Featured as Sarastro on the 1987 Great Performances: LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER PBS telecast of New York City Opera’s Die Zauberflöte, and heard in fifteen NPR broadcasts with the San Francisco Opera, Gregory Stapp is a true basso profondo who has garnered acclaim across the United States, as well as in Europe, Mexico and Japan.
His 30 roles under the auspices of San Francisco Opera include Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Achillas in Julius Caesar, Brander in La Damnation de Faust, Pluto in Il ballo dell’ingrate, Friar Lawrence in Roméo et Juliette, the Priest in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Lodovico in Otello, and, in 2004, the Parson in The Cunning Little Vixen and Dansker in Billy Budd.
Widely hailed for his spectacular Osmin in The Abduction from the Seraglio, he has also won accolades as Bluebeard in Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, Kecal in The Bartered Bride, Nilakantha in Lakmé, Reverend Hale in The Crucible, Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlo, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Hunding in Die Walküre, Ramfis in Aïda, Timur in Turandot, the Commendatore in Don Giovanni and Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha.
He was Fasolt in the François Rochaix production of Wagner’s Ring with Seattle Opera; the Emperor Altoum in the American stage premiere of Busoni’s Turandot with Connecticut Grand Opera; John Mackay in the world premiere of Herbolsheimer’s Mark Me Twain with Nevada Opera; Charlemagne in the American premiere of Schubert’s Fierrabras with Philadelphia’s AVA Opera Theatre; and the bass soloist in the American premiere of Garcia’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall with the Universidade de Brasilia Chorus.
In 1985, he was directed by filmmaker Bruce Beresford as Ashby in the Italian telecast production of La Fanciulla del West, which was mounted for the Spoleto Festivals in Charleston, South Carolina and Italy.
In Spoleto, festival founder Gian Carlo Menotti presented Stapp in recital on his prestigious Concerti di Mezzogiorno series. Menotti then invited him to Scotland to perform Mr. Kofner in the Connecticut Grand Opera Edinburgh Festival production of The Consul, directed by the composer.
Additional international engagements have included Ramfis in Aïda for the Centro Internacional de Opera in Guadalajara, Mexico; being the bass soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Osaka Symphoniker; starring in a cabaret show as well as performing several concerts and roles for Japan’s Sakai City Opera including the Commendatore, Sparafucile, Monterone, Colline, and Sarastro, in a joint production of Die Zauberflöte with Germany’s Chemnitz Opera.
He has also performed with opera companies in Pittsburgh, Costa Mesa, Philadelphia, Miami, Baltimore, Saint Louis, Portland, Jackson, Detroit, Cincinnati, Hartford, Cleveland, New Orleans, Austin, Indianapolis, Fort Worth, Honolulu, Buffalo, Oakland, Eugene, Syracuse, Phoenix, Tucson, Columbus, Princeton, Cooperstown, Toledo, Memphis, Saratoga Springs, Birmingham and Colorado Springs, among others; and toured America as Sparafucile in Rigoletto with New York City Opera’s National Company.
He has also enjoyed success with the Carmel Bach Festival, Chestnut Hill Basically Bach Festival, Mendocino Music Festival, Bear Valley Music Festival, Sacramento Symphony, Illinois Symphony, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Singers, Walla Walla Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Colorado Springs Symphony, Ventura County Symphony, Los Angeles Master Chorale, San Francisco Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra.
Stapp twice won appointment to the prestigious San Francisco/Affiliate Artists-Opera Program, and later was awarded one of the San Francisco Opera Center’s inaugural Adler Fellowships. He has received prizes from the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, National Institute for Music Theater, Baltimore Opera Auditions and the William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation.
A scholarship graduate of both Denver’s Loretto Heights College and of Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts, he has studied voice with George Lynn, Dorothy DiScala, Margaret Harshaw, Janet Parlova, Jerome Hines and Judith Natalucci.
Stapp has given master classes in America and Japan, and maintains a private voice studio in San Francisco. His students have attained success in opera, oratorio, and musical theatre, and won prizes in noted competitions.
A frequent panelist at Opera America’s Workshop for Singers, for many years he represented soloists as an elected Governor of the American Guild of Musical Artists. He currently serves as AGMA’s 5th Vice President.
In August, he will join conductor/pianist Robert Ashens on San Francisco's Old First Concerts series for An Evening of Profondo Delights & Laments.
An Evening of Profondo Delights & Laments