International Opera Superstar and Tony Award Winner Paulo Szot filled every inch of Feinstein’s/54 Below with his glorious once in a lifetime baritone voice last night. Broadway’s supper club was also filled to capacity with a passionate audience mesmerized by his cabaret performance which celebrated the music from Paulo’s native Brazil. It was a brilliantly constructed show based upon the encounter of Frank Sinatra and Tom Jobim 50 years ago. Paulo went through the Antonio Carlos Jobim songbook with his thrilling voice and also an interesting narrative which analyzed the infectious Brazilian harmonics and rhythms. There were also some tunes from The Great American Songbook, and no romantic is ever the same after hearing Paulo Szot sing Rodgers & Hammerstein’s This Nearly Was Mine from South Pacific.
This was a 3 night pit stop and Paulo’s 8th engagement at Feinstein’s/54 Below having recently completed played Juan Peron in the Australian Production of Evita. New Yorkers will be able to see him in the upcoming Metropolitan Opera House production of La Boheme.
Paulo Szot is one of the most acclaimed and versatile baritones in the world having garnered international acclaim as an opera singer, an award winning musical theatre star, a consummate concert performer and an actor.
Paulo Szot was born in Sao Paulo and raised in Riberirao Pres, Brazil. He began his musical training at the age of five, first studying piano and later adding violin and dance. Szot studied at the Jagiellonian University in Poland, the country from which his parents had emigrated following World War ll. He began singing professionally in 1989 with the Polish National Song and Dance Company Slask, and in 1997 he made his operatic debut as Figaro in Il Barber di Siviglia in a production of the Theatro Municipal de Sao Paulo, directed by Enzo Dara and conducted by Luiz Fernando Malheiro. He has gone on to appear with most major opera companies throughout the world in Europe, the United States, Australia and Brazil.
In 2008, Szot was cast as Emile De Becque in the Broadway revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center Theatre, directed by Bartlett Sher. He was awarded the Tony Award, Drama Des, Outer Critic’s Circle and Theater World Awards for his performance.