Max Emanuel Cencic
Max Emanuel Cencic is one of the most fascinating and versatile singing artists in the world today, and one dedicated to the revival and performance of the music of the 18th century.
For the season 2019/2020 there are exciting projects coming up. Max will have his house debut at La Scala Milan in Händel’s Semele. In Badischen Staatstheater Karslsruhe he will direct Händel’s Serse and sing the role of Arsamene. Also coming up is a new production of Hasse’s Irene, where he is seen in the role of Nicefero. He will perform the titleroles in Händel’s Orlando and Arminio plus in Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso and Vinci’s Gismondo re di Polonia. Furthermore, he will sing the challenging role of Malcom in his production of Rossini’s La Donna del Lago in Zagreb, Vienna’s Theater an der Wien and at the Saarema festival in Estonia. A further highlight is Max’s return in November 2019 as Polinesso in Händel’s Ariodante at the Wiener Staatsoper.
With his remarkable mezzo-soprano voice, Max Emanuel Cencic demonstrates that Baroque singing can be both technically brilliant and at the same time modern and emotionally engaging. For over two decades he has been performing in first rank opera houses, including the Wiener Staatsoper, Theater an der Wien, the Opernhaus Zürich, the Opéra Royal de Versailles, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, Barcelona’s Gran Teatro del Liceu, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris and Brussels’ La Monnaie.
Concert engagements have taken him to the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Carnegie Hall (New York), the Barbican Center (London), Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Wiener Musikverein and Wiener Konzerthaus, and the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. In addition, he has sung at numerous festivals worldwide including the renowned Salzburger Festpiele. He regularly works with such conductors as William Christie, René Jacobs, Ottavio Dantone, Diego Fasolis, George Petrou, Emmanuelle Haïm and Riccardo Muti. His education as a singer began as a member of the Wiener Saengerknaben (Vienna Boys’ Choir), with a solo career as a soprano from 1992, and as a counter-tenor from 2001.
On 21st September 2017, Max Emanuel Cencic celebrated the 35th anniversary of his first appearance on stage, with a performance of Orfeo in Gluck‘s Orfeo ed Euridice.
Max Emanuel Cencic entrances his audiences with his numerous projects, opera productions, CD recordings, and extensive tours. TV-stations such as Mezzo TV and Arte Concert have also documented several of his outstanding performances, including his revelatory presentation of Handel’s Alessandro (2012). As Artistic Director of Parnassus Arts Productions he is responsible for the conception, supervision and performance of important works of the Italian Baroque, among them the sensational re-discovery of Leonardo Vinci’s last opera, Artaserse, and, more recently, Arminio. As in its premiere in 1730 in Rome, this new production, performed with an all-male cast (including five counter-tenors), was widely praised, both in its live performances and on disc: it received ECHO Klassik awards in 2013 and 2014, the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik and the Diapason d‘or, and was nominated for a Grammy. His inspired revival of Vinci’s opera Catone in Utica, with four counter-tenors in the cast, was equally successful, both on stage and as a CD recording. The CD Ottone with Max Emanuel Cencic in title role has been nominated for a Grammy.
His solo-recordings are every bit as riveting: with Venezia he charmed audiences and critics alike with highlights from Venetian opera, while the CD Rokoko contained a fascinating compilation of arias from the extended and virtually unknown opus of Johann Adolph Hasse. Max Emanuel Cencic’s most recent, critically acclaimed CD, Arie Napoletane, is dedicated to masterpieces of the Neapolitan school. His wide-ranging discography includes several world premiere recordings and has received a number of awards, among them the Diapason d’Or, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and Croatia’s Porin Prize. His discs have been “Editor’s Choice” in Gramophone magazine on several occasions. Another highlight is his European tour with solo concerts Porpora in Paris, Halle, Toulouse and many other cities. On the occasion of the 250th death anniversary of composer Nicola Antonio Porpora, he recorded this program on CD which was rewarded with the prestigious Diapason D’or award.
The French Ministry of Culture has made him a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Max Emanuel Cencic has become in the meantime also an acknowledged international director. His live production of Hasse’s Siroe toured all over Europe and was released on CD by Decca. At the Händel festival in Karlsruhe in 2016 and 2017, he undertook the double role of lead singer and director of Händel’s opera Armino and for 2019 and 2020 he will direct Händel’s Serse and sing Arsamene. His 2019 Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele production of the rarely played opera Polifemo (Porpora) at the Felsenreitschule, where he also sang the role of Ulisse, was highly critically acclaimed. New productions in the upcoming years are Rossini’s Tancredi, Mozart’s Magic Flute and Mitridate, Re di Ponte, Händel’s Amadigi and Carlo il Calvo by Porpora.
From September 2020 Max Emanuel Cencic is the artistic director of the Bayreuth Baroque Opera Festival.