A “confident, energetic” performer with “warmth and beauty in his voice”, tenor Chris Carr is making his way onto stages across the country. Raised in the small town of Quasqueton, IA, Mr. Carr has most recently performed roles at Arizona Opera, Washington National Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, The Merola Opera Program, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Central City Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera, among others.
After making his role debut as Cavaradossi in Tosca with Opera on the Avalon during the summer, Chris Carr’s 2018-2019 season includes his Austin Opera debut as Rodrigo in Otello, and he debuts the role of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with the Dubuque Symphony. Last season, the tenor returned to Des Moines Metro Opera to sing Pong in Turandot and Maintop in Billy Budd, appeared with the Berkshire Opera Festival as Scarmuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos, and sang Nick in La Fanciulla del West in a debut with Virginia Opera.
During the 2016-2017 season, Mr. Carr a returned to Arizona Opera for a workshop of The Copper Queen, followed by a debut with Madison Opera as Tybalt in Romeo et Juliette, and joined Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre as Beppe in Pagliacci. He also appeared with the Jacksonville Symphony for Handel’s Messiah. Previously, Mr. Carr returned to Des Moines Metro Opera singing two roles: Dr. Caius in Falstaff, and Older Galileo in Galileo Galilei.
After several seasons performing as a baritone in some of the country’s most respected houses and festivals, in the summer of 2015 Mr. Carr made a successful transition to tenor repertoire. He made his company debut with Arizona Opera in 2013 as part of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio. While there he performed many roles including, Eugene Onegin in Eugene Onegin, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, and Schaunard in La bohème. In February of 2014 Mr. Carr was announced the recipient of the Igor Gorin Memorial Award. That year he made his debut at The Glimmerglass Festival where he sang, among other assignments, Billy Bigelow in Carousel, and Washington National Opera where he sang The Pilot in The Little Prince.
The summer of 2013 took Mr. Carr to San Francisco to sing in the Merola Opera Program as Tarquinius (Rape of Lucretia). The opening of the 2012-’13 season marked Mr. Carr’s mainstage debut with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City where he performed Yamadori (Madame Butterfly) and later Pish-Tush (The Mikado).
Mr. Carr spent two seasons with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as a Resident artist beginning in 2011, while he was also at the University of Missouri Kansas City. During his time there, he covered the roles of Ping (Turandot), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Chou en Lai and Richard Nixon (Nixon in China) and Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia) at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and also sang Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni) and Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro) at the University of Missouri Kansas City.
In the summer of 2012 Mr. Carr made his debut as Schaunard (La bohème) at Central City Opera where he was also the recipient of the John Moriarty award. That year Mr. Carr was a District Winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and received a Career Development Award from The Sullivan Foundation. Mr. Carr participated in the Des Moines Metro Opera Young Artist Program in both the summer of 2010 and 2011. In 2011 he performed with The Cedar Rapids Opera Theater as the Sacristan (Tosca) and he was also a District Winner in Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the winner of the Vocal Division of the NAFTZGER Competition.
Mr. Carr has performed concert work such as Orff’s Carmina Burana, Monteverdi’s Vespers, Faure’s Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah. He has performed in recital with the Cedar Rapids Opera Theater and Kansas City’s Bach Aria Soloists.
Mr. Carr graduated with a Master’s in Music from the University of Missouri Kansas City and a Bachelor’s of Music from Simpson College in Indianola, IA.
UMKC Conservatory – Carmina Burana
“Baritone, Chris Carr was the highlight of the entire performance. His voice is easy to listen to and he embodies the text he sings. After hearing Carr sing Tchaikvosky previously, I was looking forward to his interpretation of “Estuans interius.” It did not disappoint as it was raging, bawdy, and just plain sonic awesomeness. I wrote many expletives in my notes about how great it was. Unexpectedly, his falsetto on “Dies, nox et omnia” was equally impressive. It was warm and pure without any tightness.”
Lee Hartman, kcmetropolis.org
Central City Opera – La bohème
“…Apprentice Artist Chris Carr, a forceful, full-throated baritone, turned in a confident, energetic performance as Schaunard.”
Kyle MacMillan, Opera News
Merola Opera – The Rape of Lucretia
“Chris Carr’s Tarquinius was a dramatic coup, but his voice and vocal performance were of even greater interest. Even singing a brutal character, with steel and storm in the voice, there is warmth and beauty in his baritone — a rare, precious combination.”
Janos Gereben, San Francisco Classical Voice
“When baritone Chris Carr performed the Tower Scene from Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, with Noah Lindquist on piano, Katz noted that Pelléas’ music is usually tackled either by baritones who struggle with the high notes, or tenors who peter out on the low ones. Carr, he noted, had no such problem; his lows were sonorous, and his high A secure. (To these ears, it was glorious.)”
Jason Victor Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice
“Baritone Chris Carr sang with impressive warmth and gravitas throughout. In the raucous “In the Tavern” Chris Carr again conveyed a range of tumultuous emotions…”
The Independent (Kansas City)
Arizona Opera – Don Pasquale
“Performances are excellent across the board, both comedically and musically. Colclough’s lascivious bluster in no way undermines his vocal gymnastics, while Andrea Shokery’s tangy soprano as Norina and Chris Carr’s molasses baritone as Malatesta are simply delicious.”
Kerry Lengel, azcentral.com