Northern California native Dr. Harry Baechtel enjoys a wide-ranging career in the vocal arts. An advocate for new music, he created the role of Adam, a returned war veteran struggling with PTSD, in Ethan Gans-Morse’ contemporary opera/oratorio The Canticle of the Black Madonna. He also has extensive experience in the standard operatic and oratorio repertoire. Praised for his “mellifluous” baritone, he recently appeared with Eugene Opera as Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. His operatic roles include Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Il Conte (Le nozze di Figaro), Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Prince Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia), Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte), Bob (The Old Maid and the Thief), Schaunard (La boheme), and Mercutio (Roméo et Juliette) with companies such as the Boston Lyric Opera, The Berkshire Opera, Eugene Opera, Intermezzo Opera, and The New Opera. He has performed as baritone soloist in a broad spectrum of the oratorio repertory including the Fauré Requiem, the Brahms Requiem, Finzi’s In terra pax, Handel’s Messiah, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Schubert’s Mass in G-major, Bach’s B-minor Mass, and Vaughan Williams’ Hodie and the Fantasia on Christmas Carols.
Dr. Baechtel holds a particular passion for performing art songs. An active recitalist, he recently gave a recital of English chamber music including Vaughan Williams’ On Wenlock Edge (transposed for baritone, string quartet and piano), and sang Mahler’s orchestral Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen in the unusual rock and roll venue of Portland’s Crystal Ballroom. This past Winter he also sang the Mahler with Eugene’s microphilharmonic in Schoenberg’s chamber orchestra arrangement receiving rave reviews. “In a group of greatly trained musicians, Baechtel was the highlight of the evening” - Eugene Weekly. He has sung with organizations such as Boston Baroque, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, the Oregon Mozart players, microphilharmonic, and the Salem Festival Chorale. Dr. Baechtel recently released a recording of music by Gabriel Fauré from the 1890s with Sylvestris Quartet and pianist Dr. Michael Seregow on period instruments, including an 1869 Érard straight-strung piano, and will record works by Schumann and Spohr this Summer with an early 19th century fortepiano. He gave a live performance of selections from the Fauré recording on All Classical Portland’s program Thursday’s @ Three last Spring. Last Summer Dr. Baechtel had the unusual opportunity to travel to Beijing, China where he worked on and performed excerpts from Peking Opera with masters from the Chinese National Peking Opera Company.
Dr. Baechtel holds an M.M. in voice performance from Northwestern University, having worked with the esteemed baritones Sherrill Milnes and William Warfield, and a performer’s certificate from Boston University’s Opera Institute. His doctoral research completed at the University of Oregon delves into a cultural analysis of the fascinating and complex relationship between Gustav Mahler, his musical settings in the German folk idiom, and the early nineteenth-century folk poetry collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Dr. Baechtel is currently an assistant professor of voice at Portland State University.
University of Oregon
Performance Diploma in Opera