San Diego, CA – Bass-baritone Greer Grimsley will replace tenor René Barbera for San Diego Opera’s One Amazing Night concert on May 5, 2018 at the Balboa Theatre. Greer will join soprano Lise Lindstrom for an evening of operatic favorites with the San Diego Symphony. Tenor René Barbera, who was last heard in recital as the Polly Puterbaugh Emerging Artist, asked to be released from his engagement so he could make his important Teatro alla Scala debut as Ernersto in Don Pasquale.
“René made a stunning debut as a young singer during the Company’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert, and left such an impression we immediately engaged him for a recital in our 2015 season,” shares San Diego Opera’s General Director, David Bennett.
“While it is never easy to release a singer from a contract, making a La Scala debut is an important benchmark in a singer’s career and we are very happy for Rene’s early success. It is something we all knew he was destined for, and San Diego Opera looks forward to welcoming him back in the future. We are incredibly pleased that audience favorite, and international star, Greer Grimsley has offered to step in. Greer is no stranger to San Diego audiences and we now have two opportunities to hear him this season, as The Pirate King in the season opener The Pirates of Penzance and in concert with Lise Lindstrom.”
About Greer Grimsley
American bass-baritone Greer Grimsley made his San Diego Opera debut as Telramund in Lohengrin in 2000, returned for Pizarro in Fidelio in 2003, The High Priest of Dagon in Samson and Delilah in 2007, Scarpia in Tosca in 2009 and 2016, Méphistophélès in Faust in 2010, and in 2012 as Jochanaan in Salome. He sings the role of the Pirate King in the Company’s 2017-2018 season opener The Pirates of Penzance. He is internationally recognized as an outstanding singing actor and one of the most prominent Wagnerian singers of our day. Continuing his reign as a leading interpreter of the god Wotan, he sang the eminent role for The Metropolitan Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen in Robert Lepage’s landmark production, directly followed by Stephen Wadsworth’s production for Seattle Opera, his 3rd complete Cycle for the company in the last decade. His interpretation of Wotan has also brought him to multiple esteemed international opera houses; some highlights of this include his portrayal of the role in the entirety of Der Ring des Nibelungen with Deutsche Oper Berlin; Teatro Comunale di Bologna, under Gatti’s baton; Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, New National Theatre Tokyo, and the Nikikai Opera Foundation in Tokyo.
His treatments of some of Wagner’s other greatest characters earned him critical acclaim both domestically and internationally. Including the title role of Der fliegende Holländer with Seattle Opera and Ravinia Festival, under the baton of Maestro James Conlon in his final performance with the company; Telramund in Lohengrin with the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Seattle Opera; Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde with Prague National Theatre, Royal Danish Opera, the Ópera de Bellas Artes in Mexico, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Seattle Opera; and Amfortas in Parsifal with the Metropolitan Opera.
This season, Mr. Grimsley reprises his signature role of Wotan in Der Ring des Nibelungen with San Francisco Opera, sings the title role of Macbeth with Opera San Antonio, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde with Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Orest in Elektra in Houston Grand Opera, Scarpia in Tosca with Michigan Opera Theatre, and sings excerpts from Die Walküre with Pacific Symphony. Future engagements through 2020 include multiple returns to Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera.
Mr. Grimsley has performed one of his other signature roles, that of Jokanaan in Salome, with the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Vancouver Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Scottish National Opera, the New National Theatre in Tokyo, Ópera de Bellas Artes in Mexico, Den Jyske Opera in Denmark, and in The Dallas Opera with Deborah Voigt in the title role. The San Francisco Chronicle exclaimed: “Bass-baritone Greer Grimsley was a thunderous and dramatically compelling Jokanaan. Grimsley invested the part with rhetorical strength and an air of moral solidity – the perfect antithesis to Salome’s eroticized jitters.”
Notable US engagements over the last several seasons include the role of Scarpia in Tosca with the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, L’Opera de Montreal, Portland Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Colorado, and in a return to Seattle Opera; the role of Jack Rance in La fanciullla del West with Minnesota Opera and Seattle Opera; the role of Don Pizarro in Fidelio with the Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, and Portland Opera; the title role of Macbeth with Minnesota Opera, Vancouver Opera, and Opera Lyra Ottawa; Wotan in Das Rheingold with Minnesota Opera; Captain Balstrode in Peter Grimes and Escamillo in Carmen with the Metropolitan Opera; the world première of Ashoka’s Dream as Canyka with Sante Fe Opera; the role of Mephistopheles in Faust with New Orleans Opera, and Arizona Opera; the role of Amonsaro in Aïda with Portland Opera; the role of Claggart in Billy Budd with Pittsburgh Opera and in his Los Angeles Opera début; and his much anticipated role début as the title role in Sweeney Todd with Vancouver Opera, which he recently reprised with New Orleans Opera and Glimmerglass Opera.
Mr. Grimsley has enjoyed quite a fruitful career in highly esteemed opera houses around the world. Some highlights of his previous international engagements include Scarpia in Tosca in Germany with Deutsche Oper Berlin and Oper der Stadt Köln, in Oslo with Den Norske Opera, with the Stadttheatre Basel in Switzerland, and in Japan at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center; Don Pizarro in Fidelio with The Scottish Opera and Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Portugal; the title role of Don Giovanni with the Stadttheatre Basel in Switzerland; New Israeli Opera as the Villians in Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Royal Danish Opera as Mandryka in Arabella; Ópera de Caracas in Venezuela as Amonsaro in Aïda; the role of Richard Lionheart in Der Templer und die Jüdin with Wexford Festival; and the role of Mephistopheles in Faust in Oviedo, Spain. Mr. Grimsley first came to international attention as Escamillo in the Peter Brook production of La tragédie de Carmen, which he has sung in in over 15 productions around the world, including his Italian debuts at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto and the Teatro Comunale di Bologna.
An active concert artist, some favorite concert engagements include Verdi’s Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony at Carnegie Hall; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Seattle Symphony and San Antonio Symphony; the High Priest in Samson et Dalila with Washington Concert Opera and Atlanta Symphony; Scarpia in Tosca with Deborah Voight and the Minnesota Orchestra; and Don Pizarro in Fidelio with the Saint Louis Symphony and in his New York Philharmonic début with conductor Kurt Masur at the inaugural season of the Lincoln Center Festival.
The 2017-2018 International Season
The Pirates of Penzance Gilbert & Sullivan October 14, 17, 20, and 22 (mat), 2017
As One Laura Kaminsky November 10, 11 and 12 (1 PM, mat), 2017
Maria de Buenos Aires Ástor Piazzolla January 26, 27 and 28 (mat), 2018
Turandot Giacomo Puccini February 24, 27, March 2, and 4 (mat), 2018
Florencia en el Amazonas Daniel Catán March 17, 20, 23, and 25 (mat) 2018
One Amazing Night – Greer Grimsley & Lise Lindstrom in Concert May 5, 2018
San Diego Opera Mission Statement
The mission of San Diego Opera is to deliver exceptional vocal performances and exciting, accessible programs to diverse audiences, focusing on community engagement and the transformative power of live performance.
San Diego Opera Vision Statement
The San Diego Opera will be recognized internationally as a leading example of adaptability, innovation and sustainability in the operatic arts, promoting diversified programming and unique performance venues with world-class and emerging talent.
San Diego Opera Core Values Statement
Through excellence in innovative programming and education, SDO provides a lasting cultural service to the community.
Our tradition of excellence in fully staged opera is augmented with new models of opera and venues. Our unique and deep commitment to the community propels us to explore ways of increasing affordability and accessibility.
Through fiscal responsibility and nimble adaptation to the changing marketplace, we protect the future of San Diego Opera.
Our educational and community involvement coupled with relevant programming will build the audience of the future.
Source: Opera stories from La Scena