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 to his company debut at Teatro alla Scala, in Robert Carsen’s world-premiere production of Battistelli’s CO2.

Establishing himself as a specialist in the works of Wagner, the 2017/18 season will see Mr. Berg return to the role of Holländer at the Cincinnati Opera Festival, Alberich in Das Rheingold with Opéra de Montréal and making his debut as Wotan in Das Rheingold at the Badisches Staatstheatre, Karlsruhe, Germany. In 17/18 he will also make 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 will perform Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, as well as with the Vancouver Symphony, conducted by Bramwell Tovey. He will also perform 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. Another season highlight will be Detlev Glanert’s Requiem at the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg.

In 2016/17 Nathan Berg appeared as Bluebeard in Mariusz Treliński’s new production of Bluebeard’s Castle for Teatr Wielki, Vodnik in Rusalka for Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts and returned to Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra as Doktor under Markus Stenz. Other appearances included Semperoper Dresden as Zoroastro in Orlando in Andreas Kriegenburg’s production, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks for L’enfant et les sortilèges under Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Wratislavia Cantans International Festival for Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 under Jacek Kaspszyk, BBC Scottish Symphony for Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis under Donald Runnicles, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under Andrés Orozco-Estrada and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias for The Dream of Gerontius under Rossen Milanov. In North America, Mr. Berg performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the San Diego Symphony, Saskatoon Symphony, and Grand Teton Music Festival; the latter conducted by Donald Runnicles, Mozart Requiem with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Bramwell Tovey, and returned to the Edmonton Symphony for an evening of opera excerpts.

In his vast range of styles and repertoire Berg is in demand by the world’s most distinguished conductors including Kurt Masur, Sir Andrew Davis, Hannu Lintu, Roger Norrington, Hans Graf, Donald Runnicles, Philippe Herreweghe, Vasily Petrenko, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Michael Tilson Thomas to name a few.

Read more

 

Reviews

“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

X