Born in the Transylvanian area of Sepsiszentgyörgy (Romania), Hungarian bass Bálint Szabó graduated from the Gheorge Dima Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca in 1997 and completed his studies at the International Vocal Arts Institute in New York and at the Israeli Vocal Arts Institute in Tel-Aviv.
Among his victories in vocal competitions are the Nicolae Bretan Competition in Cluj-Napoca, 1996 (second prize) and the International Vocal Contest in Budapest, 1998 (first prize).
Between 1990 and 1995 he was a soloist at the Cluj-Napoca State Hungarian Opera and since 1996 he has been a soloist at the Romanian State Opera, as well as a permanent guest soloist at the Hungarian National Opera in Budapest. During this time he also made numerous tours of Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Hungary, Oman, and the USA, and pursued an ongoing collaboration with the National Radio Orchestra of Romania, the Danubia Youth Orchestra of Budapest, and the Szeged Symphony Orchestra. In 2004 he was honoured by the Romanian Government with the title of Knight of the Order for Merit in the arts and culture.
He had an engagement at the Hamburgische Staatsoper from 2003 to 2005. From 2005 to 2009 he was a member of the Oper Frankfurt.
He has worked with such conductors as Maurizio Benini, Ádám Fischer, Iván Fischer, Sir Mark Elder, Carlo Rizzi, Carlo Franci, Tomáš Netopil, Rani Calderon, and others. Among stage directors Bálint has collaborated with Peter Konwitschny, Christof Loy, Stefan Herheim, Nicolas Joel, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Willy Decker, Mariame Clément, and Jean-Louis Pichon to name just a few.
Over the last ten years, through the beginning of the 2013-2014 season, he has performed as Filippo II in Don Carlo, Selim in Il turco in Italia, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Publio in La clemenza di Tito and Bluebeard in the NP Bluebeard’s Castle at the Hamburgische Staatsoper; Zaccaria in Nabucco at the Israeli Opera; the King of Egypt in Aida at the Macerata Opera Festival; Méphistophélès in Faust at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein; Enrico VIII in Anna Bolena and Don de Silva in Ernani at the Klangvokal Festival in Dortmund; Sparafucile in Rigoletto, the Monk in Don Carlo and the title role in Bluebeard’s Castle at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse; Alfonso d’Este in Lucrezia Borgia at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile; Don Ferrando in Fidelio at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra and Sir Giorgio in I puritani at the Greek National Opera. He has taken up the title role in Bluebeard’s Castle for the Budapest National Opera (the show was also recorded on DVD), as well as at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile, and with the Royal Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit at the Montreux Festival and in NHK Hall Tokyo. He has also sung Publio in La clemenza di Tito, the Monk in Don Carlos and Surin in Pique Dame at the Opéra National de Paris and the Opéra Bastille; Procida in I vespri siciliani at De Nederlandse Opera (subsequently released on DVD) and at the Grand Théâtre de Genève; Douglas in La donna del lago at the Grand Théâtre de Genève (also released on CD) and at the Teatro della Scala di Milano; Walter in Luisa Mille at the Buxton Festival and at the Oper Stuttgart; Tom in Un ballo in maschera and Don Prudenzio in Il viaggio a Reims at the Opéra de Monte Carlo; Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte with the Opéra National du Rhin (in Strasbourg, Colmar and Mulhouse) and at the Opéra de Nice; Lodovico in Otello, Tom in Un ballo in maschera, Filippo II in Don Carlo, Sid in La fanciulla del West, Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra, Méphistophélès in Faust, Colline in La Bohème, Banco in Macbeth, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Zaccaria in Nabucco, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Don Profondo in Il viaggio a Reims, and the title role in Don Giovanni at the Oper Frankfurt; Ramfis in Aida and the Bonzo in Madama Butterfly at the Soirées Lyriques de Sanxay; and the Prince de Bouillon in Adriana Lecouvreur, Oroe in Semiramis as well as Prefetto in Linda di Chamounix at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (also released on CD).