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ROD GILFRY (Don Alfonso), two-time Grammy nominee, singer, and actor, has performed in all the world's music capitals. His most recent Grammy nomination was for his 2008 performance in the title role of Messiaen’s monumental opera Saint François d’Assise in Amsterdam. Best-known as an opera singer, he is also an acclaimed recitalist and concert artist, and appears frequently in musical theater classics. His discography of 28 audio and video recordings includes the DVD and CD of his one-man show My Heart is So Full of You. His radio program, Opera Notes on Air, aired on K-Mozart 105.1 FM in Los Angeles for over three years.
With a 74-role repertoire, Gilfry sings music from the Baroque to that composed expressly for him. He was brought to worldwide attention when he created the role of Stanley Kowalski in the 1998 premiere of André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire at the San Francisco Opera with Renée Fleming. Other world premieres include Nicholas in Deborah Drattel’s Nicholas and Alexandra (Los Angeles, opposite Plácido Domingo); Nathan in Nicholas Maw’s Sophie's Choice (London, Washington D.C.); Jack London in Libby Larsen’s Every Man Jack (Sonoma, CA); and Edward Gaines in Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner (Detroit, Cincinnati, Philadelphia). He created his sixth world premiere in Zürich in October 2010 in the title role of Gesualdo by Marc-André Dalbavie.
The 2013/14 season includes two new productions with the New York City Opera: the American premiere of Anna Nicole and the Count in Le nozze di Figaro. He will appear with the San Francisco Symphony singing Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht and scenes from Adès’ The Tempest, and he travels to Japan for Così fan tutte at the Hyogo Arts Center and to London for the Royal Opera Covent Garden’s production of Anna Nicole. In 2015 he returns to the Met singing Danilo to Susan Graham’s Hanna in the new production of The Merry Widow.
Other recent projects include performances as Lyndon Baines Johnson in August 4th, 1964 by Steven Stucky in Dallas and at Carnegie Hall with the Dallas Symphony; the title role in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and with Opera Theater of St. Louis; Frank Butler to Deborah Voigt’s Annie in Annie Get Your Gun with Glimmerglass Opera; the 2013 Aix-en-Provence Festival as Don Giovanni; and concerts with Oregon Bach Festival and San Francisco Choral Society. In 2012 he debuted with New York City Opera as Don Alfonso in their new production of Così fan tutte and with Opéra de Québec in Adès’ The Tempest.
Gilfry devoted his entire 2009/10 season to the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein. He starred as Emile de Becque in the U.S. national tour of the Lincoln Center production of South Pacific, a production that garnered seven Tonys in 2008. He also appeared as Captain von Trapp in the Théâtre du Châtelet production of The Sound of Music in Paris, with his daughter Carin Gilfry playing the part of his daughter Liesl.
Previous seasons saw Gilfry in concert as Sam in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra in Munich, an appearance at New York’s Carnegie Zankel Hall in an all-Bernstein recital with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, and song recitals in the southwestern United States. He was Captain Balstrode in Peter Grimes in San Diego, Lancelot in Camelot at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, and he appeared as Sam in Trouble in Tahiti in Munich again, but this time in a staged production at the Bavarian State Opera with conductor Kent Nagano.
Other notable appearances include Doktor Faust in Busoni’s Doktor Faust (San Francisco Opera); Billy Budd in Britten’s Billy Budd (Geneva, Paris, London, Dallas, Los Angeles); Don Giovanni in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Los Angeles, Zürich, Lyon, London, Parma, Dallas, Minneapolis, Amsterdam); Danilo in Lehár’s The Merry Widow (Los Angeles, Zürich, San Francisco, Dallas); and Robert Storch in Strauss’ Intermezzo (Zurich).
Gilfry holds the Steven Crocker Chair in Music at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where he is an Associate Professor of Vocal Arts. He teaches there between out-of-town engagements.