Bass-Baritone Nathan Stark Joins Athlone Artists

“Stark’s voice is intoxicating. It is as toasted and oaken as the bourbon cask it was surely matured in.” –

Athlone Artists is pleased to welcome Nathan Stark to its roster of opera and concert artists, conductors and stage directors.

Praised by the Washington Post as having a voice of “unearthly power,” Nathan Stark has enthralled audiences on operatic and concert stages throughout the United States, Europe and China. The bass-baritone has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Dayton Opera, Atlanta Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Virginia Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera San Antonio, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Orlando, Boston Baroque, Opera San Jose, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Mr. Stark’s noted operatic roles include Mustafà in L’Italiana in Algeri, both Don Basilio and Don Bartolo in il Barbiere di Siviglia, Leporello and il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Monterone and Sparafucile in Rigoletto, both Zuniga and Escamillo in Carmen, Colline in La Bohème, The Military Judge in Huang Ruo and David Henry Hwang’s An American Solider,  Rocco in Beethoven’s Fidelio, Banco in Macbeth and the King in the US premiere of Alma Deutscher’s Cinderella.  Of his performance in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Opera Today declared,”Nathan Stark made an auspicious role debut as an uncommonly fine [Nick] Bottom. His stage demeanor was by turns pompous, genial, blustering, and endearing and he captured every bit of the part’s humor…His well-schooled bass-baritone has a steely thrust, and its easy amplitude allowed it to ring out in the house. Mr. Stark’s authoritative impersonation made us love to be annoyed by this meddlesome tinker.”

When asked why he was excited about joining the roster of Athlone Artists, Stark says, “I loved working with Miguel Rodriguez at Boston Baroque, and it was there that we got to know each other.  When he later told me about his new venture –Athlone Artists – I knew he would make an incredibly well-rounded artist manager. It made all the sense in the world to me.  I like it that Miguel has a true strategic plan for all of the artists on his roster. That includes people who have been around for over 20 years and are performing regularly at the Met along with new and upcoming talent. I’m excited to be a part of a roster that is so dynamic. Miguel is really engaged with his artists – and that is just what this business needs.”

“From the moment I heard Nathan sing in rehearsals the role of Rocco in Boston Baroque’s production of Beethoven’s Fidelio, I knew his was a special instrument,” says Athlone Artists President Miguel Rodriguez. “He is a consummate actor, one of those artists who knows how to deliver comedy on the stage, but who can also make you cry with the sheer power of his bass-baritone voice. I can’t wait to work with him!”

This season, Stark returns to Opera San Jose for The Abduction from the Seraglio (Pasha Selim), Arizona Opera for Silent Night (French General), Virginia Opera for Don Giovanni (il Commendatore), Opera Orlando for il Barbiere di Siviglia (Don Bartolo) and Opera Theatre of St. Louis for The Marriage of Figaro (Dr. Bartolo).

In concert, Mr. Stark has performed with the symphony orchestras of Boston, Detroit, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Columbus and San Diego. This spring, Mr. Stark reprised his role as bass soloist in The Defiant Requiem Foundation’s “Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín” with the Pacific Symphony and Chorale under Maestro Murry Sidlin.

A frequent recitalist throughout the United States and Germany, Mr. Stark has also performed at the Great Wall of China, the U.S. Colombian Embassy, U.S. French Embassy, the U.S. Austrian Embassy and the Washington National Cathedral. In 2005 he was chosen to be the featured soloist for a nationally televised ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Library for former First Ladies, Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan, members of the United States Senate and Congress and President George W. Bush.

Mr. Stark has been a recipient of awards at the 2010 Fort Worth Opera Marguerite McCammon Competition, the Opera Columbus Vocal Competition, the Brentwood Artist of Tomorrow Competition, the Sun Valley Opera Competition, the Westwood Vocal Competition, the Burbank Aria Competition, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Corbett Scholarship Opera Competition (first place), the Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition, the Pasadena Opera Guild Competition, the Opera Buffs Competition, Classical Singers Association Vocal Competition in Los Angeles (first prize), and was the 2006 San Diego district winner of the Metropolitan Opera Vocal Competition.

Nathan holds degrees in vocal performance from California State University, Long Beach (B.M. & M.M.) and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (A.D.) He credits mentors and voice teachers Shigemi Matsumoto, Kenneth Shaw and Marilyn Horne, who have had a huge influence on his development as a singer.