Zingari, Opera Rara studio recording (recorded November 2021, released September 2022)

Presto Music Recordings of the Year 2022 - Our Top 100
(Chris O’Reilly, www.prestomusic.com, November 25, 2022)

“...[the equally magisterial Stephen] Gaertner commands a rock-solid technique which, in true bel canto style, allows him to gloriously spin the line in Tamar’s ‘Canto Notturno’ and reach notes above the staff with no seeming effort.”
(Bob Dieschburg, www.operawire.com, November 16, 2022)

“Stephen Gaertner’s firm, virile baritone...really is the only one of the four principals with a proper, pharyngeal core to his tone. He provides by far the best singing and it [is] his contribution I most enjoy; his ‘Canto notturno’, rightly encored at the premiere, is a highlight...”
(Ralph Moore, www.musicweb-international.com, November 1, 2022)

“Stephen Gaertner – a latish replacement for the originally schedule Carlos Álvarez – lends his firm baritone to the role of Tamar (having sung Cascart in Opera Rara’s 2015 Zazà)...”
(Mark Pullinger, Gramophone, November, 2022)

“El rol de Tamar tiene una tesitura muy aguda para el barítono y, a la vez, le pide cuerpo en el registro central para los momentos más dramáticos. Gaertner canta con una voz imponente y sin problema aborda el registro agudo, como en su aria ‘Ah, taci! Non lo dir!’ La música que Leoncavallo le asigna recuerda mucho a la que este mismo compositor le escribió a Silvio en su Pagliacci, por lo apasionada y bella. Tiene una balada preciosa al final del primer episodio: ‘Ah! Canto notturno’, que Gaertner canta con elegante línea de canto.”
(Ingrid Haas, www.proopera.org.mx, October 21, 2022)

“American baritone Stephen Gaertner completes the fatal love triangle as Tamar, the brooding Roma poet in love with Fleana. A highlight is Tamar’s early aria Ah! taci! non lo dir!…his expression is striking…and his high notes are splendid. Distraught at the prospect of Fleana’s forthcoming marriage to Radu, in the aria Ah! Canto notturno Gaertner empathises convincingly with Tamar’s fears and anxieties.”
(Michael Cookson, www.musicweb-international.com, October 6, 2022)

“Der amerikanische Bariton Stephen Gaertner ist für den erotischen Verführer Tamar goldrichtig gecastet, weil er mit der nötigen viril samtigen Stimme ausgestattet für eine mächtig aufgeheizte Dramaturgie mit dem verzehrend eifersüchtigen Rivalen Radu sorgt. Auch er ist mit Rollen wie Rigoletto, Jago, Scarpia oder Escamillo auf der Bühne längst in heldischen Gefilden zu Hause. In ‘Zingari’ kann er die Wandlung vom unbeachteten Mauerblümchen zum das ‘Spiel’ entscheidenden Lover glaubhaft und stimmlich ausreichend wandelbar vollziehen.”
(Dr. Ingobert Waltenberger, www.onlinemerker.com, October 6, 2022)

“Wonderfully vivid of voice and personality as Cascart in Opera Rara’s 2015 recording of Zazà...baritone Stephen Gaertner ignites this Zingari with his charismatic portrayal of the Roma poet Tamar...Gaertner voices ‘C’è uno straniero che s’aggira a notte’ mysteriously, passion for Fleana already saturating his tones. The composer’s Lamento angoscioso sostenuto instruction is meticulously heeded in ‘Ah! taci! non lo dir,’ in which the baritone’s repeated top E♭s evoke the desperation of Tamar’s desire. Intruding on Fleana and Radu, Gaertner hurls Tamar’s Fs and G♭ at the lovers with extraordinary force and vocal confidence. The delicate ‘Ah! Canto notturno nel firmamento,’ heard from afar as Fleana and Radu celebrate their union, is bewitchingly sung, the song’s disquieting effect on Fleana wholly credible...at the beginning of Episode Two, Tamar is no longer the idealist scorned by Fleana earlier in the opera. Proving himself to be a man of decisive action, he has kindled Fleana’s love, and Gaertner sings Tamar’s lines in their scene with bracing bravado. The fateful reprise of ‘Canto notturo nel firmamento’ is sung as mesmerizingly as its first incarnation, and ‘Bella! Bella! Sei qui tutta fremente!’ bristles with infatuation. Throughout the duet with Fleana, Gaertner’s vocalism smolders with sensuality, his singing of ‘Sono il rogo che s’accende’ suffused with longing...The dramatic immediacy of Gaertner’s unflappably secure, bronzed singing is consistently galvanizing, but the opera’s verismo intensity never goads him into shouting and snarling.”
(Joseph Newsome, www.voix-des-arts.com, October 4, 2022)

“Den düsteren Poeten Tamar gestaltet Stephen Gaertner angemessen diabolisch, bietet aber im Liebeswerben auch sanftere Töne, um Fleana von seinen Qualitäten zu überzeugen.”
(Uwe Friedrich, OPER!, October 2022)

“Van de drie hoofdpersonen is de dichter Tamar het meest romantische personage, binnen het drama, maar ook als karakter. Het blijkt een kolfje naar de hand van de Amerikaanse bariton Stephen Gaertner die we nog niet zolang geleden bij Opera Rara hoorden als Cascart in Leoncavallo’s Zazà...hier overtuigt hij volledig als jonge dichter die eerst moet toezien hoe zijn geliefde door een ander wordt weggekaapt, maar die haar tenslotte toch in zijn armen mag sluiten.”
(translation from Dutch to English: “Of the three main characters, the poet Tamar is the most romantic character, within the drama, but also as a character. It appears to be right up the alley of the American baritone Stephen Gaertner, whom we heard not so long ago at Opera Rara as Cascart in Leoncavallo’s Zazà...here he completely convinces as a young poet who first has to see how his beloved is stolen by someone else, but who is finally allowed to take her in his arms.”)
(Paul Korenhof, www.opusklassiek.nl, October 2022)

Gramophone magazine Official Specialist Classical Chart Top 20 (September 30, 2022)

“Der amerikanische Bariton Stephen Gaertner ist ein viriler Tamar...”
(Bernd Hoppe, www.operalounge.de, September 30, 2022)

“American baritone Stephen Gaertner acquits himself splendidly...rendering Tamar’s transition from spurned suitor to illicit love-interest (in Pagliacci terms, from Tonio to Silvio) more convincing than it looks on paper, and investing the ‘Canto Notturno’ which recurs in both ‘episodes’ with real poetry.”
(Katherine Cooper, www.prestomusic.com [Recording of the Week], September 23, 2022)

“Stephen Gaertner ist mit einer gut artikulierenden, dunkel-warmen Stimme ein sehr guter Tamar.”
(Remy Franck, www.pizzicato.lu [Supersonic Award], September 23, 2022)

“Dritter im Bunde ist der amerikanische Bariton Stephen Gaertner, der mit mächtig auftrumpfendem Bariton der Figur des Tamar das erforderliche Gewicht gibt.”
(Peter Sommeregger, www.klassik-begeistert.de, September 23, 2022)

“Tamar, Stephen Gaertner est un beau baryton, L’émission est sonore, au timbre séduisant, les aigus sont mordants. Sa souffrance du début (‘ah, taci...’) se mue en un chant rayonnant dans le ‘Canto notturno’ du second épisode.”
(Yvan Beuvard, www.forumopera.com, September 21, 2022)

“...with the viscerally exciting American baritone Stephen Gaertner singing the role of Tamar...”
(William Charlton-Perkins, www.newslink.co.za, September 12, 2022)

October 1, 2022 (canceled due to weather)

soloist

Copland: Old American Songs

New Jersey Festival Orchestra

Conductor: David Wroe

 

February-March 2022

Il Barone Scarpia  Puccini: Tosca

Sarasota Opera

December 3, 2021

Tamar  Leoncavallo: Zingari

Opera Rara

November 2021

Macbeth  Verdi: Macbeth

Opéra de Dijon

November 2019

various  Viva Verismo!

Maryland Opera

March 2019

Nabucco  Verdi: Nabucco

Sarasota Opera

November 2018

Sir Riccardo Forth  Bellini: I Puritani

Teatro Verdi di Trieste

May-June 2018

Rigoletto (cover)  Verdi: Rigoletto

Los Angeles Opera

October 2017

Rigoletto  Verdi: Rigoletto

Opera Grand Rapids

March 24, 2017

Don Carlo di Vargas  Verdi: La Forza del Destino

New Amsterdam Opera

October 2016

Iago  Verdi: Otello

Teatro de la Ópera, Puerto Rico

July-August 2016

Amonasro  Verdi: Aida

Teatro di San Carlo

June 2016

Captain Balstrode  Britten: Peter Grimes

The Princeton Festival

April 16, 2016

Paolo Albiani  Verdi: Simon Boccanegra

Metropolitan Opera

January 2016

Giorgio Germont  Verdi: La Traviata

Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre

November 27, 2015

Cascart  Leoncavallo: Zazà

Opera Rara

September-October 2015

Il Conte di Luna (cover)  Verdi: Il Trovatore

Metropolitan Opera

July 2015

Macbeth  Verdi: Macbeth

Opernfestspiele Heidenheim

July 8, 2015

Macbeth  Verdi: Macbeth

Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz

November 18, 2014

20th Anniversary Gala Benefit Concert 

Teatro Grattacielo

April-May 2014 & March-April 2016

Sharpless (cover)  Puccini: Madama Butterfly

Metropolitan Opera

July 2013

Macbeth  Verdi: Macbeth

Savonlinna Opera Festival

December 2012-January 2013

Chorèbe (cover & perform)  Berlioz: Les Troyens

Metropolitan Opera

October 2012 & March 2013

Montano  Verdi: Otello

Metropolitan Opera

June 2012

Lanceotto Malatesta  Rachmaninoff: Francesca da Rimini

The Princeton Festival

June 2012

Gianni Schicchi  Puccini: Gianni Schicchi

The Princeton Festival

May 2012

Mr. Redburn (cover)  Britten: Billy Budd

Metropolitan Opera

February 2012

Don Carlo (cover)  Verdi: Ernani

Metropolitan Opera

December 2011-January 2012 & December 2014-January 2015

Vater (cover)  Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel

Metropolitan Opera

November-December 2011

Mr. Kallenbach (cover)  Glass: Satyagraha

Metropolitan Opera

March 2011

Andrei Shchelkalov (cover)  Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov

Metropolitan Opera

February-March 2011 & June 2011

Lord Enrico Ashton (cover & perform)  Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor

Metropolitan Opera

December 2010

Escamillo  Bizet: Carmen

Opéra Royal de Wallonie

June 21, 2010

Baritone solo  Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem

MidAmerica Productions - Carnegie Hall Concert Series

January-February 2010

Paolo Albiani  Verdi: Simon Boccanegra

Metropolitan Opera

November-December 2009

Šiškov (cover)  Janáček: From the House of the Dead (Z Mrtvého Domu)

Metropolitan Opera

January 2009

Rigoletto  Verdi: Rigoletto

Kentucky Symphony Orchestra

October-November 2008 & February-March 2009

Sharpless (cover)  Puccini: Madama Butterfly

Metropolitan Opera

October-November 2008

Giorgio Germont (cover)  Verdi: La Traviata

Metropolitan Opera

April 13, 2008

Frank  Puccini: Edgar

Opera Orchestra of New York

March 2008 & November-December 2008

Melot  Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

Metropolitan Opera

December 13, 2007

Francesco Foscari (cover)  Verdi: I Due Foscari

Opera Orchestra of New York

September-October 2007, March 2008, October 2008 & January-February 2009

Lord Enrico Ashton (cover & perform)  Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor

Metropolitan Opera

November 7, 2006

Abayaldos  Donizetti: Dom Sébastien

Opera Orchestra of New York

November 12, 2005

Cascart  Leoncavallo: Zazà

Teatro Grattacielo