What I Do at SSU
I presently serve on the vocal faculty at Sonoma State University, where I teach voice lessons.
Baritone Zachary Gordin is redefining what it means to be an opera star in the 21st century. Praised for his “arresting musical insights” and a voice that is “commanding and intense without ever descending into coarseness (The Seattle Times), Gordin’s powerful voice and wide repertoire makes him an in-demand performer at opera houses and concert halls around the globe. In 2016, Gordin reprised his performance of Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking at Shreveport Opera, a role that won him critical acclaim when he premiered it at Dayton Opera in 2015. Reviewers praised his “vocal power” as well as his demonstrative portrayal of the “enigmatic character” (The Oakwood Register). Other recent engagements include a recital with Fremont Symphony, Orff's Carmina Burana with the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra and for Chora Nova’s 10th Anniversary Gala, covering the role of Manfred in the World Premiere of Jake Heggie’s Out of Darkness for Music of Remembrance in Seattle and San Francisco, “A Taste of Opera” for Bear Valley Music Festival, Handel’s Messiah with Bakersfield Master Chorale and Orchestra, “Joyeux Noel” a recital of French music for Music in the Mountains, and “Mozart at the Opera” with the YOSA Philharmonic in San Antonio. Upcoming is the release of a disc of the songs of Reynaldo Hahn with Pianist Bryan Nies on the MSR Classics label, and Escamillo in Carmen at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica.
In previous seasons, Gordin’s performance highlights include Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with Visalia Opera Company, Escamillo in Carmen with Diablo Symphony and San Francisco Lyric Opera, Silvio in Pagliacci with Sacramento Opera, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas with West Bay Opera, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with North Bay Opera, and Germont in La Traviata with Center Stage Opera and West Bay Opera. A regular on the concert and recital stage, celebrated for his “depth and passion” (Piedmont Post), Gordin’s recent engagements include performances with San Francisco Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Los Angeles Opera League, Sacramento Philharmonic, YOSA Philharmonic, Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, Olympic Music Festival, Bakersfield Symphony, and many others. Some of his notable concert repertoire includes Monteverdi’s Magnificat, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Requiem, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and Handel’s Messiah. However, Orff’s Carmina Burana has quickly become a signature piece for Gordin, who has performed the work numerous times to great praise. Maestro Michael Morgan of the Oakland Symphony wrote that Gordin is “the ideal baritone for Carmina Burana… the best singing of the high, sensual music that I have ever heard. This is as good a rendering of those solos as one is ever likely to encounter.”
Gordin’s celebrated vocal technique has won him numerous awards, including the Ibla Grand Prize Baroque Music Competition, Bellini International Voice Competition, Pacific Musical Society Competition, and the East Bay Opera League Competition, among others. He was a finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council, Pacific Region. During his early childhood, he was inspired by his great-grandfather, an organist, and began training as a pianist at a young age. His passion for education makes him an effective, results-driven voice trainer. He serves on the voice faculty of Sonoma State University and Santa Clara University, operates a private vocal studio in the San Francisco Bay Area, serves as a judge for regional and national voice competitions, and frequently gives
master classes at some of the country’s most renowned opera companies and schools. Gordin is also widely recognized as the face of Barihunks, which celebrates physically fit and vocally-talented operatic baritones from around the globe.