Jan was born in Kraków (Poland), where he began his singing training at the Academy of Music studying with Janusz Borowicz. He then went on to study for a Post-Graduate Diploma at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama with Suzanne Murphy, where he graduated with distinction in 2011, after which he stayed at the RWCMD on the MA in Opera Performance course, studying under Adrian Thompson and coached by Michael Pollock, Ingrid Surgenor and Angela Livingstone, supported by the Sir Geraint Evans and Leverhulme Scholarships, graduating with distinction in July 2013. He then went on to train on the ENO Opera Works professional development programme. He is a recipient of the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians (for his outstanding achievements at the RWCMD), the Garsington Opera Simon Sandbach Award, as well as the English Touring Opera Chris Ball Bursary.
Jan recently completed 3 tours of the UK: with Mid Wales Opera as Moralès in Jonathan Miller's new production of Carmen; and two seasons with English Touring Opera (Spring 2015 and 2016), as part of which he sang Armando in L'assedio di Calais, covered Thoas in Iphigenie en Tauride, and performed Worsley in Shackleton's Cat and Little Ray in Dust Child for their education department. Autumn 2015 saw Jan at Wexford Festival Opera, singing L'exempt de guet in Le Pré aux clercs by Hérold and Sagrestano in Tosca. He studies with Gary Coward in London and future plans include rejoining ETO for their Spring 2017 tour.
As a youthful lyric baritone his voice is well-suited for Mozartian opera roles, while his facility at the top of his vocal range has enabled him to sing roles usually associated with tenors (e.g. Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and Tenor Actor in A Night at the Chinese Opera). Thanks to his musicianship, acting skills and crystal clear diction he was spotted by Scottish Opera while still a student and asked to cover the role of Pluto in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, then going on to perform the role twice with the main cast, marking his professional debut. He greatly enjoys the immediacy of performing to audiences in their own language, and, being bilingual, has received high praise when undertaking roles in English.
Jan performed several principal roles in operas at the RWCMD. Outside college, he has sung with student-run companies such as Opera'r Ddraig, Sforza Baroque and Shadow Opera. He was thrilled to be able to sing the part of Blues Singer in the Street Chorus in Leonard Bernstein's MASS as part of the BBC Proms 2012 at the Royal Albert Hall with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. 2012 also saw Jan working with British Youth Opera as an understudy. College highlights included singing for HRH The Prince of Wales as part of the St David's Day celebrations at the RWCMD and performing Smirnov in Walton's The Bear at La Mortella (the composer's home on Ischia). Summer 2013 engagements included covering Peter in Hänsel und Gretel for Garsington Opera, performing Escamillo in Carmen for Winterbourne Opera, and participating in BYO's production of Britten's Paul Bunyan as a principal and understudy, as well as returning to the Tête à Tête Opera Festival in Micromegas, a new opera by Tom Floyd. Autumn 2013 saw Jan performing Eisenstein for OperaUpClose.
2014 work included workshopping Carina (a new opera by Nicholas Ansdell-Evans) for ENO, performing bass solos in Messiah in India with the South West Festival Chorus, the baritone solo in Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem in Eynsham, 2nd Prisoner in Fidelio and understudy Forester in Cunning little vixen for Garsington Opera, and Peter in Hänsel und Gretel at West Green House as part of Garsington Opera's Young Artist Programme.
Jan has had the privilege of participating in masterclasses and workshops with many world class performers and pedagogues, including Ryszard Karczykowski, Daniele Giulio Moles, Rebecca Evans, Donald Maxwell, Patricia MacMahon, James Gilchrist, Linda Ormiston, John Fisher, Malcolm Martineau, Kathryn Harries, Roderick Williams, Paul Farrington, Ann Murray, and Robert Lloyd. He has taken part in British Youth Opera's Easter Workshops twice: with Martin Lloyd-Evans and David Gowland in 2012; and with Paul Curran and Peter Robinson in 2013.
Among his hobbies and interests Jan lists white-water kayaking, stand-up-paddleboarding, designer board games, and hiking. He is also a recording engineer and has been responsible for many a London-based singer's demo.
Jan Capinski’s diction was excellent; he was a stentorian Pluto/Aristaeus and a persuasive stage presence.
Claire Seymour, Opera Today
Jan Capinski immediately got our attention bringing rare focus to the role of Morales.
Mike Smith, walesonline.co.uk / theatre-wales.co.uk
David Woodward and Jan Capiński sang movingly as First and Second Prisoners.
Melanie Eskenazy, musicOMH
Capinski in particular was impressive because rarely does one encounter a bass voice that combines such power and agility. His rendering of "The trumpet shall sound" reverberated that night, and will surely continue to resound in our memories for a very long time.
The Times of India
In terms of audience reaction, the bass Jan Capinski made quite the impression, with spontaneous applause elicited after the sheer energy of his virtuosic ‘Why do the nations’. ‘Behold, I tell you a mystery’ and ‘The Trumpet shall sound’ also stood out.
It is tough following the really high quality casts of this year's Garsington season. But we saw most creditable showings from a number, notably Jennifer France (Blonde), Alice Rose Privett (Gretel), and the really excellent father of the H and G children, Jan Capiński , each of whom demonstrated mature and, more to the point, "ready to go on if needed" qualities!
Jan Capiński’s Tarquinius had the arrogance and sheer unpleasantness that the role demands and his singing was successfully and purposefully varied in dynamics and colour.
Glyn Pursglove, Seen and Heard International
Mr Capinski’s instrument splendidly matched Valentine’s martial Avant de quitter from Gounod’s Faust.
Nigel Jarrett, South Wales Argus
Jan Capinski delivered Bartolo’s revenge aria with superb venom.
Stephen Walsh, The Arts Desk