The Hungarian bass, István Kovács graduated as a physician and taught at the Medical School of his home town, Pécs, then he went to study singing with László Polgár, Sherman Lowe and Ildikó Komlósi.
From 1997 to 1999 he received several prizes in Graz: ”Schubert and the Music of the XX. Century”; in Barcelona: Francesco Vinas International Competition; in Munich: ARD Competition and in Salzburg: Mozart Competition.
From the season 1999/2000 he has been a professional singer. In the following years he was contracted to the Teatro Regio in Torino where he sang among others Haly /L’ italiana in Algeri/, Raimondo / Lucia di Lammermoor/; to Budapest for Don Giovanni, Sparafucile and Nanni /Haydn’s L’Infedeltá delusa/; to Strasbourg for Publio /La clemenza di Tito/; to Frankfurt for Angelotti /Tosca/; to the State Opera Unter den Linden in Berlin for Timur /Turandot/.
István Kovács got a name as an oratorio singer as well.
At the Salzburger Festspiele 2001, he sang Mozart’s Mass in C minor, Haendel’s Messiah with the Gewandhaus Orchechestra, Mozart’s Requiem at the Sleswig-Holstein Festival and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Bartók’s Cantata Profana with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Die Schöpfung in Budapest and Irsee with the Tafelmusik Orchestra, Haendel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Die Jahreszeiten and Bach’s Mass in H-minor conducted by Helmut Rilling.
2004 he sang and played the role of Bluebard in Béla Bartók’s Bluebard’s Castle in a film production/adaptation for the Hungarian Television. Since that time he has performed Bluebeard in Palermo, Bologna, Tokyo, Stavanger, Budapest and Toulouse.
In 2009-2010 he sang Lord Sidney in Il viaggio a Reims by Rossini in Toulouse, Nancy, Montpellier, Avignon and other French opera theaters, Escamillo concertant in Solingen Germany, Verdi’s Requiem in Hungary, Maometto II. di Rossini in Bremen and Istanbul, and Verdi’s Attila in Aquilea-Italy.
In the season 2010-2011, he sang Mendelssohn’s Elias, Bach’s Matthew-passion and Escamillo in Hungary, Bach’s Mass in H-minor and Honegger Jean d’Arc with Helmuth Rilling in Caracas. In January 2011, he sang Duke Bluebeard in Dortmund with the Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Iván Fischer.
In 2011-2012 he sang Bluebeard in the Hungarian State Opera and in the Opera de Nice, the role of Don Giovanni, and Figaro in Budapest. He sang Mahler’s Das klagende Lied in Tokyo. In the spring of 2013 he sang Don Silva in Verdi’s Ernani with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, which was a great personal success for him.
In 2013-2014 he sang Bluebeard in Tokyo, Osaka and in Hungary, Walter /Luisa Miller/, Il re /Aida/ and Sarastro in Budapest, Verdi Requiem in Berlin.
In 2014-15 he sang Il re /Aida/ and Sarastro in Budapest, Walter /Luisa Miller/ in Budapest, and Teatro San Carlo Napoli, Mendelssohn: Elias in Budapest
In 2015-16 he sang Alidoro /Cenerentola/ in Munich, Bluebeard in Shanghai.
In 2017-18 he sang Sarastro, Raimondo /Lucia di Lammermoor/, Il conte Almaviva /Le Nozze di Figaro/, Basilio /Il barbiere di Siviglia/ Verdi: Requiem in Budapest, Bluebeard in Wrozlaw and Raimondo in Tokyo.