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Gregory Reinhart (Bass)

Born: June 18, 1951 - Pavilion, New York, USA

The American bass, Gregory Reinhart, was raised in upstate New York. In 1971, he entered Boston's New England Conservatory (NEC), where he studied voice with Mark Pearson and took master-classes with Eleanor Steber. He graduated "with distinction" in 1974 and went on to receive his Masters of Music Degree there in 1977. In 1976 he was a recipient of an fellowship award that also allowed him to train with Phyllis Curtin at the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts. While at the NEC, he appeared in student performances of Ravel's L'heure espagnole and Donizetti's Don Pasquale. He directed the choir of St. John the Baptist in Quincy, sang with Emmanuel Music, and appeared as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the Monteverdi Vespers, J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) and Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin. Another early venture into opera was his performance in Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco with Boston Concert Opera, where according to the Boston Globe critic, Richard Dyer, "he sang the guest-star New York contingent right off the stage".

Gregory Reinhart first started training in voice with Professor Gloria Bugni McMaster at State University of New York at Geneseo, then went on to train as an opera singer at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, where he took further classes with Eleanor Steber and studied with the soprano Patricia Brinton who encouraged him to continue his preparation in Paris. He remained with her there for two years, thanks to a private donor from Quincy, Adelina Chella. During his years in Paris, he received the advice and encouragement of Pierre Bernac and Camille Maurane. Most importantly for the development of his career, he met the French musicologist Jacques Chuilon in 1980. Their collaboration in developing a vocal technique that permits Reinhart to perform a wide repertory from J.S. Bach to W.A. Mozart to the dramatic bass roles of Richard Wagner, as well as German Lieder and French Mélodie, continues to this day.

Gregory Reinhart made his French operatic debut in 1981 with the Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing, when he sang the title role of Giovanni Paisiello's Le roi Théodore à Venise in its first performance in modern times In 1982 he made guest appearance at the Festival of Former Times Music in Innsbruck as a yard philosopher in the Baroque opera Oronte by Cesti; in 1987 as Feraspe in Semiramide by the same composer. At the Opera House of Nancy he sang the King of Scotland in 1983 in the first French performance of George Frideric Handelís Ariodante. In 1984 he appeared at the Théâtre du Châtelet as both Huascar and Bellone in Rameau's Les Indes Galantes. It was the first time that a fully staged Rameau opera was performed in Paris with a full Baroque period instrument orchestra. That same year he sang the role of Arnold in the French premiere of Hans Werner Henze's contemporary opera La chatte anglaise at the Opéra Comique Paris.

Gregory Reinhart went on to sing leading bass roles in many of Europe's opera houses and concert halls over the next twenty years. He has also been a guest performer in opera, oratorio and recital in many prominent music festivals including the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the Handel Festival in Halle, the Santa Fe Opera Festival, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Evian, and the Chorégies d'Orange Festival. At the Festival of Pesaro he took over in 1984 the role of the Governor in Le Comte Ory by Rossini, a role, which he repeated then at different French stages. In 1985 he was at the National Theatre of Karlsruhe as a guest; in 1985-1986 at the Théâtre of Champs Élysées Paris, among other things in Ariodante. He sang King Henry VIII in 1986 at the Opera of Nice. in Donizettiís Anna Bolena and was to be found there from 1986 to 1988 as a guest. In 1985 he appeared at the Theatre of Lausanne, in 1987 at the Opera of Lyon (in Le Comte Ory). At the Festival of Aix-en-Provence he worked in 1986 as Ismenor in Tancrède by Campra, in 1989 as Tchelio in L'Amour des trois oranges by Prokofieff, in 1995 as a Governor in Le Comte Ory by Rossini, and in 1988 he sang at the Teatro Fenice Venice and at the Opera House of Toulouse (including in Le Comte Ory). In London he could be heard in 1988 in concertant performance of Monteverdiís Incoronazione di Poppea and Moses und Aron by Arnold Schoenberg; in 1989-1990 at the Théâtre Châtelet Paris and in 1990 at the Grand Théâtre Geneva (Melisso in Alcina by G.F. Handel). In 1987 he participated at the Opera of Nice in the premiere of the opera Secondetta by A. Bruni Tedeschi. In the initialization of the Opéra Bastille Paris he sang in March 1990 Panthée in Les Troyens by Berlioz; in 1992 in Santa Fé the Commendatore in Don Giovanni; in 1993 in Nice in Tristan; in 1994 Titurel in Parsifal. He appeared in 1993 at the Händel Festival in Halle/Saale as Zoroastre in G.F. Handelís Orlando.

Gregory Reinhart is known throughout the world for performing an extremely wide repertory of operatic roles, concert works with orchestra as well as recitals with piano. His performing repertory includes the leading bass Wagner roles such as Landgraf in Tannhaüser, Daland in Der Fliegende Holländer, König Marke in Tristan Und Isolde, Hunding in Die Walküre, Fasolt in Das Rheingold and Hagen Göttterdämmerung. These are in addition to many roles of W.A. Mozart, Rossini, and the major French composers. He has been applauded in many parts of Europe for Rocco in Fidelio and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte. A gifted actor, he is equally at ease with comic and serious roles. He has been praised in The Metropolitan Opera Guide to Recorded Opera for his performance in Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea as one of the finest Senecas on record with "a magnificent bass voice: firm and clear throughout its wide range". He triumphed in Paris and Amsterdam last season as the aged Arkel in a production of Pelléas et Mélisande conducted by Sir Bernard Haitink, and a DVD of a live performance at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées is currently in production.

Gregory Reinhart's French roles include Marcel in Les Huguenots, Narbal Les Troyens with Paris Opéra-Bastille, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette in Turin and Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande in Rouen, Paris and Amsterdam. Also Le Gouverneur in Le Comte Ory which he performed at the Pesaro Rossini Festival, La Fenice, Venice, Lyon and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. He performed Tchelio in the French version of Love of Three Oranges in Lyon and at with San Francisco Opera, which is available on DVD. Reinhart has performed the Commendatore in Don Giovanni at the Santa Fe Festival, Mustafà in L'italiana In Algeri and Douglas in La Donna Del Lago in Nice and Alidoro in La Cenerentola in Strasbourg. Among his Italian roles is also Lord Robinson in Cimarosaís Matrimonio segreto.

To Gregory Reinhart's credit are several world premieres: Philippe Manoury's K... (as The Investigating Magistrate and The Prison Chaplain at Opéra Bastille, 2001), Pascal Dusapin's Perelà, Uomo di Fumo (as Pilone the Philosopher and The king's guard at Opéra Bastille, 2003), and Lowell Liebermann's Picture of Dorian Gray (as Basil Hallward at Opéra de Monte-Carlo, 1996), staged by John Cox. He performed in other moder operas, such as the role of Claggart in BillBudd by Benjamin Britten in Toulouse (1994); Trulove in The Rake's Progress by Igor Stravinsky in Paris; Oberlin in Rihm's Jakob Lenz in Nancy, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Les Amandiers in Paris and The Badger/The Parson in The Cunning Little Vixen at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Paris, sung in Czech. On the other hand, the operas of G.F. Handel have displayed his multiple talents in roles such as Zoroasto in Orlando, Argenio in Imeneo, Claudio in Agrippina and the title role of Saul, which was also recorded. As concert and as oratorio soloist he took an important position among the artists of his generation, whereby he is particularly considered as a great interpreter of Baroque vocal works. Since his earliest training he loves to interpret J.S. Bach's music. While in Boston he was a regular soloist in Emmanuel Music's legendary cycle of the complete sacred cantatas, directed by Craig Smith. In Europe he has performed widely the St John Passion (BWV 245), St Matthew Passion (BWV 244); Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) and others including cantata BWV 82. All exist in pirate recordings.

Gregory Reinhart has collaborated with conductors Pierre Boulez, Semyon Bychkov, Bruno Campanella, James Conlon, Plácido Domingo, Myung-Whun Chung, Dennis Russell Davies, Jane Glover, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Kent Nagano, Alessandro de Marchi, Seiji Ozawa, Sir John Pritchard, Jeffrey Tate and Klaus Weise. Amongst the ensembles he has worked with are Groupe Vocale de France under John Alldis, Ensemble intercontemporain under Pierre Boulez, Concerto Vocale under René Jacobs, and Les Arts Florissants under William Christie.

Although he continues to be based in France, Gregory Reinhart has increasingly appeared in the USA. In 2002 he made his debut at New York City Opera as Claudius in Agrippina. His Washington National Opera debut followed in 2005 as The Old Hebrew in Samson et Dalila, conducted by Plácido Domingo. In 2006 he made his Metropolitan Opera debut as The Armoured Man in Die Zauberflöte. Praising his Met debut the New York Times credited him as a "startlingly powerful bass." 2007 saw company debuts with Portland Opera as Oroveso in Norma and with Pittsburgh Opera as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte. Gregory Reinhart opened San Francisco Opera's 2008-2009 season as Biterolf Landgraf in a new production of Tannhäuser.

For his guest artist debut with the new Oslo Opera House in October 2009, Gregory Reinhart had another success with one of his signature roles, Seneca in The Coronation of Poppea. Critics referred to his "brilliant bass voice" and ease in vocalization. The next week he stepped in to replace Hagen in Götterdämmerung with the Sao Carlos Theater of Lisbon, with enormous success. As King Marke in Tristan und Isolde this season in Wuppertal the bass was praised in Das Opernglas for his voice's "voluminous character and aristocratic timbre...with nothing to envy from the competition." He is now preparing four roles for the Paris Opera, including the new opera Faust by Philippe Fénelon; Mathis der Maler by Paul Hindemith; and The Parson in The Cunning Little Vixen.

Recordings: CBS (among other things Tamerlano by G.F. Handel, W.A. Mozartís Requiem), Erato (Tancrède by Campra), Harmonia Mundi (Zoroastre by Rameau), Virgin Classics (Amour des trois oranges, Incoronazione di Poppea), RCA (Messiah, Madrigals of Monteverdi), HMV-Electrola (Peasant (BWV 212) and Coffee (BWV 211) Cantatas by J.S. Bach), PV-Records (Les Paladins by Rameau), Disques Montaigne (Alceste by Lully).

Source: Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (August 2001); Wikipedia Website (March 2010); Robert Gilder & Co. Website (2009-2010)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2001, April 2010)

Gregory Reinhart: Short Biography | Recordings of Vocal Works under his name

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




William Christie


G.F. Handel: Opera Alcina, HWV 34 [1st recording, 1990, Melisso]

Hans-Martin Linde


BWV 211, BWV 212

Links to other Sites

Bass Gregory Reinhart (Robert Gilder & Co.)

Gregory Reinhart /(Wikipedia)

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