A baritone of imposing voice and stature, Gregg Baker continues to make an indelible mark on the world of opera theater. Since his opera debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1985, Gregg has performed leading roles at Vienna Staatsoper, Arena di Verona, Glyndebourne Opera, Hamburg Opera, New Israeli Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Vancouver Opera, Baden-Baden Opera, Covent Garden, Scottish National Opera, New York City Opera, Michigan Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Greater Miami Opera.
Mr. Baker recently debuted the role of Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera for the Opera Company of Philadelphia. He also performed the world-premiere series of Margaret Garner in Philadelphia and with the New York City Opera, and sang Amonasro for Michigan Opera Theatre's Aida. Recent engagements also include Amonasro for Florida Grand Opera, Crown in a concert version of Porgy and Bess for Opera Pacific, and Porgy for Opera Company of Philadelphia. Mr. Baker will sing the title role in Macbeth with Memphis Opera and Margaret Garner with Michigan Opera Theatre. In November, he performed Joe in a concert version of Show Boat at the Kennedy Center (National Symphony) conducted by Marvin Hamlisch.
The past two seasons also held important role debuts for Mr. Baker: the title roles in Macbeth and Rigoletto and Robert in the world premiere of Margaret Garner. Opera Now said: "As Macbeth, he revealed a real affinity for Verdi, his glowing voice strong and seamless throughout its registers." The New York Times posed the question: "I wonder why we don't hear more of Gregg Baker, whose commanding voice and presence as Robert Garner...filled the stage." And Opera News called him "the brilliant Gregg Baker" for his Margaret Garner performances in Detroit and Cincinnati.
A successful veteran of Broadway and a Lawrence Olivier Award nominee, Mr. Baker discovered his gift for and love of opera while performing the role of Crown in Porgy and Bess. The Metropolitan Opera heard his performance in Radio City Music Hall's production of Porgy and Bess and immediately engaged him for their own production. Since then, he has returned to the Metropolitan Opera in the roles of High Priest (Samson et Delila), Amonasro (Aida), Escamillo (Carmen), Silvio (I Pagliacci), Donner (Rheingold), and Belcore (L'Elisir d'Amore).
In addition to his opera performances, Mr. Baker has performed and recorded with leading orchestras and conductors: the Royal Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Danish Symphony, Radio Stuttgart Symphony, James Levine, Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, Andre Previn, Lorin Maazel, Esa-Pekka Solanen, Sir Roger Norrington, the late Robert Shaw, Jesus Luis Cobos, Daniel Oren, the late Anton Guadagno, and Eric Kunzel. Mr. Baker has worked with the renowned stage directors Otto Schenk, the late Pierre Ponelle, Nathaniel Merrill, and Franco Zefferelli.
Other career highlights include a Grammy nomination in 1986, numerous engagements with Opera Company of Philadelphia where he won the Philadelphia public's heart and is hailed as "the opera crowd's favorite deep voice," and repeat appearances in Europe particularly with Arena di Verona.