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GREGG BAKER is in continual demand on the great opera and concert stages of the world. During the present season he appears as Amonasro in Aida with Houston Grand Opera and as Escamillo in Carmen at the Arena di Verona, and he joins the Opera Company of Philadelphia as Jochanaan in Salome and as Scarpia in Tosca. On the concert stage Baker performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Ensemble Orchestral de Paris under John Nelson; and the Verdi Requiem with the Vancouver Bach Choir.
In the 1998/99 season, Gregg Baker returned to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera for performances of Carmen and Aida, the latter under the baton of James Levine, and was seen with Michigan Opera Theatre as the High Priest in Samson et Dalila. Engagements in the 1997/98 season included a return to Vancouver Opera for performances of Il trovatore and Salome; an all-Verdi program with the Vancouver Symphony of scenes from Aida, Il trovatore, and Simon Boccanegra; a new Franco Zeffirelli production of Aida with Daniel Oren in Japan; and the role of Kurwenal in concert performances of Tristan und Isolde with the Cincinnati Symphony. In the summer of 1995, he appeared at the Hollywood Bowl in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Norrington and in an “Opera Gala” with John Mauceri.
Baker’s career also has included roles such as Silvio in Pagliacci, Donner in Das Rheingold, and Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, all at the Metropolitan Opera. He achieved international renown for his interpretation of the role of Crown in Porgy and Bess at the Metropolitan Opera and at the Glyndebourne Festival, among other houses. He recorded this role with Simon Rattle on the EMI label, and in the 1992/93 season he made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in highly acclaimed performances of Porgy and Bess which were recorded and released on home video; the PBS “American Playhouse” series telecast the production in the fall of 1993. Baker performed the role of Porgy in concert performances during the summer of 1994 at the Casals Festival and also at La Fenice in Venice. Baker’s portrayal of Escamillo in Carmen has also been seen at the Vienna Staatsoper with Agnes Baltsa, in an arena production in Munich, and in Berlin with José Carreras, among others.
Baker’s appearances also have included concerts with the Israel Philharmonic; the London Symphony Orchestra; the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; the New York Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta; performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen and in Tokyo with London’s Philharmonia and Lorin Maazel; and solo recitals in Japan, Rovaniemi (Finland), Venice, and St. Louis.