GEORGE CORDES
bass-baritone
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George Cordes © All rights reserved

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Bass-baritone George Cordes has earned high praise in both the comic and serious repertoire with such companies as the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and Dallas Opera. He sang a dizzying array of roles in six seasons with NYCO, highlights being his appearances in 2000 and 2001 on consecutive PBS Live from Lincoln Center telecasts. He also has appeared with the opera companies of Santa Fe, St. Louis, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Columbus, and Cleveland, and other regional houses.

 

Mr. Cordes’ many roles with NYCO include Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Colline in La Boheme, the Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Timur in Turandot, Monterone in Rigoletto, the Speaker in The Magic Flute, Zuniga in Carmen, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Harasta in The Cunning Little Vixen, Tchelio in The Love for Three Oranges, and Pistola in Falstaff. In 2001, he won acclaim as Colline in City Opera’s Live From Lincoln Center telecast on PBS. The previous spring, he appeared as Angelotti in a NYCO production of Tosca, another Live from Lincoln Center telecast. With the Met in the Parks, Mr. Cordes sang the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, as well as Angelotti and Monterone, both in Central Park performances.

 

In 2007, Mr. Cordes appeared with Opera Boston as Nourabad in Bizet's Les Pecheurs de Perles, having debuted with that company in 2005 in a critically acclaimed production of Ward's The Crucible. In 2004, he debuted with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, chewing up the stage in the role of Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In 2002, he made his Syracuse Opera debut as Leporello. Also in 2002, he traveled to Japan to sing Colline with the Tokyo City Orchestra. His debut with Houston Grand Opera came in 2001 in the role of Monterone in a cast that featured Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Rigoletto. Other career highlights include Mozart’s Figaro with both Opera Theater of St. Louis and Opera Columbus and numerous roles with Dallas Opera, New Orleans Opera, and Pittsburgh Opera.

 

As a concert soloist, George Cordes has performed most of the standard sacred and secular works, including Messiah, the Mozart Requiem, the Verdi Requiem, Elijah, Bach's St. Matthew Passion and Magnificat, the masses of Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert, and many other works. Most recently, Mr. Cordes appeared with the Berkshire Choral Festival in July 2009 in Mendelssohn’s Magnificat and Faure’s Requiem. His most recent performance of the Verdi Requiem was in June 2009 with Downtown Singers of Binghamton, NY. In 2008, Mr. Cordes sang Barber’s Dover Beach as part of the Duxbury Music Festival. He also has appeared with the Hartford Symphony, the Plymouth Philharmonic, the Hilton Head Symphony, Ascension Music, and other orchestras and choral groups.

 

Mr. Cordes was chosen by composer Robert Xavier Rodriguez to perform several of his works, including the world premiere of Forbidden Fire, a cantata for bass, chorus, and orchestra, with the University of Miami orchestra and chorus. He also has performed the Rodriguez works Scrooge!, based on Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and Con Flor y Canto, based on the Mayan Popol Vuh, numerous times, including a performance with Orquesta de las Americas in Mexico City following 9/11. Mr. Cordes is the featured soloist in these pieces on the Albany Records CD Robert Xavier Rodriguez: Works for Chorus and Orchestra.

 

George Cordes began his vocal training at the Boston Conservatory of Music with Iride Pilla and Bradley Pennington. He continued his vocal and dramatic studies with Clifford Billions and Alfred Anderson at the University of Akron School of Music, where he earned his Master of Music degree. He was an apprentice artist with Santa Fe Opera for two seasons and Pittsburgh Opera for three seasons and has won numerous awards and competitions.

Biography