Gregory Dahl made his Pacific Opera Victoria debut as the title character in Mozart's Don Giovanni in April 2007. He returned in April 2008 to play the disreputable bully Oscar Hubbard in the Canadian première of Marc Blitzstein's Regina and in November 2009 took on the role of Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress. He returns in October 2012 for his debut in the title role of Verdi's Macbeth
Mr. Dahl has boldly staked his claim to a position of prominence among baritones of his generation with performances notable for richness of characterization and a remarkable vocal authority. His recent performances in Pelléas et Mélisande for Opera Theater of St. Louis were hailed for his appealingly lyrical baritone [that] emphasized Golaud's inner turmoil over his villainy.
His 2011-2012 season was packed with major roles including Jokanaan in Salome for Manitoba Opera, Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore for L'Opéra de Montréal, Escamillo in Carmen for the Brott Music Festival, Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana and Tonio in Pagliacci for Edmonton Opera and the roles of Crespel and Schlemil in Les contes d'Hoffmann for the Canadian Opera Company.
His engagements in the 2012-13 season include the Vancouver Bach Choir in Adams' El Niño, Calgary Opera as Iago in Otello, Opéra de Québec as Sebastian in Adès' The Tempest, Symphony Nova Scotia in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Manitoba Opera as Amonasro in Aïda as well as the title role of Macbeth with Pacific Opera Victoria.
Mr. Dahl first came to national attention as Francis Chancy in The Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company's 1998 world première of Beatrice Chancy by George Elliott Clarke and James Rolfe. Since then he has been hailed in such roles as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly (Vancouver Opera), Malatesta in Don Pasquale (Opera Ontario) and Belcore in L'elisir d'amore (Manitoba Opera).
In another world première performance, he impressed international audiences with his creation of Charlie in Calgary Opera's production of John Estacio's and John Murrell's Filumena, a role he reprised during the 2005-2006 season for Edmonton Opera. His Edmonton Filumena was filmed for release in the DVD format and joins Beatrice Chancy on his growing list of operas-on-film.
Mr. Dahl's 2009-2010 will be another season of debuts beginning with L'Opera de Montreal where he will debut the roles of Gianni Schicchi and Tonio in Pagliacci. He will return to Edmonton Opera to debut the role of Iago in Otello.
In 2008-2009 he returned to the Canadian Opera Company where he was featured in War and Peace as Balaga. Later in the season he was heard as the Music Master in Ariadne auf Naxos for Calgary Opera, Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles for Edmonton Opera; he made his American debut as Jokanaan in Salome with Opera Theatre of St. Louis. On the concert stage, he sang Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 for the Winnipeg Symphony.
During the 2007-2008 season, Mr. Dahl's schedule included appearances as Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana for Vancouver Opera, Captain Corcoran In H.M.S. Pinafore with Edmonton Opera; Germont in La traviata with Opera Lyra Ottawa, Rigoletto with Saskatoon Opera, and Messiah with the Southern Manitoba Choral Society.
Mr. Dahl's 2006-2007 season included the title role in Don Giovanni for Edmonton Opera as well as Pacific Opera Victoria and Orchestra London. He was a roguish Falke in Die Fledermaus for Manitoba Opera and Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Edmonton Opera.
His engagements for the 2005-2006 season were an ideal mix of opera and concert. In addition to Filumena, Mr. Dahl made his role debut as Ford in Falstaff for Opera Lyra Ottawa and returned to Vancouver Opera as Ping in Turandot. Of special interest were his performances as George in the Canadian premiere of Heggie's Dead Man Walking, presented by Calgary Opera. On the concert platform, he was heard in Messiah with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Victoria Symphony and, for the Kitchener Waterloo Philharmonic Choir, he appeared as baritone soloist in Mozart's Mass in C minor coupled with Holman's Magnificat.
Mr. Dahl is noted for his dedication to music of our time. In addition to premieres for Queen of Puddings Music Theatre and Calgary Opera, he created the roles of Robert Peary in Linda C. Smith's Facing South for Tapestry New Opera Works and of The Alchemist in Schafer's The Palace of the Cinnabar Phoenix, which was broadcast on CBC Radio Two.
Highlights from past seasons include Marcello in La Bohème with Opera Ontario, the title role in The Mikado for Toronto Operetta Theatre, Frank in Die Fledermaus and Morales in Carmen for Vancouver Opera, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte and Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Saskatoon Opera, Antonio in Il Viaggio a Reims and Junius in The Rape of Lucretia with the Canadian Opera Company and Baron Douphol in La traviata for Edmonton Opera.
Works by Bach, Handel, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Vaughan Williams figure prominently Mr. Dahl's schedule with symphonies and choral organizations across Canada, and he is frequently heard on CBC Radio Two. Mr. Dahl is a native of Winnipeg who studied at the University of Manitoba, the Banff Centre for the Arts and the University of Toronto Opera Division.
He has great stage presence - totally commanding. His rich-toned voice carried throughout the hall more than any other performer, staying impeccably in tune and assured.
Gwenda Nemerofsky, Winnipeg Free Press
Gregory Dahl is terrifically unhinged as Golaud. His grand downward spiral into madness is played to perfection with an authoritative performance. He brings a rough and raw sense of paranoia and delirium to Golaud that propels the tension in the opera... Dahl makes the difficult task of letting Golaud evolve from a lost soul into a sinister and cunning antagonist look easy.
Rob Levy, KDHX Blog, review of Pelléas and Mélisande