Jake Gardner Biography


Jake GardnerBoasting a career of performances with major opera companies and orchestras worldwide, bass-baritone Jake Gardner remains one of the opera world’s most sought-after singing actors. Having sung a decade as principal baritone with Oper der Stadt Köln under the baton of James Conlon, his long and distinguished career has included performances with such notable companies as Wiener Volksopera, Dresden’s Semper Oper, Glyndebourne Festival, De Nederlandse Opera, Edinburgh Festival as well as Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera and a host of excellent American regional companies.

Career highlights include a world tour and film of Peter Brook’s Le Tragédie de Carmen; a landmark production of Così fan Tutte with Trevor Nunn and Simon Rattle at the Glyndebourne Festival, and the world premier of William Bolcom’s A Wedding directed by Robert Altman commemorating Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 50th Anniversary season.

Equally at home in the operetta and musical theater traditions, Mr. Gardner has recently appeared in productions of Annie Get Your Gun (Buffalo Bill) and The Music Man (Mayor Shin) with the Glimmerglass Festival, Merry Widow (Baron Zeta) with Los Angeles Opera, A Little Night Music (Frederic) with Hawaii Opera Theater, Die Fledermaus (Frank) and HMS Pinafore (Sir Joseph Porter) as well as a critically-acclaimed portrayal of Judge Turpin (Sweeney Todd), all with Virginia Opera. He returned to the role of Judge Turpin in the recent seasons with Houston Grand Opera, Mill City Summer Opera as well as Eugene Opera where he also made a triumphant debut in the role of Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin.

Upcoming engagements include his Indianapolis Opera debut as Harold Ryan in the highly-anticipated world premiere production of Richard Auldon Clark’s and Kurt Vonnegut’s Happy Birthday Wanda June, Scarpia in Tosca for Piedmont Opera, the Hermit in Der Freischütz for Virginia Opera, his debut with Anchorage Opera in the company’s 55th Anniversary Gala Concerts as well as joining his wife, soprano Jill Gardner, in Holiday Pops Concerts for the Binghamton Philharmonic.  He will also be making his directorial debut in a production of Peter Brook’s La Tragédie de Carmen with Eugene Opera.  Future seasons include performances with Virginia Opera, Hawai’i Opera Theater and Opera Coeur d’Alene.