Charles Robert Austin  Biography


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 ďPossessor of a strikingly beautiful voiceĒ and ďCompletely commanding on stageĒ are but two of the powerful phrases used by critics and writers to describe the voice and stage talents of Charles Robert Austin. A native of Nebraska, Mr. Austin is a former Marine Corps Officer and Cobra Helicopter Pilot.  Mr. Austin is able to move freely and almost effortlessly from one musical style to another, being as much at ease with Bach as with Wagner or with Opera as with Oratorio.

Acclaimed internationally as a rising Bass-Baritone star in the Wagnerian realm, Mr. Austin has sung the roles of Wotan and Hunding in productions of Die Walkure with Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh and Virginia Opera respectively,  as well as the role of King Mark in performances of Wagnerís Tristan und Isolde with the Tokyo Philharmonic, Teatro de la Opera San Juan, Cincinnati Symphony, Virginia Opera, and Minnesota Symphony. He has performed Die Meistersinger with Cincinnati Symphony and the Spoleto Festival as Viet Pogner and Hermann Ortel, as Daland in Der Fliegende Hollander with Opera Pacific, as Klingsor in Parsifal and as King Henry the Fowler in Lohengrin, both with the Cincinnati Symphony.   Mr. Austin is also a participant in the critically acclaimed "Evelyn Lear and Thomas Stewart Emerging Singers Program," a program sponsored by the Wagner Society of Washington DC.

Mr. Austinís operatic repertoire of over 100 roles also includes Pucciniís Scarpia; Floydís Olin Blitch, Gounodís and Boitoís Mephistopheles, Janacekís Dr. KolenŠty, Bartokís Duke Bluebeard; Verdiís Falstaff, Phillip II, and Sparafucile; Donizettiís Raimondo (Lucia) and Dulcamara (Elixir); Heggieís Warden George Benton (Dead Man Walking), Offenbachís Four Villains, and Mozartís Leporello, Osmin, Don Alfonso, Figaro and Sarastro, to name but a few.

Mr. Austin has performed at the most important venues in North America, Europe and Asia. His performances include Handelís Messiah, Mozartís Great Mass in C, both Beethovenís Ninth Symphony and the choral masterpiece Missa Solemnis, and Verdiís Nabucco, all at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He sang Mozartís version of Handelís Messiah at Avery Fischer Hall, Haydnís Creation with the Mostly Mozart Festival, Schubertís seldom performed oratorio Lazarus with the New York Chamber Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, and Handelís Messiah with the Washington Choral Society at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.  Mr. Austin has appeared with the Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, the Holland Festival at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Spoleto Festival in Italy, Canadian Opera Company, the Tokyo Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Dallas Symphony, the Choral Arts Society of Washington DC, Greater Miami Opera, Florentine Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, Anchorage Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Los Angeles Master Choral, and the VARA Radio Symphony of the Netherlands.

Mr. Austin can be heard on several recordings including the benchmark recording of Menottiís The Consul as the Secret Police Agent, recorded under the direction of the composer himself at the Festival of Three Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, as well as the recently released Naxos recording of  Shostakovich's The Execution of Stepan Razin under the directon of Gerard Schwarz with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and Seattle Symphony Chorale.   Mr. Austin can also be heard on a recording of Haydnís opera La Fedelta Premiata as the High Priest Melibeo, under the direction of the late David Golub conducting the Padua Chamber Orchestra as well as a recording of Pucciniís Tosca with Riccardo Muti conducting the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

You can find Mr. Austinís website at

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Alabama Symphony
Anchorage Symphony
Chorus Chicago
Bel Canto Chorus
Berkshire Choral Festival
Berkshire Opera
Buffalo Philharmonic
Canadian Opera Company
Cedar Rapids Symphony
Choral Arts Society of Washington D.C.-Kennedy Center
Chicago Lyric Opera
Cincinnati May Festival
Cincinnati Symphony
Collegiate Choral of New York
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Downers Grove Choral Union
Elgin Symphony
Evanston Symphony Orchestra
Florentine Opera
Florida Symphony Orchestra
Ft. Wayne Philharmonic
Greater Miami Opera
Greeley Philharmonic
Greensboro Symphony
Hastings Symphony
Hawaii Opera Theatre
Holland Festival
June Opera Festival
Kalamazoo Symphony
Lake George Opera
Los Angeles Master Choral
LA Opera
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Madison Symphony
Madison Opera
Metropolitan Opera
Milwaukee Symphony
Minnesota Orchestra
Minnesota Opera
Mostly Mozart Festival
Monterey County Symphony
Music of the Baroque-Chicago
New Texas Festival
Nebraska Chamber Orchestra
N.Y. Chamber Symphony
New York Master Choral
North Shore Choral Society
Oak Park Symphony
Omaha Symphony
Opera Omaha
Opera Pacific
Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria
Padua Chamber Symphony
Pensacola Choral Union
Pennsylvania Opera Theatre
Piedmont Opera Theatre
Pittsburgh Opera
Princeton Bach Festival
Philadelphia Orchestra
Roanoke Symphony
St.Cecilia Symphony
San Francisco Opera
Santa Fe Opera
Seattle Symphony
Spoleto Festival-Italy
Syracuse Opera
Teatro de la Opera San Juan
Tokyo Philharmonic
Toledo Opera
Tulsa Opera
Tulsa Philharmonic
Utah Opera
Virginia Opera
VARA Radio Symphony
Washington National Opera
W.Jersey Chamber Symphony
Youngstown Symphony

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Ricardo Muti, Gerard Schwarz, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Leonard Slatkin, Bruno Bartoletti, Robert Shaw, John De Main, Edo de Waart, John Fiore, George Manahan, Richard Buckey, John Crosby, Steven Barlow, Joel Revzen, Richard Bradshaw, Joe Illick, David Zinman, Peter Mark, James Conlon, Robert Porco, Jorge Velazco.

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With Ken Cazan

With GianCarlo Menotti

With Ken Cazan, after performance 
of Gounod's Faust

With Maestro GianCarlo Menotti, 
Spoleto Festival 1992



Gian Carlo Menotti, William Bolcom, John Corigiliano, Jake Heggie,  Siegfried Matthus, Elliot Goldenthal

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Warden George Benton, Dead Man Walking with Opera Pacific



David Alden, Chris Alden, Robert Altman, Peter Sellers, Linda Brovsky, Ken Cazan, John Copely, John Cox, Dotty Danner, Anne Ewers, Laurie Feldman, Leonard Foglia, David Gately, Colin Graham, Lillian Groag, Matthew Lata, Rhoda Levine, Gian Carlo Menotti, Dejan Miladinovic, Hal Prince, James Robinson, Albert Takazauckas, Julie Taymor, Claudia Zahn.

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Daland, Der Fliegende Hollander with Opera Pacific


by Kurt Weil, as Abraham, Milken Archive (Naxos Recordings) with Gerard Schwarz conducting the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. (Soon to be Released)

by Howard Hanson, as Praise-God Tewke, Naxos Recordings with Gerard Schwarz conducting the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Seattle Symphony Chorale (ASIN: B000OQDRZA).

by Dmitri Shostakovich, as the Bass Soloist, Naxos Recordings with Gerard Schwarz conducting the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Seattle Symphony Chorale (ASIN: B000EBEGZ0).  

by GianCarlo Menotti, as The Secret Police Agent, Chandos Recordings with Richard Hickox conducting the Spoleto Festival Orchestra (ASIN:

by F. J. Haydn, as Melibeo, High Priest in service to the Goddess Diana,
Arabesque Classic Recordings with David Golub conducting the Padua Chamber Symphony (ASIN:

The cast and conductor from the Spoletto Festival production/recording of the The Consul (from left) Louis Ottey, Susan Bullock, Maestro Richard Hickox, Victoria Livengood, Charles Robert Austin

by G. Puccini,  as The Jailer,  Phillips Classic Recording 434 595-2 with Riccardo Muti conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra (A
SIN: B00008JL7W).  

by S. Prokofiev, as Capt. Jacqueau, General Yemolov, & Second Russian Staff Officer, Chandos Recordings, with Richard Hickox conducting the Spoleto Festival Orchestra
(ASIN: B00004TZSH).

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