Artist of the Week: Norman Garrett
American Baritone Brings Chausson’s only Opera to LifeBy Francisco Salazar
Every year the Bard Summerscape presents a rarely performed work that audiences and singers get to discover. The festival has presented works from Dvorak, Korngold, Moniuszko, Weber, and Mascagni to name a few. This year, the festival will present Chausson’s only opera “Le roi Arthus” with a cast of rising stars and veterans.
Norman Garrett will take on the title role, making his role debut as the iconic King Arthur and performing what he revealed in an upcoming interview with OperaWire to be his “new favorite role.” Garrett describes the opera as Wagnerian but not as heavy and “almost like you turned it into a movie score.” He also added that there is a little bit of Puccini, Massenet, and even some Verdi.
Garrett also noted that he was excited for audiences to hear the piece for the first time and to be “done in a very high level of musicianship.”
Throughout his career, Garrett has taken on a variety of repertoire from Catán, Gerswhin, Mozart, Bizet, Verdi, Puccini, and Strauss, among others. He has been hailed by critics as “scene-stealing” and recently made his Metropolitan Opera debut in “Porgy and Bess.” He has also performed with the Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and Fort Worth Opera, among others.
The baritone is a winner of the George London Foundation Competition and has received top prizes from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the Giulio Gari Foundation, Fort Worth Opera’s McCammon Competition, and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition, among others.
For audiences not in New York, “Le roi Arthus” will be live streamed on the festival’s page. Garett will also return to the Metropolitan Opera for “Fire Shut up in My Bones” and “Porgy and Bess” and will also sing at the Seattle Opera for his house debut.
For audiences not familiar with Garrett’s voice here are some clips from “Carmen,” and recitals.