Placido Domingo, along with Marta Domingo, James Morris, Regina Resnik and Mignon Dunn, awarded Jason Stearns First Prize in the first annual Chester Ludgin American Verdi Baritone Competition in May of 2005. His European debut was as Di Luna in a new production of Il trovatore with Musiktheater im Revier in Gelsenkirchen in Spring, 2006. Recent engagements include Biterolf in Tannhäuser and the title role in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde with Los Angeles Opera under James Conlon, the High Priest in Samson et Dalilaopposite Denyce Graves at Florida Grand Opera, and Lohengrin with the Leipzig Opera. Future engagements include the title role in Der fliegende Holländer at the Savonlinna Festival, Tonio in Pagliacci with Boston’s Chorus Pro Musica, Scarpia in Tosca with Summer Opera, and a return to Los Angeles Opera for roles in Jenufa and in Ullmann’s Der zebrochene Krug.
Since his retirement from the U.S. Army Chorale, he has been building his repertoire in the second tier of opera houses in the United States, having already sung Rigoletto, Germont, Renato, Iago, Di Luna, Don Carlo in Ernani, and Macbeth, as well as Sharpless, Michele in Il tabarro, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Tonio in Pagliacci, and such bel canto rarities as Severo in Poliuto, Bertucci in Marino Falliero, and Enrico in Maria di Rohan.
Mr. Stearns has appeared with Washington Opera as Nikitisch in Boris Godunov, the King in Le Cid, the Herald in Otello, and Westmorland in Sly. He also has in his repertoire Don Carlo in La forza del destino and Amonasro in Aïda, and he prepared the title role in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer and Wotan in Das Rheingold with Thomas Stewart.
Concert repertoire includes the Bach Passions, Elijah, Requiem of Mozart and Brahms, L’Enfance du Christ, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. With the National Symphony in Washington, D.C., Mr. Stearns recorded the baritone solos in John Corigliano’s Of Rage and Rememberance, which won a Grammy Award in 1997. Other orchestras with which he has performed include the Rochester Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony, and the Greenville Symphony.
With the U.S. Army Chorale, Mr. Stearns appeared often at the White House and at other diplomatic evens, and was a featured soloist with the U.S. Army Band. Prior to his Army service, Mr. Stearns received his musical training at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.