Greer Grimsley

Greer Grimsley

Greer Grimsley 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 once again this past Spring 2019 for The Metropolitan Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen in the reprisal of Robert Lepage’s landmark production from 2013.  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, the Nikikai Opera Foundation in Tokyo, San Francisco Opera, the Royal Opera Stockholm, and for Seattle Opera in 3 complete cycles over the past decade.

 

Calendar

Event Date
Nov 20
to
Jan 15
Die Walkure
Wotan
Royal Swedish Opera
Stockholm, Sweden
Event Date
Feb 10
to
Feb 13
Die Walkure
Wotan
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Baltimore, Maryland
Event Date
Apr 1
to
Apr 20
Elektra
Orest
The Metropolitan Opera
New York, New York
Event Date
May 13
to
May 15
Don Carlo
Philip
Maryland Lyric Opera
Bethesda, Maryland

Artist Bio

Greer Grimsley 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 once again this past Spring 2019 for The Metropolitan Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen in the reprisal of Robert Lepage’s landmark production from 2013.  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, the Nikikai Opera Foundation in Tokyo, San Francisco Opera, the Royal Opera Stockholm, and for Seattle Opera in 3 complete cycles over the past decade.

Upcoming US engagements include a return to San Francisco Opera as Don Pizarro in Fidelio, a return to the Metropolitan Opera for Orest in Elektra, Wotan in Die Walküre with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Philip II in Don Carlos with Maryland Lyric Opera.  Internationally, he will return to the Royal Swedish Opera as Wotan in Die Walküre and the Bregenzer Festspiele as the Wanderer in Siegfried.

His 2020 and 2021 engagements were to include a return to the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera for Tristan und Isolde, Mahler’s 8th Symphony and the title role in Der fliegende Holländer for San Francisco Symphony, Iago in Otello for Pacific Symphony, Wotan in Das Rheingold for Teatro Colon, Don Pizarro in Fidelio for Opera Oviedo and the Staatsoper Berlin, and Claggart in Billy Budd for Staatstheater Stuttgart.

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, Bayreuther Festspiele, Dallas Opera, 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 the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Prague National Theatre, Royal Danish Opera, the Ópera de Bellas Artes in Mexico, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, and Bayreuther Festspiele; Teatro Real in Madrid for their production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold; and Amfortas in Parsifal with 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, San Diego 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 his Dallas Opera début 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 San Diego Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, L’Opera de Montreal, Portland Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Colorado, Michigan Opera Theatre, 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, Opera San Antonio and Opera Lyra Ottawa; Captain Balstrode in Peter Grimes and Escamillo in Carmen with The Metropolitan Opera; the Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance  for San Diego Opera; Orest in Elektra for Houston Grand Opera; the world première of Ashoka’s Dream as Canyka with Sante Fe Opera; the role of Mephistopheles in Faust with San Diego Opera, 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 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 Stadttheater 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 Stadttheater 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.

Updated August 31, 2021.

 

Audio Samples

Audio Sample "Leb’ wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind!"

Video

Lincoln Center Spotlight on Greer Grimsley

Excerpts from Der fliegende Holländer with Seattle Opera

Excerpts as Scarpia from Tosca

“Ha! welch’ ein Augenblick!” from Act I of Beethoven’s Fidelio at Santa Fe Opera

Greer Grimsley on Salome and the role of Jokanaan

Macbeth Aria

“Old Man River”

Press

"...he sings…well…like a God..." – Huffington Post

Der Ring des Nibelungen – “No amount of cynicism can mask the fact that there are not many Wotans out there today capable of singing a full Ring cycle with anything approaching adequacy. It was, therefore, a pleasure to hear Greer Grimsley first assay the role in Seattle in 2005, and what was then a promising Wotan has now become The Genuine Article in all of its splendor and glory. He acts as about as well as a Wotan can act, but he sings…well…like a God. The role lies in the heart of his vocal range, and he sings with a rare combination of power and suavity. The world has waited for a very long time for a Wotan who can sing without barking or rasping, and he has arrived.”

“...steely bass-baritone rang with authority..." – New York Classical Review

Die Walküre – “Grimsley’s steely bass-baritone rang with authority and purposeful diction and bore up well through a punishingly long series of expository monologues. (You wouldn’t think a god would have to explain himself so much.) Yet he still had the strength to be tender in his parting with Brünnhilde at opera’s end.”

"...resonantly powerful voice..." – Texas Classical Review

Der fliegende Holländer – “Leading Wagnerian bass-baritone Greer Grimsley reigned at the center of the performance as the Dutchman, towering physically and vocally with a resonantly powerful voice and range matched by an appropriately harrowing stage presence. Wagner immediately throws two extended passages into the role, a challenge Grimsley took up faultlessly, nailing both ends of the range flawlessly.”

"...a swaggering captain of industry..." – The Mercury News

Der Ring des Nibelungen – “As Wotan, bass-baritone Greer Grimsley was a swaggering captain of industry; singing with forceful dark power, he was in suave, commanding voice.”

"...as though it had been written for him..." – New Orleans Advocate

Sweeney Todd – “Veteran bass-baritone Greer Grimsley sang the title role of the murderous barber as though it had been written for him. Dark, brooding and humorless, he convincingly conveyed the inner demons that have been torturing Todd's soul for many years.”