MERIDIAN — About the artist
Growing up in the historic Ukrainian city of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Pavel Baransky had absolutely no thought of becoming an opera singer.
"I used to listen to lots of classical music, but I wasn't fond of it; I didn't understand it," Baransky said.
Pop music was his thing, despite the fact that his parents were active in the sphere of classical music. His father, Volodymyr Alekseyevich Baransky, the director of a boys' college, where he teaches conducting and music theory, is gifted with a tenor voice; his mother, Vera Pylypivna Baranska, is a choir singer with a lyric dramatic soprano voice.
Arranging music for pop was his specialty for several years, as well as performing in a band. At age 19, Baransky, as he describes it, "suddenly began to listen to a lot of classical music."
When a family friend, baritone Mykola Dubchiy, arrived in Kamianets-Podilskyi to teach at the college and heard young Baransky sing, he declared he should be singing baritone roles in opera.
"He said you have to go to study at the conservatory," Baransky said. "That was the new day of my life and my career."
For the next five years, Baransky studied, beginning with lessons from Dubchiy and proceeding to studies with National Artist of Ukraine Professor Mykola Kondratiuk at the National Academy of Music in Kyiv. He later became a member of the Opera Studio of the Zurich Opera.
In 2000, Baransky won the Grand Prix at the International Competition for Young Singers in Beskov Germany, and was a first prizewinner of the vocal competition in Kiev. In 2003, he became a finalist in the BBC Singer of the World Competition and in Placido Domingo's Operalia Competition.
As principal baritone of the Hamburgische Staatoper in Germany for 2005-07 seasons, he performed a number of leading roles: Prince Yeletsky in "Pique Dame," Ford in "Falstaff," Sharpless in "Madam-Butterfly," Mister Flint in "Billy Budd" and Belcore in "L'Elisir d'Amore," as well as the role of Evgeny Onegin.
He made his Glyndebourne Festival debut with "A Betrothal in a Monastery" in 2006 and also sung in a new work for the Orchestre National de France called, "The Poisoned Garden."
Baransky has worked with conductors, including Vladimir Jurowski, Dmitry Jurowski, Vassily Sinaisky, Eve Queler, Konstjantin Orbelian, Carlo Rizzi, Edo de Waart, Nikolai Alekseev, Alfred Eschwe, Adrian Lucas, Nicholas Kok, Simone Young, Patrick Fournillier, Stefan Soltesz and many others.
"It's exciting for Meridian to have someone of this calibre coming to our town for our local performance," McMurrin said.
Baransky expressed appreciation for the opportunity to perform in Meridian and Hattiesburg.
"I'm grateful to those who invited me to be part of these events. It's a big honor to come to the United States to perform Requiem Brahms and William Walton's Belshazzar's Feast," he said.