The American bass-baritone and music pedagogue, Donald Hartmann, completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and his Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance, graduating with honors at the University of Oklahoma. Having participated in several vocal competitions, Hartmann has been a 2nd place finalist in the San Antonio Opera Guild Talent Search and a winner of the Friedrich Schorr Memorial Prize in Vocal Performance under the auspices of Opera! Lenawee. Appearing in five productions with Opera!Lenawee, he was recognized as the First Honored Artist of that organization.
Since the beginning of his professional operatic singing career in 1978 with performance at the Stadttheater Regensburg in Germany, Donald Hartmann continues to be an active performer with regional and national opera companies. He has been described as possessing a, “big, rich voice with an amazing timbre;” interpretative abilities as “hearty and dramatic;” vocal resonance as “ringing,” “sepulchral,” “richly focused;” and “the rubberiest face since Jim “Hey Vern” Varney.” He is a commanding leading man and one of the best character singers on any opera stage anywhere. With a repertoire of over 50 roles, notable engagements have included Swallow in Peter Grimes, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro, Colline and Benoit/Alcindoro in La Boheme, Bonze and Sharpless in Madame Butterfly, Pooh-Bah in The Mikado, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Pirate King, Sergeant of Police, and Major General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance, and Luther/Crespel/Schlemeil in The Tales of Hoffman with respected companies nationwide and Canada.
Recently Donald has sung the role of Dr. Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Delaware; Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin with Opera Carolina; Benoit/Alcindoro in La Boheme with Toledo Opera, Opera Delaware, Opera Carolina, and Florentine Opera of Milwaukee; Monterone in Rigoletto with Michigan Opera Theatre; Sacristan in Tosca with Madison Opera; First Soldier in Salome with Michigan Opera Theatre; a return to Opera Carolina as Sacristan in Tosca, as well as a return to Toledo Opera as Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro. He has performed Sergeant in Pirates of Penzance with Opera Carolina, a company debut with Piedmont Opera as Frank in Die Fledermaus, and created the role of Howard in the world premiere of Libby Larsen’s Picnic.
Donald Hartmann has appeared regularly with Michigan Opera Theater as Sacristan in Tosca, Abimelech in Samson and Delilah, Marullo in Rigoletto, Benoit/Alcindoro in La Boheme, and others. He has also performed with Toledo Opera in roles such as: Mikado, Zuniga in Carmen, Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Simone in Gianni Schicchi, and others. European engagements have included Simon Boccanegra, Cosi Fan Tutte, Oklahoma, Xerxes, Die Czardasfürstin, Wienner Blut, Im Weissen Rössl, Die Verkaufte Braut, and Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagony at the Stadttheater Regensburg. At the Vereinigte StädtischesBühnen Krefeld/Mönchengladbach he has performed in productions of: Der Meistersinger, Carmen, Cosi Fan Tutte, Die Czardasfürstin, Frau Luna, Don Carlo, Mignon, Don Giovanni, Entführung aus dem Serail, Die Lustige Witwe, and Orpheus in der Unterwelt. He also performed comprimario roles as: Zweiter Gefangener in Fidelio, Der Notar in Gianni Schicchi, and others.
A busy concert recitalist and oratorio soloist, Donald Hartmann has sung Papageno excerpts with the renowned Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and L.v. Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with New Mexico Symphony, Perrysburg Symphony, Livonia Symphony, and Macomb Symphony. He has been engaged as bass soloist for the Verdi Requiem with the Eastern Philharmonic, Peabody Symphony, Plymouth Symphony, and in a performance conducted by Neeme Järvi. Other engagements include the Mozart Requiem with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra; Johannes Brahmss’ A German Requiem; Maurice Duruflé Requiem; George Frideric Handel’s Messiah; Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and The Seasons; and the Rossini Stabat Mater.
As a member of the faculty at University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Donald Hartmann was nominated, and received, the prestigious Regents Award for Superior Teaching. As a Full Professor in the Department of Music and Dance at Eastern Michigan University he has twice received the Faculty Artistic Recognition Award. He is currently a Full Professor of Voice in the Department of Performance Studies in the School of Music, Theater, and Dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.