The Hungarian bass, Gábor Bretz, began his vocal training with Stephan Czovek in Los Angeles, and subsequently studied at the Béla Bartók Conservatory of Music and the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. He has also attended master-classes with Julia Hamari, Ralf Doring, Eva Marton and Yevgeni Nesterenko. He was awarded the Cesare Bardelli prize at the 2004 Viotti International Singing Competition, and was the winner of the 2005 Maria Callas Grand Prix Competition in Athens.
Since graduating from the Franz Liszt Academy , Gábor Bretz has appeared regularly with the Hungarian State Opera, where his roles have included the title-role in Arrigo Boito's Mefistofele, Leporello in W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni, Banquo in Macbeth, Escamillo in Georges Bizet's Carmen, Kothner in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Don Fernando in L.v. Beethoven's Fidelio. Other notable appearances include Escamillo/Zuniga in Carmen under Gustavo Dudamel at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Sparafucile in Rigoletto for the Vienna Festwochen at the Theater an der Wien, and numerous performances in the title role of Béla Bartók's Bluebeard’s Castle with Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, and with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall. Other operatic performances include Antonio in W.A. Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival, Masetto in Don Giovanni at the Komische Oper, Berlin, the title-role in Don Giovanni with Opera Zagreb, the High Priest of Babylon in Nabucco for Opéra de Rennes, Sparafucile in Rigoletto in Klagenfurt, Bluebeard in Bluebeard’s Castle under Gergiev in Ekaterinburg and Moscow, and First Soldier in Salome, Bluebeard in Bluebeard’s Castle, the Monk in Don Carlo, and Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Teatro alla Scala Milan. He also sang the title role of Don Giovanni for Opera Australia, Seneca in L’incoronazione di Poppea in Klagenfurt, and Escamillo in Carmen for Leipzig Opera.
In addition to his operatic appearances Gábor Bretz sings regularly in concert, and his repertoire includes the major oratorios of J.S. Bach, Haydn, W.A. Mozart (including the Coronation Mass under Helmuth Rilling), Rossini, Puccini, L.v. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Tippett’s A Child of our Time, Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ (under Sylvain Cambreling), and Verdi's Requiem in Budapest with the National Philharmonic under the baton of Zoltán Kocsis.
A busy operatic season in the 2012-2013 season saw Gábor Bretz performing Bluebeard’s Castle with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding and a recording of Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater for Chandos. Plans elsewhere included Ferrando in Il Trovatore at the Vienna Festwochen, Damnation de Faust with the Valencia Orchestra in Spain, Arnold Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder with Radio France under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sparafucile Rigoletto at the Festival d’Aix en Provence and with the London Symphony Orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda, and Parsifal in Bologna under Roberto Abbado.
Forthcoming engagements include Colline in La Bohème at the Royal Opera House, a debut at the Metropolitan Opera and return to the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich as Escamillo in Carmen, Bluebeard’s Castle with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Edward Gardiner, Charles Gounod Faust's Mephistopheles with the Hungarian State Opera, Bluebeard’s Castle at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia and the Wiener Festwochen, and a performance of the Glagolithic Mass with the Bergen Philharmonic.