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 [Pereda], 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)

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 and Iago in Otello with Teatro de la Ópera in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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.

Rigoletto (cover)

Verdi: Rigoletto

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

Los Angeles Opera Company