Brazilian tenor Atalla Ayan has quickly established himself as one of the most sought after tenors of his generation, having appeared at such major houses as the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Stuttgart Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opera Australia, San Francisco Opera, and many others. In the 2019/20 season, Ayan appeared as the Singer in Der Rosenkavalier for his debut at the Staatsoper Berlin. He began the season with his return to the Paris Opera and Semperoper Dresden as Alfredo in La Traviata and to Den Norske Opera in Oslo as Il Duca in Rigoletto. Next season, the tenor will make his debut at the Vienna State Opera as Rodolfo in La Bohème, as well as his debut at the Hamburg State Opera as Alfredo. Ayan will also appear as Alfredo at the Metropolitan Opera and at La Scala and return to Hamburg as Rodolfo.
Born in Belem in the north of Brazil, Ayan developed his love for singing by listening to recordings of Luciano Pavarotti. As a teenager, he was accepted into the Carlos Gomes Conservatory in his native Belem. He sang his first major role at age 21, appearing as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi at the Theatro da Paz in Belem. He made his European debut one year later, appearing as Rodolfo in Graham Vick’s production of La Bohème. It was that same year that he joined the Scuola della Opera Italiana in Bologna, where he remained for one season. During his year in Bologna, Ayan appeared at the Teatro Comunale as Ruggero in performances of La Rondine conducted by José Cura. In the 2009/10 season, he became a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Development program. In July of 2011, Ayan made a surprise debut with the Metropolitan Opera, singing five arias in the company’s opening Summer Concert in Central Park on less than 24 hours notice. Allan Kozinn of the New York Times said of his Met debut, “he is a find; he has a warm, rounded tone with a quality that calls to mind the young Placido Domingo.”
Ayan’s appearances in the 2010/11 season included the role of Romeo in Romeo et Juliette at the Theatro Municipal in Sao Paulo opposite Sumi Jo, as well as a duo concert with soprano Nino Machaidze marking the re-opening of the Theatro Municipal in Rio. He also joined Ms. Machaidze that season for a gala concert in Prague and appeared in the Georgian soprano’s first recording for SONY, accompanying her in a scene from La Sonnambula. Ayan also appeared as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi at the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste and Gastone in La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, and he held a duo concert with soprano Nathalie Manfrino in Dublin.
Atalla Ayan joined the ensemble of the Stuttgart Opera in the 2011/12 season and has appeared there in many of the roles he often sings internationally. He has also had the opportunity to add new roles to his repertoire, such as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Lensky in Eugene Onegin and the title roles in Faust and Les contes d’Hoffmann. Ayan made his debut with the Glyndebourne Touring Opera as Rodolfo in David McVicar’s production of La Bohème. Other engagements from the 2011/12 season included Alfred in Die Fledermaus and Don Ottavio at Staatstheater Stuttgart and Ein Sänger at the Grand Théâtre de Geneve.
In 2013, Ayan made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Ruggero in La Rondine. Engagements from the 2012/13 season also included his first Alfredo in La Traviata, conducted by Fabio Luisi, for his debut at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova. Ayan returned to Covent Garden as Don Ottavio and made his debut at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari as Alfredo. He also performed as Ein Sänger at Semperoper Dresden and as Rodolfo at the Theatro Municipal de Sao Paulo. In June of 2014, Ayan made his debut at the Cologne Opera as Nemorino. He also partnered with Angela Gheorghiu in concerts in Prague, Hamburg and Versailles.
Ayan’s engagements from the 2014/15 season included Alfredo at Staatstheater Stuttgart and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Ruggero at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Il Duca and Ismaele at the Staatstheater Stuttgart, and Rodolfo at the Staatstheater Stuttgart, Semperoper Dresden, and for his debut at the Dutch National Opera. In the 2015/16 season, he sang Nemorino for his debut at the Teatro alla Scala, Rodolfo at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hungarian State Opera, Staatstheater Stuttgart and Royal Swedish Opera, Alfredo at the Norwegian National Opera, Il Duca at the Staatstheater Stuttgart, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Cologne Opera, and Ein Sänger in Der Rosenkavalier at the Royal Swedish Opera.
In the 2016/17 season, Ayan sang Alfredo and Christian in Cyrano de Bergerac at the Metropolitan Opera, Alfredo at Covent Garden and the Glyndebourne Festival, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore at the Bavarian State Opera, the title role in Faust, Lensky in Eugene Onegin and Ismaele in Nabucco at the Staatstheater Stuttgart, and Rodolfo in La Bohème at the Cologne Opera. Three significant debuts took place in the 2017/18 season: at the Paris Opera as Rodolfo, at the San Francisco Opera as Alfredo, and his first Des Grieux in Manon at the Cologne Opera. He also returned to Covent Garden as Rodolfo and ended the season with his debut at Opera Australia as Il Duca in Rigoletto.
Ayan began the 2018/19 season with his debut at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires as Rodolfo, a role which he also sang at the Bavarian State Opera and for his debut with the Canadian Opera Company. He debuted in the title role of Les contes d’Hoffmann in Stuttgart and returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with Placido Domingo. In the same season, Ayan performed in Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and appeared as Alfredo at the Munich Opera Festival.