In his WNO debut, the baritone George Gagnidze was a commanding presence both musically and dramatically, whose performance helps one understand why Verdi and Boito initially planned to call their opera Iago. From the frantic energy of the Act I drinking song, to his shattering interpretation of the iconic “Credo,” to the calculated guile of his conversations with Otello, Gagnidze was everything that one could have hoped for in this most complex of Shakespearean villains.
Richard Giarusso, DC Theatre Scene
There were also two respectable debuts. George Gagnidze was a solid baritone who powered out the role of Iago (…)…. perfectly operatic and effective.”
Anne Midgette, The Washington Post
The protagonist of Iago, vital pillar of this opera, was sung by George Gagnidze who remained conistent in his vocal and scenic power, a baritone with a full, round timbre and compelling stage presence.
Esperanza Berrocal, Ópera Actual
“Somehow, these three, while following Shakespeare’s plot, round it out in their finest moments, especially Georgian baritone George Gagnidze as Iago, who renders his nihilistic “Credo” with such vehemence and violence that it clarifies the character beyond merely, in Shakespeare’s words, that “I hate the Moor.”
Gary Tischler, The Georgetowner
“In a city full of dastardly characters, ranking one above the other can be tough. But for the next two week’s there’s no competition with George Gagnidze’s Iago in Washington National Opera’s (WNO) Otello. (…).Making an impressive WNO debut, Gagnidze is manipulative, cunning, and tormented as Iago. His rich baritone voice is at its zenith during his internal monologue in Act II, where we see just how far his jealousy will drive him. Toying with Thomas’ Otello, Gagnidze’s Iago turns in a
performance Frank Underwood would be proud of. He’s vile and charming, intensely focused and unapologetic.
Benjamin Tomchik, broadwayworld.com
There were also two respectable debuts. George Gagnidze was a solid baritone (…)
Playing it with satisfying menace and an interesting suggestion of the misogynistic bully, George Gagnidze is credible as the mean-spirited Iago, hellbent on driving Otello
into a jealous rage over Desdemona’s supposed infidelity. Gagnidze sings with a rich, driving baritone that delivers this ruthless man with a relentlessness that works we
Kate Wingfield, metroweekly.com
Also adding greatly to my enjoyment was George Gagnidze as Iago, a role he is known for internationally. His highly polished baritone serves the characterization of Iago well.
Appearing for the first time with WNO, regular Met fixture George Gagnidze’s assertive, even baritone soared through Iago’s music. His “Credo” offered plenty of throwback vocal grandeur, filling the house with charismatic sound and tossing off those big forte flourishes with ease.
Gagnidze brought power and passion to the tricky role of Iago, one of opera’s most iconic villains. His extended dialogues with Otello were musically captivating (…).
Vishnu Bachani, https://bachtrack.com
Only the Iago of George Gagnidze came off convincingly at this Otello. (…) his pointed, meaty baritone thrust the text out into the theatre and across the stage.
Harry Rose, https://parterre.com/
Excellent reviews for George Gagnidze's Rigoletto at the Atlanta Opera:
George Gagnidze was interviewed by Melinda Bargreen ahead of his Atlanta Opera debut in the title role of "Rigoletto". Check out the feature on the following link:
“... the title king’s vulnerable plea for his daughter’s life (sung nobly on Wednesday by George Gagnidze)…” “Elijah Moshinsky’s “Nabucco” production has an old-school, 1980s throwback charm, with its imposing, multiuse unit set that turns on the Met’s revolving stage, even though it arrived at the company in 2001. It harks back to a time when singers were almost solely responsible for delivering the drama, and that’s what Gagnidze did: He shaped Nabucco’s full character arc with his baritone, from the sheeny resonance and dripping venom of a boastful king to the long, stately lines of a penitent one.” Oussama Zahr, The New York Times
"The size and clarity of George Gagnidze’s voice made for a particularly menacing Amonasro." “George Gagnidze’s menacing Amonasro was powerfully sung.” Rick Perdian, New York Classical Review
"The cast on March 17, 2023 was top-class in the main roles. George Gagnidze in the title role as Rigoletto was completely absorbed in the characterization of this “court jester”, who is by no means funny here, but rather a person who suffers and a father who only wants to protect his daughter from the outside world and the decadent court society. With his dark, expressive heroic baritone and his powerful performance, he came pretty close to being an ideal for Rigoletto." Wolfgang Schmitt, IOCO