Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu made his Royal Opera debut in 2007 as Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), and returned in 2010 to sing Alfredo Germont (La traviata). In the 2014/15 Season he sings Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto) and Shepherd (Król Roger) for The Royal Opera.
Pirgu was born in Elbasan and studied with Vito Brunetti. He made his international debut in 2004 aged 23, singing Ferrando (Così fan tutte) under Claudio Abbado on tour in Ferrara, Emilia Romagna and Modena. Engagements since have included the Duke of Mantua for Zürich Opera and Bavarian State Opera, Alfredo Germont for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, San Francisco Opera, Zürich Opera, Wiener Festwochen, Vienna State Opera and Santa Fe Festival, Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) for La Scala, Milan (also on DVD), Rinuccio for the Metropolitan Opera and in Woody Allen’s production in Los Angeles, Rodolfo (La bohème) for the Liceu, Barcelona, and broadcast on Swiss television, Nemorino for Vienna State Opera and Hamburg State Opera, Tebaldo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi) for San Francisco Opera, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) for Arena di Verona, Vienna State Opera and Hamburg State Opera, Vaudemont (Iolanta) and Paolo (Francesca da Rimini) for Washington National Opera, Ferrando for Salzburg Festival and in Toulouse, Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor) for Los Angeles Opera and Tito (La clemenza di Tito) for Paris Opéra.
Pirgu also performs widely in concert, in repertory including Verdi’s Requiem, Dvorák’s Stabat Mater and Berlioz’s Messe solenelle. He has recorded prolifically on CD and DVD.