Robert Orth - Don Alfonso
Previously at Portland Opera: Gianni Schicchi, 1985; Pagliacci, 1985; Romeo et Juliette, 1987; Don Pasquale, 1990; Die Fledermaus, 1994; Madame Butterfly, 1996; The Love for Three Oranges, 1998; La Belle Helene, 2001; Candide, 2002; A View From The Bridge, 2003; The Journey To Reims, 2004; Nixon in China, 2006
Robert Orth is a leading baritone with major opera companies including those in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, D.C., Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami, Portland, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Denver. He was named “Artist of the Year” by both New York City Opera and Seattle Opera. New York City Opera also gave him the Christopher Keene Award for new and unusual repertoire. He has appeared as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Seattle, Denver, Indianapolis, and Washington, D.C., in repertoire ranging from Brahms' REQUIEM to Broadway pops to his most repeated symphonic piece, CARMINA BURANA.
Performing new American operas has brought Mr. Orth great pleasure and acclaim. He was John Buchanan, Jr., in Lee Hoiby's SUMMER AND SMOKE (based on the Tennessee Williams play), which was broadcast nationally on Public Television. At the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, he was Count Almaviva in the premiere of ROSINA. In Milwaukee he was Fantomas in Stanley Silverman's HOTEL FOR CRIMINALS. He played the Lodger in Dominic Argento's THE ASPERN PAPERS in its east coast premiere at the Kennedy Center; and he was the Lecturer in Argento's one-man opera A WATERBIRD TALK in Chicago. Also in Chicago, he sang the central role of the Father in Hugo Weissgall's SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR in its second professional production. He created the title role in the world premiere of HARVEY MILK by Stewart Wallace and Michael Korie in Houston, New York and San Francisco. In 1997 he portrayed Frank Lloyd Wright in SHINING BROW, a new opera by Daron Aric Hagen, based on the life of the great American architect. In 2000 he played Owen Hart in San Francisco in the world premiere of DEAD MAN WALKING, with music by Jake Heggie and libretto by Terrence McNally. In 2001 he premiered Michael John LaChiusa's LOVERS AND FRIENDS (CHATAUQUA VARIATIONS) in Chicago. In 2002 he premiered Garrison Keillor's new opera MR. AND MRS. OLSON in St. Paul. In 2004 he was Mr. Parkis in the premiere of Jake Heggie's THE END OF THE AFFAIR, Richard Nixon in John Adams' NIXON IN CHINA in St. Louis. In 2007 he was Uncle John in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's THE GRAPES OF WRATH, and Capt. Compson in MIDNIGHT ANGEL by David Carlson. And this year he premiered SINNERS, a song cycle written for him by Craig Bohmler and Marion Adler. His recordings include THE TELEPHONE by Gian Carlo Menotti, SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR, HARVEY MILK, DEAD MAN WALKING, and HANSEL AND GRETEL.
Mr. Orth also enjoys performing the most popular and familiar operas and operettas. Figaro in THE BARBER OF SEVILLE and Eisenstein in DIE FLEDERMAUS have become his signature roles. He has often appeared as Malatesta in DON PASQUALE, Danilo in THE MERRY WIDOW, Guglielmo in COSI FAN TUTTE, Dandini in LA CENERENTOLA, Germont in LA TRAVIATA, and Sharpless in MADAMA BUTTERFLY.
Robert Orth began his career in summer stock doing plays and musicals. He continues to do them whenever possible. He has been Billy Bigelow in CAROUSEL, El Gallo in THE FANTASTICKS, Henry Higgins in MY FAIR LADY, and, most often, Don Quixote in THE MAN OF LA MANCHA.
Future engagements include CARMINA BURANA and NIXON IN CHINA in Denver; THE GRAPES OF WRATH in Pittsburgh and Costa Mesa; DEAD MAN WALKING in Houston; the world premiere of Andre Previn's BRIEF ENCOUNTER, also in Houston; two world premieres in Dallas - MOBY DICK and AUG. 4,1964; as well as A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, COSI FAN TUTTE, GIANNI SCHICCHI and BUOSO'S GHOST.