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.”

Oren returns to the Metropolitan Opera in 2014-15 for La Donna del Lago

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2014-15 season announcement includes the news that Oren Gradus will return to the company in 2015 to star in La Donna del Lago. The company’s first-ever production of Rossini’s bel canto gem is directed by Paul Curran.

Oren sings the role of Duglas, the father to Joyce DiDonato’s eponymous “lady of the lake” and former tutor to Juan Diego Flórez’s Giacomo, King of Scotland. Michele Mariotti conducts the performances, which run February 16 through March 14. March 14 also marks the performance’s transmission to theaters around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD series.

(Photo: Jonathan Tichler)

“Bass Instincts” on Spotify

Oren Gradus’s first curated playlist is now live on Spotify. Get to know the Brooklyn-born bass’s repertoire — including selections from Attila, Don Carlos, Mefistofele, and La Gioconda — as performed by some of his favorite singers by clicking here.

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