Tenor Robert Chafin has earned international acclaim for his drama and versatility on the opera and concert stages. The Virginia native debuted in Europe in La bohème, with subsequent multi-year engagements with the National Theater in Mannheim, State Theater of Freiburg, and State Opera of Hannover. Beginning his career with the major roles of Mozart and Rossini, Chafin has since accumulated over 70 operas in his repertoire, including more heroic roles such as Apollo (Daphne), Max (Der Freischütz), Erik (Der Fliegende Holländer), Midas (Die Liebe der Danae), Enée (Les Troyens), Don José (Carmen), Laca (Jenufa), Menelas (Die Ägyptische Helena), Dionysus (Henze’s The Bassarids), and the title roles in Don Carlo, Idomeneo, and Les Contes d’Hoffmann. He has made guest appearances in these and other roles at New York City Opera, Carnegie Hall, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Berliner Philharmonie, the Salzburg Summer Festival, and in Paris, Zurich, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Vienna, Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Leipzig, Brüssels, Helsinki, and Dresden. His operatic recordings of Franz Schreker’s Flammen and Christophorus, Richard Strauss’s Die Liebe der Danae, and Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, as well as recordings of Haase’s Ruggiero, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, songs by Stravinsky and the Hindemith oratorio Das Unaufhörliche have all earned international kudos.
Equally at home on the concert stage, Robert Chafin has appeared as soloist alongside conductors Riccardo Muti, Marc Albrecht, Donald Runnicles, Andrew Litton, Fréderic Chaslin, Markus Stenz, Michel Plasson, Gary Bertini, Nicholas McGegan, Stefan Anton Reck, Edo de Waart and Leon Botstein.
Recent engagements include debuts at Covent Garden Royal Opera House and Salzburg Festival with Riccardo Muti as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Carnegie Hall appearances in the American premiere of Franz Schmidt’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame and von Schilling’s Mona Lisa, Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos at Virginia Opera, a multimedia presentation of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin performed on tour throughout the United States, and performances in Spain, France, and Serbia of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.
Robert Chafin joined West Virginia University’s voice faculty in the School of Music in 2015 following a three-year appointment at Virginia Tech. He has taught at NAPA Music Festival, directed the Young Artists Program at Pittsburgh Festival Opera for three seasons, and he has presented master classes in Virginia, Memphis, Boston, Cincinnati, Brussels, Germany, and Israel.