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Robert Chafin

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Robert Chafin has established himself as one of the finest young helden-tenors on the international stage. A native of Virginia, his recent performances as Menelas in Die Ägyptische Helena at the Deutsche Oper Berlin were performed to wide critical acclaim. Chafin has performed in over 60 operas, beginning his career with the major roles of Mozart and Rossini, most recently adding to his repertoire such roles as Apollo Daphne, Max Der Freischütz, Erik Der Fliegende Holländer, Midas Die Liebe der Danae, Enée Les Troyens, Don José Carmen as well as Laca Jenufa and  and title role in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. In these and other roles, Chafin has guested in New York (NYCO), Stockholm, London (ROH), Vienna, Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Berlin (Deutsche Oper), Leipzig, Brussels and Luxemburg, among others. International acclaim for his Franz Schreker interpretations of Flammen and Christophorus show the versatility and the flexibility of this artist. Described in OPERA NEWS/April 2009: “Menelas, like so many Strauss tenor roles, is a punishing and thankless part, yet Robert Chafin...gave the Spartan king a vocally convincing and dramatically compelling performance that cut through the thicket of female voices: his work was so brazen that he not only held his own, but seemed to be waging war against Strauss's disdain for the male voice.”

Mr. Chafin has been a frequent soloist with orchestras and leading choral ensembles throughout Europe and America. He has worked with such conductors as Donald Runnicles, Riccardo Muti, Fréderic Chaslin, Markus Stenz, Michel Plasson, Gary Bertini, Nicolas Geogeghan, Stefan Anton Reck, Edo de Waart, Renée Jacobs, and Eve Queler. Highlights include his Carnegie Hall debut as Goffredo Armida by Rossini with Opera Orchestra of New York, performing as featured soloist in the Paris opening of the Schubertiade  at the Theatre des Champs - Élyseés with the Stuttgarter Kammerchor, making his Belgian debut in the Flanders' Festival (Rodrigo Rossini's Otello), and working with maestro Alberto Zedda at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam as Tebaldo in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi.

Mr. Chafin was featured as Dionysos in the Vara-Radio broadcast of Henze’s Die Bassariden, a Holland Premiere with Markus Stenz conducting (2003). His recordings include Stravinsky's In Memoriam Dylan Thomas and Hindemith's Das Unaufhörliche for both radio and television (in a live recording at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, maestro Dimitri Kitajenko), as well as the operas Flammen, Christophorus by Franz Schreker, and Midas in Die Liebe der Danae by Richard Strauss, released in December 2003. A CD of a concert performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Candideat the Berlin Philharmonie (2005) is also available.  In recent years, Robert Chafin has continued to expand his repertoire towards the jugendliche Heldentenor fach as a regular guest with the Leipzig Opera and has made house debuts at the Monnaie Opera in Brussels with Der Fliegende Holländer (2005) as well as at the Opéra National du Rhin as Enée in a new production of Berlioz’ Les Troyens(2006). 

Recent engagements include the title role Don Carlos for Staatsoper Hannover, his Covent Garden (ROH) and Salzburg Festival debut with Ricardo Muti in Die Zauberflöte and the title role Les Contes d'Hoffmann for Wiesbaden Staatsoper. Engagements in 2009 include Menelas in Die Ägyptische Helenafor the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, Erik Der fliegende Holländerin Riga and Die Zauberflötefor Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse in 2010. Concert highlights for the 2010/2011 season include the Verdi Requiem in Hannover and Dublin, Ireland and DAS LIED VON DER ERDE in Belgrade.