UNCG professor Dr. Donald Hartmann ’77, ’82 MM will make his New York City debut Wednesday, Jan. 20, when the New York City Opera (NYCO) reopens with a historic production of “Tosca.”

Hartmann, a bass-baritone, will sing the role of the Sacristan, a role he has sung in 15 productions over the course of his 36-year career.

The show will run Jan. 20-24 at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater. “Tosca,” the first opera produced by NYCO 70 years ago, is being brought back to the NYCO stage as a tribute to the company’s history and a symbol of its rebirth.

Widely known for launching the careers of numerous young opera stars, NYCO filed for bankruptcy in late 2013. What has long been called “the people’s opera” is now being revived by former NYCO board member Roy Niederhoffer and his organization NYCO Renaissance.

For Hartmann, the role is a dream come true.

“To be a part of this production is just amazing,” Hartmann said. “The Sacristan has always been my favorite role to sing. Sacristan is pure comedic relief in this very dramatic opera.”

Michael Capasso, the new general director of the company, first directed Hartmann in “Tosca” 16 years ago at the opening of the Valentine Theatre in Toledo, Ohio.  This fall, Capasso contacted Hartmann and offered him the role for the NYCO production.

“I was shocked and thrilled,” Hartmann said. “This is a huge event on many levels, and I am honored to participate.”

In addition to the NYCO production, Hartmann will spend two months with the Central City Opera in Central City, Colorado, this summer, singing the roles of Sacristan in “Tosca” and William Jennings Bryan in the 60th anniversary production of Douglas Moore’s “The Ballad of Baby Doe.”

Since 1978, Hartmann has appeared in more than 130 productions with a varied repertoire of 75 roles. He has appeared regularly with Michigan Opera Theatre, Toledo Opera, Opera Delaware, Arizona Opera, Madison Opera, Piedmont Opera, Opera Carolina, North Carolina Opera and Greensboro Opera. As a professor of voice, Hartmann works one-on-one with undergraduate and graduate voice students and has directed UNCG Opera Theatre productions on occasion.

For more information about NYCO and its upcoming production of “Tosca,” visit nycorenaissance.com. To learn more about UNCG’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance, visit performingarts.uncg.edu.


Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Relations