2018–19 Season: Mr. Potter in It's a Wonderful Life
Baritone Rod Gilfry was brought to worldwide attention when he created the role of Stanley Kowalski in the 1998 premiere of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire at San Francisco Opera. Other world premieres include Nicholas in Deborah Drattel's Nicholas and Alexandra at Los Angeles Opera; Nathan in Nicholas Maw's Sophie's Choice at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; and Edward Gaines in Richard Danielpour's Margaret Garner at Michigan Opera Theatre. In 2015, he created his eighth world premiere in Boston in the role of Walt Whitman in Matthew Aucoin's Crossing. Other recent projects include Howard K. Stern in Mark-Anthony Turnage's Anna Nicole with New York City Opera and Covent Garden, a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Danilo in a new production of The Merry Widow opposite Susan Graham, Peter in Hansel and Gretel with the Alabama Symphony, Don Giovanni at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, concerts with the San Francisco Symphony in music of Thomas Adès and Felix Mendelssohn, performances with the Dallas Symphony as Lyndon Baines Johnson in Steven Stucky's August 4th, 1964 in Dallas and at Carnegie Hall, and selections from Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Grand Rapids Symphony. He sang the title role of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Frank Butler to Deborah Voigt's Annie in Annie Get Your Gun at the Glimmerglass Festival, and Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem at the Oregon Bach Festival. He appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel for the final installment of the Mozart/Da Ponte Trilogy as Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, directed by Christopher Alden.
Gilfry's other performances with San Francisco Opera have included Valentin in Faust (1995), Lescaut in Manon (1998), Belcore in L'Elisir d'Amore (2000), Danilo (2002), the title role of Doktor Faust (2004), and Lionel in The Maid of Orleans (2006). He is currently a voice professor at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music.