Vitalij Kowaljow was born in Ukraine and won the 1999 Plácido Domingo Operalia Competition. His career took on an international dimension in 2003 after he sang the role of Procida in the French version of Les Vêpres siciliennes at the Paris Opera. He boasts a repertoire encompassing some forty roles, from the great basso roles of Verdi, to Wotan and the Wanderer in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, but also including Méphistophélès (Faust), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), the title role in Prince Igor, Pimène (Boris Godunov), and Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin). He sang the role of Wotan at the Salzburg Easter Festival and the Dresden Semperoper under the direction of Christian Thielemann and at Saint Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre under the baton of Valery Gergiev. He has appeared in La forza del destino at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam and the Semperoper in Dresden; Nabucco at Milan’s La Scala, the Verona Arena, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and London’s Royal Opera House; Simon Boccanegra in Munich, San Francisco, Monte Carlo, Vienna (Konzerthaus) and Paris (Théâtre des Champs-Elysées); Iolanta (King René) at the Metropolitan Opera, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Monte Carlo Opera; Lucrezia Borgia (Alfonso) in San Francisco, I Puritani (Giorgio) at the Vienna Staatsoper; Roméo et Juliette (Frère Laurent) at London’s Royal Opera House and in Los Angeles; Aida (Ramphis) at the Verona Arena and the Royal Opera House in London; Macbeth (Banquo) in Washington, Turin and Barcelona; Luisa Miller at Milan’s La Scala; Lucia di Lammermoor (Raimondo) at the Metropolitan Opera. More recently, he sang the roles of Créon (Médée) and Veit Pogner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) in Salzburg, Zaccaria in Dresden and Zurich, King René at the Metropolitan Opera and the Palau de les Arts in Valencia, Ramphis at La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera, Pimène at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva, and the Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlo) at the Paris Opera.