Artist of the Week: Alfred Walker
American Bass-Baritone Returns to San Francisco Opera as ScarpiaBy Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Cory Weaver)
On August 21, the San Francisco Opera will return to the stage after a year and a half of no performances due to the pandemic. The company will revive a production of “Tosca” with an all-star cast including Ailyn Perez in her role debut and Michael Fabiano in his U.S. role debut in Shawna Lucey’s acclaimed production. Both stars will be joined by Alfred Walker, who will also make his role debut as Scarpia.
The opening night will see Walker return to the San Francisco Opera following his debut in 2017 in “Elektra” and in a new production of “Hansel and Gretel.” Critics raved about Walker’s Orest stating he “was sternly implacable in joining Elektra’s thirst for revenge” and that he had a “warm, appealing voice, a timbre equally lyrical and heroic.” Scarpia will also be another Puccini role for Walker following his turn as Colline in “La Bohème.”
A graduate of Dillard University, Loyola University, and the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program, the bass-baritone as participated and won competitions from the George London Foundation, Palm Beach Opera Competition, and Houston Opera Studio’s Eleanor McCollum Competition.
Over the years he has performed a varied repertoire by Verdi, Mozart, Mascagni, Gershwin, Bellini, Wagner, Berlioz, Martinů, and Strauss, among others. He has also sung at the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Oper Köln, Pittsburgh Opera, Komische Oper Berlin, Den Norske Opera, and Deutsche Oper Berlin, among others.
Aside from his performances in San Francisco, the bass-baritone is set to appear at the Boston Lyric Opera, English National Opera, and Washington Concert Opera.
For audiences not familiar with Walker, here is a the bass-baritone in clips from “Aida,” “Porgy and Bess,” and “Lohengrin.”