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Oren sings the National Anthem for the New York Knicks before singing La bohème as part of the Met Live in HD

This Saturday, Oren Gradus can be seen in movie theaters worldwide as part of the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series as Colline in La bohème. The Brooklyn-born bass stars opposite Kristine Opolais as Mimì, Vittorio Grigolo as Rodolfo, Susanna Phillips as Musetta, and Massimo Cavalletti as Marcello. Stefano Ranzani conducts. The day before, Oren will also be heard at Madison Square Garden, where he sings the National Anthem for Friday night’s New York Knicks game.

April 5’s performance also marks Oren’s 100th at the Metropolitan Opera, where he made his debut as the Guardian in Elektra in 2002.

Oren Gradus returns to the Metropolitan Opera’s La bohème

This week, Oren Gradus returns to the role of Colline in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of La bohème at the Metropolitan Opera. The American bass made his house role debut as Puccini’s philosopher in 2003, and was last heard at Lincoln Center in the role in 2010. In 2008, Oren’s account as Colline (seen opposite Ramón Vargas and Angela Gheorghiu) was captured as part of the Met’s Live in HD program and released on DVD.

This season’s performances take place April 2, 5, 10, 14, and 18 and include a Met Live in HD broadcast on April 5 — which also marks Oren’s 100th performance on the Metropolitan Opera stage. Here, Oren stars opposite Anita Hartig and Barbara Frittoli as Mimì, Vittorio Grigolo as Rodolfo, Massimo Cavalletti as Marcello, and Susanna Phillips and Jennifer Rowley as Musetta.

Happy birthday, Lorenzo da Ponte

In honor of librettist Lorenzo da Ponte’s 265th birthday today, catch Oren as Leporello performing the famous “Catalogue Aria” in this excerpt from San Francisco Opera’s Don Giovanni. Of this 2007 performance, San Francisco Classical Voice wrote, “Oren Gradus’ Leporello is the perfect foil to [Mariusz] Kwiecien’s Don Giovanni. Gradus always maintains his dignity, even when he’s terrified in the closing scenes, never becoming abjectly servile or, worse, a buffoon.”
 

Spring with Puccini and Verdi in New York and Baltimore

Oren Gradus’s spring season starts on April 2 with a return to the Metropolitan Opera’s beloved production of La bohème. The Brooklyn-born bass reprises the role of philosopher Colline, whose aria “Vecchia zimarra senti” is counted as one of the highlights of Puccini’s opus. Oren was last heard as Colline at the Met in 2010, and his appearances from April 2 through 18 will include his 100th performance at the vaunted house. La bohème will also be broadcast as part of the Met’s Live in HD series on April 5.

The following month, Oren trades bohemian Paris for ancient Babylon when he sings the role of Jewish high priest Zaccaria in Verdi’s Nabucco with Lyric Opera Baltimore on May 9 and 11. Oren made his role debut in the work with the Avenches Opera Festival last summer to great acclaim. “The priest Zaccaria is the full-bodied and sensitive bass Oren Gradus,” wrote La Liberté. “The prayer in the second act was magnificently sung with a vibrancy of unaltered faith.”

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