Szot was born in São Paulo of Polish parents who emigrated to Brazil after World War II. He began his musical training in piano at the age of five and later added violin and classical ballet. However, at age 21, a knee injury cut short any aspirations for a career in dance, causing him, with encouragement from his instructor, to pursue singing instead.
Szot studied at Jagiellonian University in Poland. He began singing professionally in 1990 with the National Song & Dance Ensemble "Śląsk". Later, he made his professional opera debut in a production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Municipal Theatre of São Paulo in 1997. Since then, he has performed with the New York City Opera, the Palm Beach Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Opéra de Marseille, and Vlaamse Opera, among others, in such operas as L'elisir d'amore, La Bohème, Don Giovanni, Cavalleria rusticana, I Pagliacci, Carmen, Così fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro and Maria Golovin. In March 2010 he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Kovalyov in Dmitri Shostakovich's The Nose . Szot returned to The Metropolitan Opera House as Escamillo sharing the stage with the French tenor Roberto Alagna and as Lescaut in Manon along with Anna Netrebko. Also sang the role of Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosí fan Tutte at the Palais Garnier and at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in Le nozze di Figaro. In 2013 he sang in The Nose at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and at La Scala in the role of Filip Filippovich, the protagonist of the contemporary Russian opera A Dog's Heart.
Paulo Szot is a Brazilian baritone singer and actor, winner of Tony Award for South Pacific. He confirmed to AfterElton.com that he is gay. At a cabaret gig, he even chose to serenade both a woman and a man in the audience. Eduardo Amir, Szot’s partner, is a fellow Brazilian and, like Szot, an opera singer. In addition to opera, Amir does voice-over work, dubbing animated musicals for Brazilian release. Paulo Szot and Eduardo Amir were together in the Manon opera performed at the Met in 2012.
Of his performance in South Pacific, Ben Brantley of the New York Times wrote: "When he delivers 'Some Enchanted Evening' or 'This Nearly Was Mine,' it's not as a swoon-making blockbuster (though of course it is), but as a measured and honest consideration of love."
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