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Greer Grimsley is internationally recognized as an outstanding singing actor and one of the most prominent Wagnerian singers of our day. Grimsely’s reign as a leading interpreter of the god Wotan has brought him to myriad esteemed international opera houses; some highlights include his portrayal of the role for a complete cycle of Der Ring des Nibelungen with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro Comunale di Bologna under Daniele 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 three complete cycles over the past decade.


Last season’s engagements included returns to Seattle Opera as the High Priest in Samson et Dalila and Wotan in Das Rheingold, the latter of which he also performed with both The Atlanta Opera and the Orchestra of the Music Makers in Singapore. In addition, Grimsley sang Scarpia in Tosca with San Diego Opera. This season, he returns to The Metropolitan Opera as The Captain in Mary Zimmerman’s new production of Florencia en el Amazonas, Palm Beach Opera as Scarpia in Tosca, The Atlanta Opera as Wotan in Die Walküre, the Royal Swedish Opera as Gurnemanz in Parsifal, and Santa Fe Opera as Paul in the world premiere of The Righteous.


Grimsley’s 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 Ópera de Oviedo and the Staatsoper Berlin, and Claggart in Billy Budd for Staatstheater Stuttgart. Greer sang the eminent Wotan in Spring 2019 for The Metropolitan Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, in the reprisal of Robert Lepage’s landmark production from 2013.


Grimsley’s portrayals of some of Wagner’s other great characters have earned him critical acclaim both domestically and internationally, including the title role of Der fliegende Holländer with Seattle Opera, Bayreuther Festspiele, Dallas 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, the 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, the Royal Danish Opera, the Ópera de Bellas Artes in Mexico, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, and Bayreuther Festspiele; Amfortas in Parsifal with The Metropolitan Opera; and Wotan in Das Rheingold with Teatro Real in Madrid, in Die Walküre with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Swedish Opera, and in Siegfried with the Bregenzer Festspiele.


Mr. Grimsley has performed one of his other signature roles, Jochanaan 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 Jochanaan… Grimsley invested the part with rhetorical strength and an air of moral solidity - the perfect antithesis to Salome's eroticized jitters.” 


Notable North American engagements over the last several seasons include the role of Scarpia in Tosca with San Diego Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal, 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, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, and Portland Opera; the title role in 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 The Metropolitan Opera and Houston Grand Opera; Cankya in the world premiere of Ashoka’s Dream with Sante Fe Opera; Méphistophélès in Faust with San Diego Opera, New Orleans Opera, and Arizona Opera; Amonsaro in Aida with Portland Opera; 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 Festival.


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 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 in Don Giovanni with the Stadttheater Basel in Switzerland; the Villians in Les contes d’Hoffmann with New Israeli Opera; Mandryka in Arabella with the Royal Danish Opera; Amonsaro in Aida with Ópera de Caracas in Venezuela; the role of Richard the Lionheart in Der Templer und die Jüdin with Wexford Festival; and Méphistophélès in Faust with Ópera de Oviedo in Spain. Mr. Grimsley first came to international attention as Escamillo in Peter Brook’s La Tragédie de Carmen, which he has sung in more than 15 productions around the world, including his Italian débuts at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto and the Teatro Comunale di Bologna.


An active concert artist, some of Mr. Grimsley’s 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 the Atlanta Symphony; Scarpia in Tosca with Deborah Voight and the Minnesota Orchestra; and Don Pizarro in Fidelio with the St. Louis Symphony and in his New York Philharmonic début with conductor Kurt Masur at the inaugural season of the Lincoln Center Festival.

Current as of September 1, 2023

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