Gordon Hawkins

Gordon Hawkins

Gordon Hawkins is critically acclaimed throughout the world for his in-depth interpretations and lush baritone voice. A dramatic baritone with an international reputation as a “Rigoletto specialist,” Mr. Hawkins has delighted audiences as the tragic Verdi underdog in more than 200 performances, most recently with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Vancouver Opera, Washington National Opera, Arizona Opera, and Opera Colorado. He is now earning critical acclaim as a Wagner specialist: “Alberich was superbly realized by baritone Gordon Hawkins, in his [Los Angeles Opera] début. Despite wearing a grotesque puppet head and clunky boots that hobbled his movements, Hawkins delivered a sterling vocal characterization of the power-mad Nibelung.” (Opera News). He has been engaged as Alberich in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen at esteemed international companies including San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Washington National Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro de la Maestranza de Sevilla, and the BBC Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London.

Calendar

Event Date
Sep 11
to
Sep 12
Blue
Reverend
Michigan Opera Theatre
Detroit, Michigan
Event Date
Oct 29
to
Nov 6
Tosca
Scarpia
Portland Opera
Portland, Oregon
Event Date
Feb 11
to
Feb 13
Blue
Reverend
Toledo Opera
Toledo, Ohio
Feb 26
to
Mar 12
Blue
Reverend
Seattle Opera
Seattle, Washington
Event Date
Apr 23
to
May 1
Blue
Reverend
Pittsburgh Opera
Pittsburgh, PA
Event Date
May 18
to
May 22
Champion
Old Emile
Boston Lyric Opera
Boston, Massachusetts

Artist Bio

Gordon Hawkins is critically acclaimed throughout the world for his in-depth interpretations and lush baritone voice. A dramatic baritone with an international reputation as a “Rigoletto specialist,” Mr. Hawkins has delighted audiences as the tragic Verdi underdog in more than 200 performances, most recently with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Vancouver Opera, Washington National Opera, Arizona Opera, and Opera Colorado. He is now earning critical acclaim as a Wagner specialist: “Alberich was superbly realized by baritone Gordon Hawkins, in his [Los Angeles Opera] début. Despite wearing a grotesque puppet head and clunky boots that hobbled his movements, Hawkins delivered a sterling vocal characterization of the power-mad Nibelung.” (Opera News). He has been engaged as Alberich in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen at esteemed international companies including San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Washington National Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro de la Maestranza de Sevilla, and the BBC Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London.

In 2019, Mr. Hawkins performed the role of the Reverend in the World Première of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s Blue at the Glimmerglass Festival, which was received to rave reviews.  He also recorded the piece with Washington National Opera which will be released in 2022.  He will reprise the role in productions this season with Michigan Opera Theatre, Toledo Opera, and Seattle Opera.  In addition, he will return to Portland Opera as Scarpia in Tosca and debut the role of Old Emile in Terence Blanchard’s Champion at Boston Lyric Opera.  2023 will see a return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for a World Premiere.

Mr. Hawkins’ career is shaped by performances of opera’s most popular baritone roles at leading companies throughout the world. With an impressive repertoire under his belt, some of Mr. Hawkin’s prominent roles include Amonasro in Aïda which he has performed with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, and The Atlanta Opera; Scarpia in Tosca which he has performed with Cincinnati Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Vancouver Opera, and Arizona Opera; as well as title roles such as Nabucco with Seattle Opera and Opera Carolina and Macbeth also with Seattle Opera. Additional favored engagements have included Thoas in Iphigénie en Tuaride with The Metropolitan Opera; The Warden in Dead Man Walking with Lyric Opera of Chicago; Alvaro in Florencia en el Amazonas with Los Angeles Opera; Alfio in Cavalleria rusticana with Washington National Opera; Count di Luna in Il trovatore with Seattle Opera; Tonio in Pagliacci with Arizona Musicfest; and Renato in Un ballo in maschera with New Orleans Opera and Opéra de Montréal.

Internationally, Mr. Hawkins has performed at venues such as Deutsche Oper Berlin as Telramund in Lohengrin, Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville as Caspar in Der Freischütz, and New National Theatre Tokyo as the Villians in Les contes d’Hoffmann.

One of his signature roles, Porgy in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess has brought him to some of the most esteemed companies and symphonies in the world, including The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Dallas Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Toledo Opera, Colorado Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Jacksonville Symphony, and Festspillene i Bergen in Norway.

An accomplished concert artist, some favorite engagements of recent seasons include a Gala Concert for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in Washington DC; a recital entitled War and Remembrance at The Clarice Center for the Performing Arts; Amonasro in Aïda with St. Louis Symphony; Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony with The Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center; the world première of Jake Heggie’s A Great Hope Fell with the Eos Orchestra of New York; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with The Atlanta Symphony and St. Louis Symphony; concert selections from American musicals with Welle WDR 4 in Cologne, Germany; and additional repertoire with the Chicago Symphony, National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, The Cincinnati Orchestra, National Theatre Orchestra of Prague, and Vienna Symphony.

Mr. Hawkins has been heard on the Live BBC Radio broadcast as Alberich in Götterdämmerung with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and “Live from the Metropolitan Opera” broadcasts earlier in his career as Marcello in La bohème with Plácido Domingo and Mirella Freni, and Silvano in Un ballo in maschera with Luciano Pavarotti and Aprile Millo. He can be heard as George Milton on the first recording of Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men with the Houston Grand Opera on Albany Records and the recording of Simon Boccanegra as the title role with the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts.

Mr. Hawkins was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Luciano Pavarotti International Vocal Competition and was awarded the Washington National Opera’s “Artist of the Year” award.

Updated August 31, 2021.

 

Video

Nabucco

“Lassu in cielo” Rigoletto

Excerpt from Il trovatore

Press

"...a masterly Nabucco, with convincing acting in a role that requires him to be overbearing, then feeble, then contrite..." – The Seattle Times

Nabucco – “Gordon Hawkins is a masterly Nabucco, with convincing acting in a role that requires him to be overbearing, then feeble, then contrite (it’s not often that an operatic title character is struck by lightning). Even allowing for the effects of the lightning strike, Hawkins’ voice…rose to greatness in his final scene.”

"...an imposing presence throughout [...] Hawkins adapts himself with ease..." – Daily Camera

Rigoletto – “Baritone Gordon Hawkins is an imposing presence throughout, whether playing the titular jester as a vicious, mean-spirited trickster, as in the opening scenes; or as the humiliated fool who unwittingly assists in his daughter’s kidnapping and defilement, or as the ultimate tragic figure whose triumphant vengeance is instantly transformed to utter despair at the end. When he needs to be tenderer, as in his gorgeous duets with soprano Rachele Gilmore, who plays Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda, Hawkins adapts himself with ease. Hawkins clearly considers this a signature role, and it shows.”

"...you’re in the clutches of one unforgettably sinister badass." – Straight.com

Tosca – “Scarpia is arguably the most wretched villain in all of opera, and from the minute shaven-headed baritone Gordon Hawkins first cuts a swath onto the stage, you know you’re in the clutches of one unforgettably sinister badass. His eyes even roll ecstatically back into his head in the first act as he imagines forcing the raven-haired title character to sleep with him.”

"...Hawkins delivered a sterling vocal characterization of the power-mad Nibelung." – Opera News

Das Rheingold – “Alberich was superbly realized by baritone Gordon Hawkins, in his LAO debut. Despite wearing a grotesque puppet head and clunky boots that hobbled his movements, Hawkins delivered a sterling vocal characterization of the power-mad Nibelung.”

"...nearly stole the show all evening." – The New York Times

Das Rheingold – “None of this would matter, though, without the powerful singing of the baritone Gordon Hawkins as Alberich, who nearly stole the show all evening.”