Robert Chafin has established himself as one of the finest young helden-tenors on the international stage. A native of Virginia, his recent performances as Menelas in Die Ägyptische Helena at the Deutsche Oper Berlin recieved wide critical acclaim. Chafin has over 60 operas in his repertoire. He began his career with the major roles of Mozart and Rossini, and has expanded his range to include such roles as Apollo in Daphne, Max in Der Freischütz, Erik in Der Fliegende Holländer, Midas in Die Liebe der Danae, Enée in Les Troyens, Don José in Carmen as well as Laca in Jenufa and the title role in Les Contes d’Hoffmann.
In these and other roles, Chafin has guested in New York (NYCO), Stockholm, London (ROH), Vienna, Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Berlin (Deutsche Oper), Leipzig, Brussels, Toulouse and Luxemburg, among others. International acclaim for his interpretation of Franz Schreker's Flammen and Christophorus show his versatility and flexibility. As described in Opera News: “Menelas, like so many Strauss tenor roles, is a punishing and thankless part, yet Robert Chafin...gave the Spartan king a vocally convincing and dramatically compelling performance that cut through the thicket of female voices: his work was so brazen that he not only held his own, but seemed to be waging war against Strauss's disdain for the male voice.”
Mr. Chafin has been a frequent soloist with orchestras and leading choral ensembles throughout Europe and America. He has worked with such conductors as Donald Runnicles, Riccardo Muti, Fréderic Chaslin, Markus Stenz, Michel Plasson, Gary Bertini, Nicolas Geogeghan, Stefan Anton Reck, Edo de Waart, Renée Jacobs, Eve Queler and Leon Botstein. Highlights include his Carnegie Hall debut as Goffredo Armida by Rossini with Opera Orchestra of New York, performing as featured soloist in the Paris opening of the Schubertiade at the Theatre des Champs - Élyseés with the Stuttgarter Kammerchor, making his Belgian debut in the Flanders' Festival (Rodrigo Rossini's Otello), and working with maestro Alberto Zedda at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam as Tebaldo in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi.
Mr. Chafin was featured as Dionysos in the Vara-Radio broadcast of Henze’s Die Bassariden, a Holland Premiere with Markus Stenz conducting. His recordings include Stravinsky's In Memoriam Dylan Thomas and Hindemith's Das Unaufhörliche for both radio and television (in a live recording at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, maestro Dimitri Kitajenko), as well as the operas Flammen, Christophorus by Franz Schreker, and Midas in Die Liebe der Danae by Richard Strauss. A CD of a concert performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide at the Berlin Philharmonie is also available.
Additional role debuts include the title role Don Carlos for Staatsoper Hannover, his Covent Garden (ROH) and Salzburg Festival debut with Ricardo Muti in Die Zauberflöte and the title role in Les Contes d'Hoffmann for Wiesbaden Staatsoper. In 2012, Chafin sang in the American premiere of Franz Schmidt's The Hunchback of Notre Dame with Leon Botstein conducting the American Symphony Orchestra and will be singing Alfred in Die Fledermaus with Opera on the James in Virginia. A scenic presentation of Die schöne Müllerin is planned along with recitals through out the United States in 2013.