Nathan Berg

Bass-Baritone

Biography

A “tall, majestic bass” with “impeccable technique” and “a palpable presence on stage,” Canadian bass-baritone Nathan Berg’s career has spanned a vast range of repertoire on the concert and operatic stage. His recent dramatic work has earned acclaim around the globe from the title role in Der fliegende Holländer in his Bolshoi Theatre debut, Alberich in Das Rheingold with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and Minnesota Opera, Doktor in Wozzeck with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Houston Symphony, for which he won a Grammy-Award, and his company debut at Teatro alla Scala, in Robert Carsen’s world-premiere production of Battistelli’s CO2. In the 2018/19 season, Nathan Berg continues to establish himself as a specialist in the works of Wagner, performing Alberich in Das Rheingold with Opéra de Montréal, Alberich in Siegfried with the National Performing Arts Center in Taipei, Taiwan, and will join the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for The Ring Cycle.

In the 2017/18 season, Mr. Berg returned to the role of Holländer at the Cincinnati Opera Festival, and made his debut as Wotan in Das Rheingold at the Badisches Staatstheatre in Karlsruhe, Germany. He also made debuts at the Salzburger Festspiele and Whitsun Festival singing The King of Scotland in Christof Loy’s production of Ariodante opposite Cecilia Bartoli in the title role, and Douglas d’Angus in La donna del lago, also opposite Cecilia Bartoli. An incredible presence on the symphonic stage, Nathan Berg performed Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, and the Vancouver Symphony, conducted by Bramwell Tovey. He performed with conductor Hannu Lintu, first in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Finnish National Radio Orchestra, then with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in Rachmaninoff’s The Bells. Other season highlights were Detlev Glanert’s Requiem at the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg and Lutoslawski’s L’Espace du Sommeil with the Zürich-based Tonhalle-Orchester on tour in Katowice, Poland.

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Reviews

“Wearing an eye patch and red leather cape Nathan Berg cut a dashing, pirate-like figure in the title role. His firm, dark, powerful baritone was ideal for conveying the bitterness of the Dutchman, and an ominous undercurrent was evident from his first narrative, ‘Die Frist ist um’ (the term is up). His tormented tone changed little, even in the Act II love duet with Senta, the woman who offers him the possibility of undying love.”

 

Janelle Gelfand

Cincinnati Business Courier

“A far more natural approach. . . works especially well for Nathan Berg’s Alberich. As the dwarf who drives the story with his lust, greed and spite, Berg is complex, believable and of magnificent voice. So passionate is his portrayal that the usually scene-stealing Greer Grimsley is left to look on and exude nobility as his rival for the gold, the god Wotan.”

Rob Hubbard

TwinCities Pioneer Press

“Nathan Berg makes a star turn, from beginning to end, as a grumpy and grizzled Alberich”

Lydia Lunning

Twin Cities Arts Reader

More Reviews

“Staufenbiel’s cast is strong. As he usually does, Greer Grimsley dominated the stage as Wotan, king of the gods. With his powerful baritone, Grimsley vividly charted the character’s obsessive but increasingly uncertain lust for power. The same could be said for Nathan Berg’s Alberich, the tortured troll who trades love for world domination and whose final curse was the evening’s most compelling moment.”
Michael Anthony, StarTribune Nov 13th 2016

“Nathan Berg sang the role of Alberich powerfully. . . Berg conveyed perfectly the dual nature of Alberich’s swagger and desperation. The scene in which he makes his curse on the ring was spine-tingling”
Phillip Jones, Bachtrack – Nov 20th 2016

“It has to be said that theatrically Nathan Berg’s Huascar had a terrifying brutality, and his voice is immense. . . his incarnation is quasi-cinematic. The voice is large and the vocal production solidly in place.”

ClassiqueNews

“Nathan Berg proved convincing as Pontius Pilate, his resonant bass voice filling the concert hall. . . Berg . . . sang with expressivity and refinement in solo arias throughout the work.”

Terry McQuilkin, The Register Guard

“A far more natural approach. . . works especially well for Nathan Berg’s Alberich. As the dwarf who drives the story with his lust, greed and spite, Berg is complex, believable and of magnificent voice. So passionate is his portrayal that the usually scene-stealing Greer Grimsley is left to look on and exude nobility as his rival for the gold, the god Wotan.”

Rob Hubbard, TwinCities Pioneer Press 

“Nathan Berg makes a star turn, from beginning to end, as a grumpy and grizzled Alberich”

Lydia Lunning, Twin Cities Arts Reader 

“It has to be said that theatrically Nathan Berg’s Huascar had a terrifying brutality, and his voice is immense. . . his incarnation is quasi-cinematic. The voice is large and the vocal production solidly in place.”

ClassiqueNews

“Nathan Berg proved convincing as Pontius Pilate, his resonant bass voice filling the concert hall. . . Berg . . . sang with expressivity and refinement in solo arias throughout the work.”

Terry McQuilkin, The Register Guard 

“. . . this tall majestic bass is a brilliant actor and a palpable presence on stage””

Financial Times

“. . . bass baritone Nathan Berg was superb as the desperate and furious Sam.”

Lev Bratishenko, The Gazette

“. . .baritone Nathan Berg as Pater ecstaticus, “soared””

Susan Nickalls, The Scottsman

“We happily find once again the Huascar of Nathan Berg, an extra-ordinary actor, who transfigures his character, plying his resonant voice at the direction of Laura Scozzi, the hymns to the sun become compliments to Phani.”

Laurent Bury, Forumopera

“The most eloquent music is heard in the final movement, ‘The Mournful Iron Bells’. . . Baritone Nathan Berg looked and sounded the part and his singing had excellent presence and intensity.”

John Quinn, Seen and Heard International

“Nathan Berg, bass-baritone, sang the role of Elijah. He has an enormous voice and his diction was absolutely consistent and superb … Meg Bragle was the mezzo-soprano Friday evening … she and Nathan Berg shared one outstanding characteristic: both of them have the ability to change the quality of their voice to emphasize the drama and the emotion of the particular verse they are singing. Both of them had seemingly infinite control over dynamics.”

Robin McNeil, OpusColorado.com

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