“Is there any part in his Fach that bass-baritone Donald Hartmann cannot sing entertainingly?”
(Voix des arts, March 2015)
A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Donald Hartmann began his singing career in 1979 as a member of the Stadttheater Regensburg in Germany. Since then he has appeared in well over 130 productions with a varied repertoire of 75 roles. He has been described as possessing a, “big, rich voice with an amazing timbre;” interpretative abilities as “hearty and dramatic;” vocal resonance as “ringing,” “sepulchral,” “richly focused;” and “the rubberiest face since Jim “Hey Vern” Varney.” He is a commanding leading man and “one of the best character singers on any opera stage anywhere.”
The 2016-2017 season held exciting debuts for Donald: first with the New York City Opera in a production of Tosca, celebrating the return of that company to Lincoln Center, and secondly with Central City Opera, in Colorado, as William Jennings Bryan in the 60th Anniversary production of The Ballad of Babe Doe, by Douglas Moore.
Notable engagements have included Swallow in Peter Grimes, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Dr. Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro and Il barbiere di Siviglia, Marcello, Colline and Benoit/Alcindoro in La Boheme, Bonze and Sharpless in Madame Butterfly, Pooh-Bah and Mikado in The Mikado, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Pirate King, Sergeant of Police, and Major General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance, and Luther/Crespel/Schlemeil in The Tales of Hoffman with respected companies nationwide and in Canada.
In 2015, Donald Hartmann added the roles of Don Magnifico in La Cenenrentola as a debut with Opera Roanoke; Sulpice in La Fille du Régiment; and Hajny in Rusalka, to an ever increasing resume. He recently sang Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Monterone in Rigoletto, Baron Douphol in La Traviata, and Sacristan in Tosca to name a few. In 2009, he created the role of Howard in the world premiere of Libby Larsen’s Picnic
Mr. Hartmann has appeared regularly with Michigan Opera Theater, Toledo Opera, Opera Delaware, Arizona Opera, Madison Opera, Piedmont Opera, Opera Carolina, North Carolina Opera, and Greensboro Opera. He has also sung with Florentine Opera, Opéra de Montréal, Pamiro Opera, Montreux Opera Festival, Opera Roanoke, Chattanooga Opera, Nashville Opera, Virginia Opera, and others.
A busy concert recitalist and oratorio soloist, Donald Hartmann has sung excerpts from Die Zauberflöte with the renowned Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Beethoven Symphony #9 with New Mexico Symphony, Perrysburg Symphony, Livonia Symphony, and Macomb Symphony. In March of 2013, Mr. Hartmann made his first undertaking into the music of Richard Wagner, singing Wotan’s Lebewohl and Hans Sachs monologue, Wahn! Wahn! Überall, Wahn! Classical Voice of North Carolina praised him as “a serious presence, and a skilled vocalist producing beautifully-shaped, deep, round tones, displaying a fine instrument, with a natural delivery and clear diction.” He has been engaged as bass soloist for the Verdi Requiem with the Eastern Philharmonic, Peabody Symphony, Plymouth Symphony, and in a benefit performance conducted by Neeme Jarvi. Other engagements include the Mozart Requiem with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Macomb Symphony; Brahms’ A German Requiem; Duruflé Requiem; Handel’s Messiah; Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and The Seasons; and the Rossini Stabat Mater.
Mr. Hartmann completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and his Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance, graduating with honors at the University of Oklahoma. As a member of the faculty at University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma he was nominated, and received, the prestigious Regents Award for Superior Teaching. As a Full Professor in the Department of Music and Dance at Eastern Michigan University he has twice received the Faculty Artistic Recognition Award. He is currently a Full Professor of Voice in the School of Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Having participated in several vocal competitions, Donald Hartmann has been a second place finalist in the San Antonio Opera Guild Talent Search and a winner of the Friedrich Schorr Memorial Prize in Vocal Performance under the auspices of Opera! Lenawee. Appearing in five productions with Opera!Lenawee, Donald was recognized as the First Honored Artist of that organization.