Charles Robert Austin – Bass-Baritone
“Possessor of a strikingly beautiful voice”
“Completely commanding on stage”
… are two of the powerful phrases used by critics and writers to describe the voice and stage talents of Charles Robert Austin. Mr. Austin’s operatic successes are extensive, most notable including Duke Bluebeard in Duke Bluebeard’s Castle ( Seattle Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chicago Opera Theatre, Baltimore Symphony, Virginia Symphony); King Mark in Tristan und Isolde (Teatro de la Opera San Juan, Virginia Opera, Tokyo Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra); Rocco in Fidelio (LA Opera, Virginia Opera, Monterey Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra); Viet Pogner and Hermann Ortel in Die Meistersinger (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto Festival); Méphistophélès in Faust (Madison Opera and Tacoma Opera); Leporello in Don Giovanni (Berkshire Opera, Minnesota Symphony); Daland in Der Fliegende Hollander (Opera Pacific); Scarpia in Tosca (South Carolina); Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor (Utah Opera ); Klingsor in Parsifal (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra), King Henry the Fowler in Lohengrin (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra); Wotan in Die Walkure ( Opera Theater of Pittsburgh and cover for the Metropolitan Opera ); Hunding in Die Walküre (Virginia Opera); and he created the role of King Hrothgar in LA Opera’s premiere production of Grendel.
Additional roles include Olin Blitch in Susanna (Santa Fe Opera), Sparafucile in Rigoletto (Madison Opera, Florentine Opera Company, Puerto Rico ( and Monterone ) ), Warden George Benton in Dead Man Walking (Pittsburgh Opera, Vancouver Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Pacific), The Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Piedmont Opera Theatre0; Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro (Madison Opera), Orestes in Elektra (Hawaii Opera Theatre), Escamilo in Carmen (Canadian Opera Company, Omaha Opera), Baron Douphol in La Traviata (Santa Fe Opera, Opera Pacific), High Priest of Babylon in Nabucco (Florentine Opera Company), Dulcamara in L’Elisir D’Amore (Madison Opera), and Friar Laurent in Romeo et Juliette ( Cleveland Opera & Pittsburgh Opera ). He has also performed Phillip II in Don Carlos, Dr. Kolenáty in Makropolos Case, Falstaff in Falstaff, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, and Colline in La Boheme.
Mr. Austin’s recent concert performances include Howard Hanson’s Merry Mount at Carnegie Hall with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic; Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Seattle, Virginia and Canton Symphonies; Haydn’s Mass in C “Paukenmesse” and Handel’s Messiah with the San Diego Symphony; Mozart’s Requiem with the Cleveland Orchestra; Bach’s Mass in B Minor; Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem with The Florida Orchestra; a Wagner gala evening with the Canton Symphony Orchestra; Berlioz Romeo et Juliette with the Louisville Orchestra; Verdi’s Requiem with the Dayton Philharmonic. Previously he has performed Mozart’s Great Mass in C, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Missa Solemnis, and Verdi’s Nabucco in Carnegie Hall, NY; Haydn’s Creation with the Mostly Mozart Festival and Schubert’s oratorio Lazarus with the New York Chamber Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall, NY; and Handel’s Messiah with the Washington Choral Society in the Kennedy Center (Washington DC).
Mr. Austin can be heard on several recordings including Deems Taylor’s Peter Ibbetson and The Execution of Stepan Razin with the Seattle Symphony / Schwarz for Naxos; as Praise-God Tweke Merry Mount by Hanson also for Naxos; The Eternal Road ( Kurt Weill ) with the Berlin Radio Symphony for Milken Archives; the benchmark recording of Menotti’s The Consul as the Secret Police Agent for Chandos Records; Haydn’s opera La Fedelta Premiata as the High Priest Melibeo for Arabesque Classics; and as The Jailer in Tosca with Riccardo Muti conducting the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra for Phillips Classics.
Recent and upcoming engagements include Warden George Benton Dead Man Walking for Vancouver Opera, Canada; Dr. Grenvil La Traviata for Seattle Opera; Duke Bluebeard Bluebeard’s Castle with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra; and performances of Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast; Brahms’ A German Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; Verdi’s Requiem; and Handel’s Messiah.