American bass Eric Halfvarson made his Royal Opera debut in 2000 as Claggart (Billy Budd). His many roles since for The Royal Opera include Sparafucile (Rigoletto), Moser (I masnadieri), Doctor (Wozzeck), Hunding (Die Walküre), Prince Gremin (Eugene Onegin), Rocco (Fidelio), Grand Inquisitor (Don Carlo), the Commendatore (Don Giovanni), Mr Ashby (La fanciulla del West) and Fafner (Das Rheingold and Siegfried). In the 2014/15 Season he returns to sing the Commendatore and Melcthal (Guillaume Tell) for The Royal Opera.
Halfvarson was born in Illinois to a family of musicians. He made his operatic debut as Don Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia) in 1973 and was a founding member of the Houston Opera Studio. He regularly appears with the world’s leading opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Paris Opéra, at the Bayreuth Festival and in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Turin and Buenos Aires. In addition to his Royal Opera repertory, Halfvarson's many roles include Hagen (Götterdämmerung), Gurnemanz (Parsifal), Bluebeard (Bluebeard's Castle) and Veit Pogner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg).
Halfvarson has sung in concert with many leading American orchestras and with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hallé and the Concertgebouw Orchestra, among others. He has recorded widely and appears in Kasper Holten’s film Juan as the Commendatore. Halfvarson is also a dedicated voice teacher and gives masterclasses around the world.
Eric Halfvarson © Lisa Kohler
Eric Halfvarson as the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlo © ROH / Catherine Ashmore 2013
Eric Halfvarson as Fafner, Andrew Rees as Froh, Iain Paterson as Fasolt, Bryn Terfel as Wotan, Peter Coleman-Wright as Donner, Stig Andersen as Loge and Sarah Connolly as Fricka © Clive Barda/ROH 2012
Eric Halfvarson in Das Rheingold (Der Ring des Nibelungen), The Royal Opera © ROH/Clive Barda, 2012
Eric Halfvarson as Fafner in Siegfried © Clive Barda / ROH 2012