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Born in Aurora, Illinois in 1951, the American bass Eric Halfvarson made his professional debut 1973 as Rossini’s Don Basilio. A founder member of the Houston Opera Studio throughout the 1980s he performed widely throughout the United States, and by the late 90s was in international demand for roles including Verdi’s Grand Inquisitor and Filippo II (Don Carlo), Banco and Sparafucile, Wagner’s Daland, Pogner, Fafner, Hunding and Hagen, Gounod’s Méphistophélès, and Britten's Claggart (with which he made his Royal Opera House debut in 2000).
Wagner features heavily in Halfvarson’s extensive discography, which includes Fafner on Sir Simon Rattle’s Rheingold, Hagen on Jaap van Zweden’s Götterdämmerung, Daland on David Parry’s English-language Flying Dutchman, and Hunding and Hagen on Christian Thielemann’s Ring Cycle from the Wiener Staatsoper. He also sings a ‘forceful, incisive’ Claggart on Kent Nagano’s Billy Budd, and appears as the Grand Inquisitor on DVDs of Don Carlo/Don Carlos from the Royal Opera House, the Théâtre du Châtelet, and the Salzburg Festival.