High Priest – Samson and Delilah
“Greer Grimsley’s High Priest add personality to the story. Grimsley’s rich, resonant baritone never falters; his scheming scene with Delilah captures evil plotting perfectly. It’s always fun to watch the “bad guys” from a safe distance.” Voice of San Diego
“Grimsley was an excellent foil as the third party. He sang meatily when confronting Delilah over the need to have her spy for the Philistines…He never overshadowed the leads, either.” Houston Chronicle
“Greer Grimsley’s bass-baritone lends an ominous quality to the part of the High Priest of Dragon.”
“[As the high priest], Greer Grimsley’s dark, dense bass-baritone makes the Philistine high priest aptly imposing.” The Dallas Morning News
“Bass baritone Greer Grimsley, as the High Priest of Dagon, poured out torrents of molten steel.” San Antonio Express-News
“[As the High Priest, Greer] Grimsley accomplishes believability…he avoids vocal pitfalls usually associated with this type of ‘big bad wolf’ role and delivers a well-balanced sound complemented by effective placement of vocally styled anger, something that only the best Wagnerian can accomplish.”
Greer Grimsley – Bass-Baritone
American Bass-Baritone Greer Grimsley is internationally recognized as an outstanding singing actor and one of the most prominent Wagnerian singers of our day. Continuing his reign as a leading interpreter of Wotan, he will sing the eminent role for the Metropolitan Opera’s RING Cycle in the new Robert Lepage’s landmark production in the Spring of 2013. In addition to performing this role once again in Summer 2013 with Seattle Opera, this season his engagements include Don Pizarro in Fidelio with Seattle Opera, the Villians in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, and the High Priest in Samson et Dalila in his hometown of New Orleans Opera. Future season see returns to San Francisco Opera in two productions, the Gran Teatre del Liceu in two productions, a return to Dallas Opera, and a return to San Diego Opera.
Grimsley appeared on the June 2010 cover of Opera News Magazine, featuring a 7-page focus on his role as ‘King of the Gods’. Commenting on Seattle Opera’s 2009 Der Ring des Nibelungen, the Seattle Times said, “Grimsley’s big, resplendent voice is the right size and color for this vital role; as Wotan, he sounds like a singer who has found his true home. He’s an adept actor, too, never overplaying his hand and relating to the rest of the cast with unflagging intensity.” He will reprise the role in Seattle Opera’s full Ring for the third time in 2013. He has also performed the role of Wotan in Die Walküre and Das Rheingold at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and in the full Ring Cycle with the Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Oper Köln, and on tour in Shanghai.
Recent engagements that have let him to be labelled a leading Wagnerian interpreter include: Telramund in Lohengrin with the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Danish Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Seattle Opera; Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde with the Prague National Theatre, the Royal Danish Opera, the Opera de Bellas Artes in Mexico, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and with Seattle Opera; Amfortas in Parsifal with the Metropolitan Opera; and his other signature role as the terrifying Der Fliegende Holländer with performances at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna under Maestro Gatti’s baton, with the Opéra national de Lorraine in Nancy, France, with Seattle Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, in Lithuania, and in concert with the Syracuse Opera.
International engagements have also included Scarpia in Tosca at the Oper der Stadt Köln, at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, The Norwegian National Opera in Oslo, and at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center in Japan; Jokanaan in Salome with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Aarhus-Den Jyske Opera in Denmark, the Scottish Opera, and the Opera de Bellas Artes in Mexico; Mephistopheles in Faust in Oviedo, Spain; Mandryka in Arabella with the Royal Danish Opera; Don Pizzarro in Fidelio with the Scottish Opera as well as the Portuguese National Opera São Carlos; Jack Rance in La Fanciulla del West and the title role in Bluebeard’s Castle with L’Opera de Montreal; the title role in Don Giovanni and Scarpia in Tosca with the Stadttheater Basel in Switzerland; the Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann with New Israeli Opera; and Amonasro in Aïda with Opera de Caracas in Venezuela.
In North America his more recent performances have also included Jokanaan in Salome at the San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Vancouver Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, and Arizona Opera; Scarpia in Tosca with Seattle Opera, San Diego Opera, L’Opera de Montreal, Portland Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Opera Colorado; Mephistopheles in Faust at the San Diego Opera, New Orleans Opera, and in a new production with Arizona Opera; Don Pizzarro in Fidelio with Opera Company of Philadelphia and Portland Opera; Jack Rance in La Fanciulla del West with Seattle Opera; the title role of Macbeth with Vancouver Opera and Opera Lyra Ottawa; Amonasro in Aida with Portland Opera; the High Priest in Samson et Dalila with San Diego Opera; and Claggart in Billy Budd with Pittsburgh Opera.
Also an active concert artist, Mr. Grimsley made his New York Philharmonic debut as Don Pizzaro in Fidelio with conductor Kurt Masur at the inaugural season of the Lincoln Center Festival. Additional concert engagements have included Verdi’s Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony at Carnegie Hall; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Seattle Symphony and San Antonio Symphony; the High Priest in Samson et Dalila with Washington Concert Opera; Don Pizzarro in Fidelio with the Saint Louis Symphony; and Scarpia in Tosca with Deborah Voight and the Minnesota Orchestra.
Mr. Grimsley first came to international attention as Escamillo in the Peter Brook production of La Tragédie de Carmen, which he has sung in venues around the world, including his Italian debuts at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto and the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. He also performed Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen with the Seattle Opera, Baltimore Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Vancouver Opera, Edmonton Opera, the St. Louis Symphony, the Teatro Real, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Scottish Opera, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and at the Bregenz Festival in Austria.
He made his Metropolitan debut as Captain Balstrode in Peter Grimes, and has subsequently returned in performances as Escamillo in Carmen, Jokanaan in Salome, and Scarpia in Tosca. He created the role of Canyka in the world premiere of Ashoka’s Dream with Santa Fe Opera and performed the Count de Luna in the American premiere of Verdi’s French-language version of Il Trovatore, Le Trouvère. He has also performed at the Wexford Festival in Ireland as Richard Lionheart in Marschner’s Der Templer und Die Juden.