Rod Gilfry

Baritone

Biography

American baritone Rod Gilfry, two-time Grammy Award nominee, singer and actor, has performed in all of the world’s music capitals. His most recent Grammy nomination was for his performance in the title role of Messiaen’s monumental opera Saint François d’Assise in Amsterdam. Best-known as an opera singer, he is also an acclaimed recitalist and concert artist, and appears frequently in musical theater classics. His discography of 28 audio and video recordings includes the DVD and CD of his one-man show My Heart is So Full of You. His radio program, Opera Notes on Air, aired on K-Mozart 105.1 FM in Los Angeles for over three years. With a 77-role repertoire, Mr. Gilfry sings music from the Baroque to that composed expressly for him. He was brought to worldwide attention when he created the role of Stanley Kowalski in the 1998 premiere of André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire at San Francisco Opera, opposite Renée Fleming. Other world premieres include Nicholas in Deborah Drattel’s Nicholas and Alexandra (Los Angeles, opposite Placido Domingo); Nathan in Nicholas Maw’s Sophie’s Choice (London, Washington D.C.); Jack London in Libby Larsen’s Every Man Jack (Sonoma, CA); Edward Gaines in Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner (Detroit, Cincinnati, Philadelphia), the title role in Marc-André Dalbavie’s Gesualdo (Zürich), and Master Chen in Christian Jost’s Die Rote Laterne (Zürich). Most recently, he originated the role of Walt Whitman in Matthew Aucoin’s Crossing in Boston, Claudius in Brett Dean’s Hamlet with Glyndebourne Festival, Mr. Potter in Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life in Houston, and David Lang’s the loser in New York City.

In the 2020-2021 season, Rod Gilfry will return to the Metropolitan Opera as Owen Hart in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking. On the concert stage, he will perform as Clov in György Kurtág’s one-act opera Fin de partie with the New York Philharmonic, under the baton of music director Jaap van Zweden. He will also reprise Alfred Stieglitz in Kevin Puts’ highly acclaimed The Brightness of Light opposite Renée Fleming with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by music director Andris Nelsons, as well as with Los Angeles Opera.

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Reviews

“Rod Gilfry in a tour-de-force performance. Gilfry sings every phrase with crisp diction and dramatic point, delivering phrases with virile energy, sudden bluster, or, during vulnerable moments, an aching confusion that takes you by surprise. He is becoming the singer of choice for new American operas.”

Anthony Tommasini

New York Times

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