The Kennedy Center

Eric Halfvarson


Internationally celebrated, Eric Halfvarson is one of today's foremost interpreters of many of the darkest Verdi and Wagner roles. Equally noted for the power of his musical interpretations as for the searing dramatic insight that he brings to each role, he is a regular guest artist in many of the world's foremost opera houses from Vienna, Bayreuth, Munich and London to New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

The current season is no exception. Mr. Halfvarson begins the new season by returning to the Vienna State Opera for performances of Wagner's Die Walküre and Götterdämmerung. Thereafter, he travels to the Bavarian State Oper in Munich for the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlo - a role that will also see him at the Vienna State Opera in spring of 2012. After these concert performances of Beethoven's Fidelio with the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach, Eric Halfvarson will return to Europe to perform Fafner in Wagner's Das Rheingold at Staatsoper Berlin conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Concert performances of Bluebeard's Castle by Bartók will further see him with the New World Symphony in Miami under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas.

Recent engagements have included a new production of Don Carlo conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the Metropolitan Opera, Hagen in Wagner's Götterdämmerung at Vienna State Opera and Gurnemanz in Parsifal at the Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcelona - a role that also saw him at the Palace of Arts in Budapest in summer 2011.

In addition to his stage performances, the American bass is a respected teacher. During the 2009 -10 season he taught at the University of Southern California Los Angeles, and gave a series of master classes at the San Francisco Opera.

Eric Halfvarson made his professional debut in 1973 and was a founding member of the Houston Opera Studio. During the 1980's he appeared with many of the foremost US opera companies including San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas and a decade later was judiciously adding many of the Wagnerian and Strauss roles that serve as his calling card internationally today. Soon thereafter he made debuts and has established long, ongoing relationships with the Metropolitan Opera, Staatsoper Berlin, the Bayreuth Festival, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opera de Paris, Wiener Staatsoper, Teatro Regio di Torino, Buenos Aires's Teatro Colón, Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu, Teatro Real de Madrid, Valencia's Palau de les Arts and the Royal Opera Covent Garden.

In summer 2009 Mr. Halfvarson took part in filming a Blenkov & Schønneman production of Mozart's Don Giovanni directed by Kaspar Bech Holten. The movie, filmed in Budapest, and shown at film festivals around the world was released in Denmark in April 2011. Recent DVD releases include Don Giovanni (Pappano, Opus Arte); Götterdämmerung (Levine, DG); Die Walküre and Siegfried (de Billy, Opus Arte); Don Carlos (Pappano, EMI); Rigoletto (Downes, Opus Arte) and Boris Godunov (Weigle, TDK). Mr. Halfvarson has also recorded for Chandos, EMI, Erato, New World Records and Orfeo.

March 2012
Eric Halfvarson