2018 he looks forward to his debut performance in the same role at the Lviv National Opera Theatre in his homeland Ukraine.
In addition to the previously mentioned, Pavlo’s repertoire includes smaller and bigger soloist roles, such as Méphistophélès (Gounod’s “Faust”), Enrico (“Anna Bolena”), Daland (“The Flying Dutchman”), Ptolemy (Händel’s “Julius Caesar”), Monterone (“Rigoletto”), Count Horn (“Un ballo in maschera”), Surin (Tchaikovsky’s “The Queen of Spades”), Boriss and Pimen (Mussorgsky’s ”Boriss Godunov”) and Salieri (Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Mozart and Salieri”, concert performance).
Pavlo Balakin is also highly valued as an oratorio and chamber music soloist, having performed bass parts in J. S. Bach’s “St John Passion” and “St Matthew’s Passion”, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, Verdi’s “Requiem”, Mozart’s “Requiem”, Mendelssohn’s “Elias”, Strauss’ “Deutsche Motette”, Rossini’s “Petite messe solennelle”, Mussorgsky’s “Songs and Dances of Death” and “Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarotti” by Shostakovich.
Pavlo Balakin has worked with many renowned conductors, among them Daniel Oren, Riccardo Frizza, Omer Meir Wellber, Fabrizio Maria Carminati, Eri Klas, Andres Mustonen, Vello Pähn, Arvo Volmer; and with numerous highly acclaimed directors, such as Dmitry Bertman, Daniel Slater, Daniele Abbado, Calixto Bieito, Georg Rootering, Pamela Recinella, Vilppu Kiljunen, Andreis Zagars and Tobias Kratzer to name a few.
In 2013, Pavlo Balakin won the Annual Estonian Theatre Award “Crystal Shoe” for his mature interpretation of Méphistophélès in Gounod’s “Faust”.