Brooklyn-born bass Oren Gradus continues to rise in recognition and receive critical acclaim throughout North America and Europe as a brilliant basso cantante. Most recently he was seen at the Metropolitan Opera as Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor. Since his debut at the Met during the 2002-2003 season, Mr. Gradus has sung well over one hundred performances with the company. His many roles there include Giorgio in I Puritani, Timur in Turandot, the Old Hebrew in Samson et Dalila, the King in Aida, and Garibaldo in Rodelinda opposite Renée Fleming. He has also starred in six productions of The Met: Live in HD series; as Colline in La bohème (twice), Duglas in La Donna del Lago, Publio in La Clemenza di Tito, Wallace in La Fanciulla del West, and Le Duc de Verone in Romeo et Juliette.
In the past few seasons Mr. Gradus has had several career milestones. He made his house debut with Washington National Opera and Semperoper Dresden as Henry VIII in Anna Bolena; his house and role debuts with Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona as the four villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann; his house debut with Canadian Opera Company as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor; his house and role debuts with Opéra d’Avenches in Switzerland as Zaccaria in Nabucco; and his house and role debut with Opera de Lausanne as Oroveso in Norma.
During the 2015-2016 season Mr. Gradus had the opportunity to perform with Boston’s critically acclaimed Odyssey Opera in two rarely heard works: as Don Diegue in Massenet’s Le Cid and the title role in Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Sir John in Love. For the latter he was nominated for Boston’s Best Male Operatic Performance of the Year (Arts Impulse Magazine). During the same season he returned to Pittsburgh Opera as Zaccaria in Nabucco, and made his Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra debut as the Pater Profundus in Mahler’s 8th Symphony.
Mr. Gradus has commanded the stage of leading theaters throughout the U.S. and Europe, including San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Teatro Comunale Bologna, ABAO – Opera Bilbao, L’Opera de Marseille, and Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. Among his many distinguished performances with these companies and others he has sung the roles of Leporello in Don Giovanni (San Francisco, Houston, Marseille); the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro (Houston, Marseille, Seattle, Pittsburgh); Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor (San Francisco, Bologna, Houston, Teatro Municipal de Santiago); Henry VIII in Anna Bolena (Dallas); Zaccaria in Nabucco (Lyric Opera Baltimore); Mephistopheles in Faust (Pittsburgh); Ramfis in Aida (Caracalla/Rome, Pittsburgh); Timur (Houston); Escamillo in Carmen (New Orleans Opera); Ferrando in Il Trovatore (Bilbao, Atlanta Opera); Il Re di Scozia in Ariodante (Houston); and Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin (Houston, Pittsburgh, and Opera Theater of St. Louis).
Mr. Gradus studied music at the Oberlin Conservatory and then joined the Pittsburgh Opera Center. He subsequently became a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio during which time he sang and recorded the role of El Capitan in Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas. He later returned to Houston Grand Opera for the world premiere of Catan’s Salsipuedes as Capitan Magallanes. Early in his career he was awarded many top accolades including an Aria Award, winner of the Richard Tucker and Sarah Tucker Award, and a Sullivan Foundation Grant.