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- The title role in Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer, at the Staatstheater Meiningen;

- Klingsor in Wagner's Parsifal at the Theater Hagen;

- The title role in Berg's Wozzeck, at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe. 



Jaco Venter-470 kb_edited.jpg


Praised by the international press for his “strong voice of unique timbre”, for his “credible interpretations” and his “charismatic stage presence”, the baritone Jaco Venter is born in South Africa and made his studies in acting and singing in Pretoria, London and San Francisco, where he obtained his master’s degree, with Hermann Le Roux. He also participated in masterclasses with Thomas Hampson, Ruth Ann Swenson and Patricia Craig, among others. Starting his professional career, he performed in USA and South Africa as Schaunard in Puccini’s La Bohème, the title role in Don Giovanni and Ping in Puccini’s Turandot. A special highlight of this time was the part of John Protector in The Crucible, under the baton of the composer Robert Ward himself.


Jaco Venter started his career in Europe, being a member of the ensemble of Theater Pforzheim, singing Giorgio Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata and the Bête in Philip Glass’ La Belle et la Bête. Then, he joined ensembles of Nationaltheater Mannheim and Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, before to continuing his career as a freelancer opera singer.  


The South African baritone was acclaimed performing Wagnerian roles such as Alberich in Das Rheingold and Siegfried, Gunther in Götterdämmerung, Telramund in Lohengrin, Klingsor in Parsifal and the title role in Der Fliegende Holländer. Venter has also performed important roles from the Verdi’s repertoire: title roles in Rigoletto, Macbeth, Simon Boccanegra and Falstaff, Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera, Giorgio Germont in La Traviata and Iago in Otello. Puccini is also a composer being present on his repertoire: Jaco Venter is regularly invited to perform as Scarpia in Tosca, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly and Marcello in La Bohème. Other roles such as Michonnet in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, Escamillo in Carmen, the title role in Berg’s Wozzeck, Nick Shadow in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Der Fürst in Hans Krása’s Verlobung im Traum, Ramgoni in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Peter in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Starek in Janáček’s Jenufa and Police Chief in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, brought Venter to the range of most solid and powerful dramatic baritones of his time. As a versatile opera singer, he has been able to sing lyric traditional roles of the “big repertoire”, but also modern and contemporary roles: he sang the role of Kaiser in the World-premiere of Avner Dorman’s Wahnfried, which was nominated for the International Opera Awards 2018.  


Established in Germany, Venter has performed in several theatres of Europe and the World: Staatsoper Stuttgart, The Royal Danish Opera, Cape Town Opera, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Staatstheater Meiningen, Staatstheater Mainz, Theater Augsburg, Theater Freiburg, Theater Koblenz, Oper Wuppertal, Theater Münster, Den Jyske Opera, Staatstheater Braunschweig and Theater Hagen, among others.  


As concert soloist, he has performed the Brahm's Ein Deutsches Requiem, with Westfälische Philharmonie and Wirgener Ensemble. At the Royal Hall Los Angeles, he sang Bach's H-moll-Mess and Magnificat and the Haendel's The Messiah.


Jaco Venter has collaborated with important conductors and directors such as Christopher Alden, Thorleifur Örn Arnarsson, Justin Brown, Frédéric Chaslin, John Dew, Dan Ettinger, David Hermann, Friedemann Layer, Ingo Kerkhof, Gérard Korsten, Tim Murray, Dr. Urlich Peters, Katharina Thoma, Yuval Sharon, Alexander Shulin, Jacopo Spirei, Aaron Stiehl, Keith Warner, Matthew Wild, Johannes Willig and Andryij Yurkevych.


"The strong cast was led by South African-born baritone Jaco Venter in the title role. Starting almost diffidently in his first appearance, the character grew in stature and sympathy as the plot unfolded. Venter is capable of a beguiling lyricism and easy projection, particularly rewarding in set pieces such as the almost comic duet with Daland, Wie? Hört ich recht?, with its Rossini-derived accompaniment. But he is capable of authority, too: the lyrical yearning implicit in the opening chromatic measures of Wohl hub auch ich were neatly delivered and then smoothly increased to a passionate cry for release in the final measures."
Deon Irish -

"Act II began with Klingsor (Jaco Venter, projecting thrillingly in a dark bass-baritone that was less guttural than many voices in this part) waking up in a room with mat and bookcase..."
David Schengold  -


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