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 award 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 the 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 (Zurich), and Master Chen in Christian Jost’s Die Rote Laterne (Zurich). 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 2019-2020 season, Mr. Gilfry will perform the Father in the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice at Los Angeles Opera. In concert, he will perform as Alfred Stieglitz in Kevin Puts’ The Brightness of Light opposite Renée Fleming with the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by music director Gianandrea Noseda, as well as with the Colorado Symphony. He will also sing Claudius in Brett Dean’s Hamlet with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, give a concert at Old Dominion University with the Norfolk Chamber Consort, and perform a solo recital at Messiah College with pianist Peter Walsh.Read more
In the 2018-2019 season, Mr. Gilfry sang Prospero in Katie Mitchell’s production of Miranda with the Opéra Comique on tour at the Opéra National de Bordeaux and Théâtre de Caen. He also reprised the role of Henry Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life at San Francisco Opera, sang Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte at Santa Fe Opera conducted by Harry Bicket and the same role at Korea National Opera, and performed the loser at Los Angeles Opera. In concert, Mr. Gilfry performed the world premiere of the expansion of The Brightness of Light at the Tanglewood Festival, a selection of songs by Cole Porter with the New York Philharmonic in Vail, Colorado, Mozart’s Requiem and Kirchner’s Songs of Ascent with the Los Angeles Chorale, Aucoin’s Crossing Suite and Mahler’s Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen with the San Diego Symphony, and excerpts from Crossing at the American Civil War Museum with Aucoin at the piano.
In the 2017-2018 season, Mr. Gilfry returned to The Metropolitan Opera to sing Alberto Roc in the American premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel and the Santa Fe Opera to sing the Musiklehrer in Ariadne auf Naxos. He also reprised his acclaimed performance in Crossing at the Los Angeles Opera and Brooklyn Academy of Music, as well as Brett Dean’s Hamlet at the Adelaide Festival. In concert, he sang Elijah with the Phoenix Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Pacific Symphony, and a concert of Mozart arias with the San Bernardino Symphony. He gave a Broadway standards concert with Sylvia McNair and Kevin Cole at the Ravinia Festival, as well as a recital and series of masterclasses at James Madison University as part of the National Association of Teachers and Singing (NATS) convention.
In previous seasons, Mr. Gilfry has performed the role of Howard K. Stern in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole with the New York City Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Danilo in a new production of The Merry Widow opposite Susan Graham. Other highlights include Peter in Hansel and Gretel with the Alabama Symphony, the title role in Don Giovanni and Don Alphonso at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Wotan in Das Rheingold at the Biwako Hall Center for the Performing Arts in Shiga, Japan, concerts with the San Francisco Symphony in music of Thomas Adès and Felix Mendelssohn, performances with the Dallas Symphony as Lyndon Baines Johnson in Steven Stucky’s August 4th, 1964 in Dallas and at Carnegie Hall, and selections from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Grand Rapids Symphony. He sang the title role in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Frank Butler to Deborah Voigt’s Annie in Annie Get Your Gun at the Glimmerglass Festival, and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem at the Oregon Bach Festival. He appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel for the final installment of their Mozart/Da Ponte Trilogy as Don Alfonso.
Mr. Gilfry devoted an entire season to the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, starring as Emile de Becque in the U.S. National Tour of the Lincoln Center production of South Pacific, a production that garnered 7 Tony awards. He also appeared as Captain von Trapp with the Théâtre du Châtelet in The Sound of Music, with his daughter Carin Gilfry in the role of his daughter Liesl.
In addition to his full-time performance schedule, Mr. Gilfry is an Associate Professor of Vocal Arts at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.
“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