Nabucco, Sarasota Opera, March 2019

“In the title role, Stephen Gaertner cut a suitably changeable figure, ranging from stentorian ruler to the pathetic lost soul Nabucco became after being struck by lightning when he had the impiety to declare himself a god. Gaertner’s burnished baritone imbued the demented monarch’s machinations with an elegant sheen.”
(John Fleming, Opera, September 2019)

“The evening probably belonged to baritone Stephen Gaertner, Nabucco...Gaertner’s mad scene was compelling. On his hands and feet he pathetically attempted to reassemble the shredded document revealing Abigaille’s identity. His return to sanity, with the help of cello and flute, was heroic.”
(Phillip Gainsley, www.operanews.com, June 2019)

“Baritone Stephen Gaertner was Nabucco. His stage demeanor was royal and rageful and his vocal status excellent. His mellow baritone has power on reserve and great flexibility. His glazed demeanor after being struck by lightning was impressive and his declamatory utterance definitive. His voice had the color and power to take the audience on his emotional irrational ride. He handled the controls very well and deserved his ovation. Nabucco’s aria in Act Four with the chorus ‘Son pur queste mia membra! Dio di Giuda’ had the richness of tone that indicated that resolution was near.”
(Nino Pantano, www.brooklyndiscovery.com, March 27, 2019)

“Stephen Gaertner dynamic baritone vocals powered through the gamut of emotions as Nabucco, moving from intense to frail, to deranged, then composed and in control.”
(Carolan Trbovich, www.broadwayworld.com, March 18, 2019)

“Stephen Gaertner is imposing in the title role, superb when he finally gets his aria, ‘Dio di Guida’ in act four, as Nabucco returns from insanity and embraces the god of his enemies, the Jewish people.”
(William S. Oser, www.talkinbroadway.com, March 7, 2019)

“In the title role we heard Stephen Gaertner, a baritone of ringing tone and positive stage presence who realistically (which is to say, not too frenetically) conveyed Nabucco’s post-blasphemy breakdown but also the pathos of his humiliation.”
(Arthur Kaptainis, www.classicalvoiceamerica.org, March 5, 2019)

“[Stephen] Gaertner brought a hefty bright baritone to the role of the King of Babylon, and his madness, recovery and conversion were most convincing.”
Edward Alley, www.yourobserver.com, March 4, 2019)

“The title role calls for a well-rounded actor, and baritone Stephen Gaertner fills the role with regal confidence. Three times Nabucco appears suddenly on the scene to turn the action and makes one striking departure. He arrives to conquer Jerusalem in Act 1, then returns to regain his crown from Abigaille’s revolt with ‘Non son più re, son dio’...This does not end well as a bolt of lightning strikes him senseless and Abigaille takes advantage of his madness. Gaertner is convincing in his mad scene and pathetic as he pleads for Fenena’s life in ‘Oh di qual onta aggravasi questo mio crin canuto’...We were ready to cheer for him as he regained his power with the prayer ‘Dio di Giuda’...and returns forcefully in the last scene to save the day.”
(Gayle Williams, Herald-Tribune, March 3, 2019)

American baritone Stephen Gaertner made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2007 as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor. His other roles at the Met have included Melot in Tristan und Isolde, Paolo in Simon Boccanegra (opposite Plácido Domingo in the title role), and Chorèbe in Les Troyens, in addition to covers of several major Verdi baritone roles: Carlo in Ernani, Di Luna in Il Trovatore, and Germont in La Traviata; he also covered the role of Rigoletto with Los Angeles Opera. He made his European debut at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège, Belgium as Escamillo in Carmen. Recent career highlights have included appearances as Macbeth with the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland and the Opernfestspiele Heidenheim in Germany, Amonasro in Aida with the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Rigoletto with Opera Grand Rapids, Germont in La Traviata with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Iago in Otello with Teatro de la Ópera in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Riccardo in I Puritani with Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste, and Nabucco with Sarasota Opera. In March 2020, Mr. Gaertner brings his portrayal of Macbeth to Opéra de Dijon, France.

Mr. Gaertner has also been a frequent performer of opera in concert. He appeared with Teatro Grattacielo at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall as Cristiano in Zandonai’s I Cavalieri di Ekebù and as Cascart in Leoncavallo’s Zazà (the latter under the baton of the late Alfredo Silipigni). He has also made several appearances with Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall: as Sonora in La Fanciulla del West, Abayaldos in Donizetti’s Dom Sébastien, and Frank in Puccini’s Edgar, all under the baton of founder and music director emeritus Eve Queler. He has also sung the title role of Macbeth in concert with the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz in Germany and Carlo in La Forza del Destino in concert with New Amsterdam Opera in New York City. He made a stunning U.K. debut in 2015 at London’s Barbican Hall as Cascart in Zazà in concert 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 the following year 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, Di Luna in Il Trovatore, Germont in La Traviata, Escamillo in Carmen, Iago in Otello, 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 and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem at Carnegie Hall with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. He has also been the recipient of awards from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Opera Index Inc. and the Oratorio Society of New York.

Scarpia, Tonio, Carlo Gérard

Viva Verismo! (excerpts from Tosca, Pagliacci & Andrea Chénier)

November 22, 24m, 2019 (Cambridge School, Baltimore MD)

Maryland Opera

Macbeth

Verdi: Macbeth

March 22m, 24, 27, 29m, 2020

Opéra de Dijon