American bass-baritone Ivan Griffin has delighted audiences in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, and South Africa. He was mostly recently seen as Angelotti in New Orleans Opera's production of Tosca. Mr. Griffin was recently seen as Rodolphe Desdunes in our production of Les Lions de la Reconstruction.
He made his debut with OperaCréole in 2012 as King Olaf in Thelma, and was Lucien in our production of Minette Fontaine, was most recently seen as Robbins in the Spoletto Festival's "Porgy and Bess," and Angelotti in New Orleans Opera's Tosca. Other engagements have included Lawyer Frazier in Michigan Opera Theatre's "Porgy and Bess," a role that he was invited to reprise during a European tour of the opera. He has also appeared as Rev. Olin Blitch in Susannah with Buffalo Lyric Opera, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro and Papageno in The Magic Flute with Fayetteville Summer Opera and Western New York Opera Theater, respectively.
Mr. Griffin's many roles with New Orleans Opera have also included: Zuniga in Carmen, and Benoit in La Bohème. He has premiered several new works written for his voice. They include Songs of Winter, a song cycle for baritone and piano; and The Little Thieves of Bethlehem (Centaur Records), both by Rochester, New York-based composer Paul Stuart. With the South Bend Symphony, he was the featured soloist for the world premiere of Requiem for the Innocent, an oratorio by Spanish composer Jorge Muñiz. Of his work the South Bend Tribune said, "Griffin was particularly heroic, maintaining his pacing and poise while switching from language to language and culture to culture." Additional oratorio repertoire includes performances of Mendelssohn's Elijah, Handel's Messiah, Bach's St. John Passion, Dvorak's Stabat Mater and the requiems of Brahms, Duruflé, Fauré and Mozart.
In addition to the South Bend Symphony, Ivan has appeared with the orchestras of New Orleans, Rochester, Toledo, South Carolina, Nashville, Savannah, Bangor, Flint and Southeast Texas.
Recital appearances have taken him to various venues within the United States. They include Morehouse College, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University South Bend, Shippensburg University, Fisk University, Voorhees College, Covenant College and Middle Tennessee State University, to name a few. He has also performed for such audiences as the World's Fair, the International Thomas Merton Society, and the 1996 Summer Olympic Celebrate Faith and Arts Atlanta Concert Series. A frequent soloist with the internationally renowned American Spiritual Ensemble, he has appeared in concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and New York's Riverside Church.
A versatile artist, Mr. Griffin has been praised for his excellent diction and superb sense of theater. He has been featured in such productions as "Guys and Dolls" at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, "Sophisticated Ladies" at Detroit's Music Hall, "Big River" at Croswell Opera House, "She Loves Me" at Performance Network in Ann Arbor, and "The All Night Strut" at Boarshead Theatre in Lansing. He has also shared the stage with the late legendary stage and screen personalities Roscoe Lee Brown and Ossie Davis. See video of Ivan on his website at http://www.ivangriffinsings.com/, and find him on Facebook.