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)

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Rigoletto

Verdi: Rigoletto

October 13, 14, 2017

Opera Grand Rapids