La Forza del Destino, New Amsterdam Opera, March 24, 2017

“Stephen Gaertner, whose dark, manly baritone thrives on such roles as Don Carlo, sang ‘Son Pereda, [son ricco] d’onore’ robustly but really hit stride in his duets with Alvaro and the double aria between those duets, the proper fiendish gleam arising in his earthy clash with [Errin] Brooks’s metallic tenor. Both singers built tense excitement in this scene, and their rage had an inspiring fire.”
(John Yohalem, www.parterre.com, March 27, 2017)

“...Stephen Gaertner’s Carlo demonstrated a true Verdi baritone force. His opening aria ‘Son Peredea [sic], son [ricco] d’onore’ was given a darker color and there was some restraint as he emphasized certain words to really create the story he was telling. But it was his ‘Urna Fatale’ that really demonstrated his range. Gaertner showcased torment in Carlo as he delivered each line. While there was no prop he could work with, Gaertner used the audience as he looked into it, expressing the uncertainty in his vow. But as he concluded the aria, he regained his vocal strength and delivered the final note with assertion. And in the second part ‘Ah! Egli e salvo! Oh gioia immensa,’ Gaertner savored each moment. The torment was gone and his voice regained the strength of a man ready for revenge. The cabaletta was propelled by his swift tempo, which only made for a more passionate delivery. That strength was once again emphasized in his second duet with Alvaro...Gaertner’s Carlo was firm, cutting each phrase short with a staccato sound. That...gave the duet dynamism. The final duet allowed Gaertner to once again show that muscular strength. But this time, he was allowed to demonstrate his legato line in full force.”
(Francisco Salazar, www.operawire.com, March 25, 2017)

Since his Metropolitan Opera debut as Enrico in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in October 2007, American baritone Stephen Gaertner has emerged as an artist to watch in the operatic world. His other roles at the Met have included Melot in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, Paolo in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, Montano in Verdi’s Otello and Chorèbe in Berlioz’s Les Troyens. He made his European debut in December 2010 with Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège, Belgium as Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen. Recent career highlights have included an appearance with the 2013 Savonlinna Opera Festival in Savonlinna, Finland in the title role of Verdi’s Macbeth, a role he reprised for the 2015 Opernfestspiele Heidenheim in Heidenheim, Germany. He made his Italian debut in July 2016 with Teatro di San Carlo, Naples as Amonasro in Verdi’s Aida, and appeared in October 2016 with Teatro de la Ópera, San Juan, Puerto Rico as Iago in Verdi’s Otello. This fall he sings the title role in Verdi’s Rigoletto with Opera Grand Rapids.

Mr. Gaertner has also been a frequent performer of opera in concert, having made his professional debut in 2000 with Teatro Grattacielo at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall as Cristiano in Zandonai’s I Cavalieri di Ekebù, returning in 2005 as Cascart in Leoncavallo’s Zazà under the baton of the late Alfredo Silipigni. He also made several appearances with Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall: as Sonora in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West (2004), as Abayaldos in Donizetti’s Dom Sébastien (2006) and as Frank in Puccini’s Edgar (2008), all under the baton of founder and music director emeritus Eve Queler. He made a stunning U.K. debut on November 27, 2015 in concert at London’s Barbican Hall as Cascart in Zazà with Opera Rara and Maurizio Benini conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra, garnering high praise from the exigent London press; a subsequent studio recording of the opera was released on CD in June 2016 to equally enthusiastic reviews.

Mr. Gaertner has performed extensively across North America in such diverse roles as Riccardo in I Puritani, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Rigoletto, Germont in La Traviata, Escamillo in Carmen, Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, Silvio in Pagliacci, Marcello in La Bohème, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Gianni Schicchi, Lanceotto in Rachmaninoff’s Francesca da Rimini and Balstrode in Peter Grimes. His other concert appearances have included Britten’s War Requiem at Catholic University in Washington, DC (2005) and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem at Carnegie Hall with the New England Symphonic Ensemble (2010). He has also been the recipient of awards from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Opera Index Inc. and the Oratorio Society of New York.

Mr. Gaertner lives in New York City and continues private vocal studies with New York-based voice teacher Michael Paul.

Rigoletto (cover)

Verdi: Rigoletto

May 12, 16, 19, 27mat., 31, June 3mat., 2018

Los Angeles Opera Company