Raymond Aceto, bass
American bass Raymond Aceto has established an important presence among the world’s leading opera companies and symphony orchestras. His performances continue to gather both popular and critical acclaim. Of his performance as Baron Scarpia, The Houston Chronicle hailed, “Raymond Aceto oozes suave villainy as the evil Baron Scarpia, his voice a dark rumble of menace and lust as he plots to destroy Cavaradossi and conquer Tosca…intelligent characterization distinguishes Aceto’s Scarpia as more than a cartoon villain. Commanding in voice and presence, implacable in his lust for Tosca, he is nonetheless subtle in his calculations. It’s his smiling ease that confirms how dangerous he is.”
Mr. Aceto begins the 2016-2017 season with his return to the San Francisco Opera as Ramfis in Francisca Zambello’s new production of Aida in November. He returns to New Orleans Opera in March as Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust followed with the St Louis Symphony as Daland in Flying Dutchman under the baton of David Robertson. On the concert stage, Mr. Aceto makes his debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in Bruckner’s Te Deum under Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles, as well as his debut with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra singing Mozart’s Requiem under Music Director Ward Stare.
Mr. Aceto started the 2015-2016 season with The Royal Opera Covent Garden Japan Tour as Banquo in Macbeth and the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Sir Antonio Pappano conducting. In November, Mr. Aceto returned to Dallas Opera as Scarpia in Tosca. In February of 2016, Mr. Aceto made his Opera Australia debut, followed by his debut with Washington National Opera in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, directed by Francesca Zambello. In May, Mr. Aceto appeared in performances of Mahler’s Das Klagende Lied with Jaap Van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony. Summer of 2016 saw Mr. Aceto’s return to Santa Fe Opera for the 60th Anniversary season with performances of Frere Laurent in Romeo et Juliette of Gounod, and Ashby in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West.
In the 2014-2015 season, Mr. Aceto appeared in San Francisco Opera’s production of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah as the hell-raising preacher Olin Blitch, opposite Patricia Racette; he also sang Oroveso in Bellini’s Norma at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona under the baton of Renato Palumbo, and Vodník in Dvořák’s Rusalka at New Orleans Opera, and returned to Arena di Verona for performances as Zaccaria in Nabucco and Ramfis in Aida. His concert calendar included Szymanowski’s King Roger with Charles Dutoit and the Boston Symphony Orchestra; a concert presentation of Verdi’s I Due Foscari at the Gran Teatre del Liceu with Plácido Domingo, conducted by Massimo Zanetti. Mr. Aceto also appeared with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the Verdi Requiem at London’s Royal Albert Hall under the baton of Donald Runnicles.
Mr. Aceto opened his 2013-2014 season with a return to the Royal Opera House to perform the role of Timur in Puccini’s Turandot with Maestro Henrik Nanasi. Mr. Aceto continued his season by appearing with the Arizona Opera Company as Daland in Der Fliegende Holländer, Scarpia in Tosca with the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Escamillo in Carmen with the Festival dell’Arena di Verona, and Zaccaria in Nabucco with the Teatro Comunale di Firenze under the baton of Renato Palumbo. Symphonic highlights included performances of The Cunning Little Vixen with the Cleveland Orchestra conducted Franz Welser-Möst, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Dallas Symphony, and performances of Verdi’s Requiem with the New West Symphony and Phoenix Symphony.
Mr. Aceto is well-known at leading opera houses around the world. He has appeared frequently with the Metropolitan Opera, most recently as Zaccaria in Nabucco, the King in Aida, and Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, and Sparafucile in Rigoletto. His debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago was as the High Priest in Nabucco, and he has since appeared with that company as Banquo in Macbeth, Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Fafner in Das Rheingold and Siegfried, the Old Hebrew in Samson et Dalila, Nourabad in Les pêcheurs de perles, Alaska Wolf Joe in Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Ramfis in Aida, Comte des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon, and Varlam in Boris Godunov. Mr. Aceto made his debut with San Francisco Opera as Monterone in Rigoletto and later returned as Banquo in Macbeth, the King in Aida, and Timur in Turandot. He regularly appears with Houston Grand Opera, including performances as Scarpia in Tosca, Seneca in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra, Pimen in Boris Godunov, Escamillo in Carmen, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, as well as Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni. Mr. Aceto has appeared frequently with The Dallas Opera in roles including Leporello in Don Giovanni, Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Monterone in Rigoletto, Colline in La bohème, Fafner and Fasolt in Das Rheingold, Walter in Luisa Miller, and Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte. His first performances of Rocco in Fidelio were with the Canadian Opera Company, and he returned there for the world premiere of Randolph Peter’s The Golden Ass and as Daland in Der fliegende Holländer. He reprised the role of Sparafucile for his debuts with L’Opéra de Montréal and the Santa Fe Opera. Mr. Aceto returned to Santa Fe Opera as Scarpia in Tosca and the Archbishop in King Roger. He has also appeared in leading roles with the opera companies of Seattle, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Boston, Colorado, Pittsburgh, North Carolina, and Cleveland, as well as the opera festivals in St. Louis and Spoleto (USA).
Mr. Aceto made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Don Basilio in a new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia conducted by Mark Elder, and he was quickly re-engaged for performances as Sparafucile and as Ferrando in Elijah Moshinsky’s production of Il Trovatore. He made his debut with Madrid’s Teatro Real in the role of Ferrando, and the role of Ramfis in Aida was the vehicle for his debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Arena di Verona, and the Vienna Staatsoper. He returned to the Deutsche Oper Berlin for performances as Fiesco and to Verona for performances as Escamillo, which were recorded and released on DVD by TDK. He also performed the role of Escamillo with Palermo’s Teatro Massimo. Mr. Aceto made his European debut as Monterone with the Netherlands Opera, followed by performances of Loredano in I due Foscari at Brussels’ Théâtre de la Monnaie. Recent European engagements include a return to the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Escamillo in a new production of Carmen and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Jean Procida in Le Vêspres Sicilienne with Oper Frankfurt.
Mr. Aceto is also in demand as a concert artist, and highlights of his recent engagements include appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Méphistophélès in Faust, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major led by Leonard Slatkin, performances of Verdi’s Requiem, and Zuniga in a concert presentation of Carmen; the San Francisco Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, as well as performances by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, and Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges; the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and in Salome at Tanglewood under Seiji Ozawa; the Minnesota Orchestra as Rocco in Fidelio and in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; the Colorado Symphony in Verdi’s Requiem; the Nashville Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8; the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis; the St. Louis Symphony in a concert presentation of Carmen; the Dallas Symphony as Méphistophélès in La Damnation de Faust and Verdi’s Requiem; and he has also performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Toronto and at the Hollywood Bowl. Mr. Aceto first performed the title role in Boito’s Mefistofele with Boston’s Chorus Pro Musica, and in 1996 he was the featured bass soloist with the Festival International de Lanaudière for a televised performance of scenes from Faust, Mefistofele, and La damnation de Faust. He made his Alice Tully Hall debut as Balthazar in a concert performance of Donizetti’s La Favorite with L’Opéra Français de New York, and his Carnegie Hall debut as Andrea Cornaro in Caterina Cornaro with the Opera Orchestra of New York.
A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Artist’s Development Program, the Ohio-born bass has appeared frequently with the company since his debut as the Jailer in Tosca during the 1992-1993 season. In 1995 and 1996, Mr. Aceto was awarded Richard Tucker Foundation Career Grants, and in 1994 he was a recipient of a Sullivan Foundation Award. In 1996, he traveled to Japan for performances and a recording of The Rake’s Progress with Seiji Ozawa conducting. Mr. Aceto can also be heard in the role of Capellio in Teldec’s recording of I Capuleti e i Montecchi.