American tenor Robert Watson, a native of Kansas City, made his professional debut as a Noble in Wagner’s Lohengrin with San Francisco Opera. The following season, Watson returned to SFO to create the role of Henry Cox in the world premiere of Picker’s Dolores Claiborne.


    Watson is a member of the ensemble of Deutsche Oper Berlin where he has performed a multitude of roles including Hoffmann in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Don Jose in Carmen, Erik in Der Fliegende Hollaender, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Ismaele in Nabucco, Grigori in Boris Godunov and Einsam in Verdi's Messa di Requiem.

    Watson has sung with numerous opera companies Washington National Opera, San Diego Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Orchestra Montpellier, Opera Lille, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Stadttheater Klagenfurt, as well as Merola Opera, Wolf Trap Opera and Palm Beach Opera as a young artist.



    Watson attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is a graduate of Oklahoma City University Bass School of Music.


    Watson has won awards in the Opera Index, Gerda Lissner and Irene Dalis competitions. He is a two-time recipient of a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation and a Catherine Filene Shouse Education Career Grant. He is a two-time Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions regional finalist.


    In the 2019-20 season Watson will make his Dallas Opera debut as the Title Role in Don Carlo, sings Ismaele at the Teatro Regio in Turin, sings Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with the Opera Orchestre National Montpellier and returns to Stadttheater Klagenfurt to sing Gabrielle Adorno in Simon Boccanegra. Watson will also return to Deutsche Oper Berlin performing in Jenufa, Das Rheingold, Madame Butterfly, Der Fliegende Hollander, Carmen and Die Fledermaus.

  • Don Carlo

    Don Carlo



    Friday March 20th

    Sunday March 22nd

    Wednesday March 25th

    Saturday March 28th



    Don Jose


    Thursday April 4th, 2020 7:30 pm

    Monday April 13th, 2020 3 pm


    Ariadne auf naxos



    Friday April 24th, 2020 8 pm

    Sunday April 26th, 2020 3 pm

    Tuesday April 28th, 2020 8pm


    Madame Butterfly



    Sunday May 3rd, 2020 6 pm

    Thursday May 7th, 2020 7:30 pm

    Das Rheingold



    Friday June 12th, 2020 7:30 pm

    Tuesday June 16th, 2020 7:30 pm

    Friday June 19th, 2020 7:30 pm

    Monday June 22nd, 2020 7:30 pm

    Thursday June 25th, 2020 7:30 pm

    Saturday June 27th, 2020 7:30 pm


    Der Fliegende Hollander



    Friday May 15th, 2020 7:30 pm

    Friday May 29th, 2020 7:30 pm



    As Laca, Watson was a discovery. His is a big, beefy tenor with a bright and forward crystalline tone. What distinguished his performance was how he used the tone to illustrate Laca’s development, from an icy coldness, draining the colour from the voice in Act 1, to a generous warmth in Act 3.


    Robert Watson convinces as an impulsive Laca with violent performance and dark passion. Watson's massive figure fills the unfortunate figure believably, whereby the powerful tenor part can sound stunning in places

    Les Contes d'Hoffmann

    The Deutsche Oper Berlin is, of course, in the fortunate position of being able to have a a first-class cast for this opera. And it was consistently sung at a high level, and partly, sung and played at a world-class level. And of course, this work succeeds or fails with its protagonist Hoffmann; a tenor role that demands much from the singer and can be quite exhausting over the 3.5 hour duration of the show. With Robert Watson, Berlin gave us a Hoffmann who, on the one hand has the great vocal skill that characterizes this role, while on the other hand gave an absolutely convincing portrayal of the unfortunate poet Hoffmann. Every tone, every expression, fit a role interpretation that would be rightly acclaimed in every major opera house in the world.


    "Robert Watson, an American Spinto tenor, sang the price with great power, in a beautiful, confident voice, and also endeavored in the lyrical passages for sound piani. "


    "Robert Watson, a name to remember, as the prince has a gorgeous baritonal colored secure tenor."

    Der Fliegende Holländer

    "And in the ‘non-title’ role, Robert Watson sang Erik’s part very well, clearly alert to its competing stylistic demands: a trickier task than many imagine."

    The Ghost of Versailles

    "Even among his gifted colleagues, Robert Watson stood out for his slimy turn as Bergearss; the spot-on characterization was matched by a well-focused, pingy tenor."


    Watson "commands a well-wrought tenor, with baritonal richness in the lower register and a fine blaze on top."


    "In fact, mezzo Audrey Babcock, singing Carmen, and tenor Robert Watson as Don José created the most effective final scene I have ever encountered. It was well sung and gripping as drama."

    The Ghosts of Versailles

    "With a ping in the timbre and fire behind every phrase, Robert Watson dominated the stage as bad boy Bégearss; he delivered the “Aria of the Worm” with extra bite."

    The Ghosts of Versailles

    "Robert Watson (Bégearss) has a trumpet-like heldentenor, which may one day sustain a major career."

    Madame Butterfly

    "Robert Watson, after last year’s “Le pauvre matelot” (“The Poor Sailor”), got to try out one of the most oft-performed roles of the standard repertory, Pinkerton, and sang with a ringing and sustained sound that almost belied his character’s weakness."

    Le pauvre matelot

    "Tenor Robert Watson gave the brief role of the Sailor a vivid workout, fueled by solid, ringing tones."

    Le pauvre matelot

    "Robert Watson, the tenor, made ardent sounds in the relatively brief but central title role."

    Enemies, A Love Story

    "Moore and Sandrow echo Broadway tradition by providing small roles with clear understudy potential; these were well taken by company Young Artists, with Robert Watson sounding vivid as Nissen, Tamara's uncle."

    Merola Grand Finale

    "Tenor Robert Watson, who so capably handled the commanding persona of the Male Chorus in last month’s performance of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, was superb in capturing Vere’s initial confidence, which then dissolves into helplessness."

    Merola Grand Finale

    "Unlike Lohengrin and Des Grieux, Captain Vere in Britten's "Billy Budd" is not a tenor showcase role, but nobody told Robert Watson, who sang hell out of the climactic scene of the opera, with Alex DeSocio's appealing Budd and Thomas Richards' sonorous, scary John Claggart."

    Irene Dalis Awards

    "My personal favorite, tenor Robert Watson made his San Francisco Opera debut as a noble in Lohengrin in 2012, and created the role of Mr. Cox in the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne. A sensation as the Male Chorus in last summer’s Merola Opera production of The Rape of Lucretia, the student of César Ulloa brought thrilling gravitas and authority to “I know that you all hate me” (from Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Saint of Bleeker Street). His “Ah, la paterna mano” (Macbeth) was of heroic proportions, the undertones as impressive as the sweetness on top. The top is where he is headed, sooner rather than later."

    Merola Grand Finale

    "Another tenor promise fulfilled was Kansas City’s Robert Watson. Following his sensational, deeply moving Male Chorus in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Watson’s searing “Claggart, John Claggart, beware!” in Britten’s Billy Budd seemed designed to proclaim to the world that another great Britten tenor, a pupil of our own César Ulloa, has arrived. If Glyndebourne was listening, expect the U.K. to take notice shortly."


    "Tenor Robert Watson presented an equally attractive and powerful voice as Carmen’s victim Don Jose. Watson was at his best in his interaction with Babcock, from hapless victim of her lap-dance seduction at their first encounter to frustrated, discarded, and degraded lover, and, finally, drunk-in-the-gutter murderer. Watson also had total control of his vocal performance, and, like Irvin, brought a solid and attractive quality to his singing, which was neatly and effortlessly even throughout his range."

    The Rape of Lucretia

    "Equally impressive were Watson and the orchestra, together illustrating Tarquinius' impulsive midnight ride across the Tiber to conquer Lucretia."



    Der Mahler Lulu

    Tambourmajor Wozzeck


    Don Jose Carmen


    Peter Grimes Peter Grimes

    Male Chorus The Rape of Lucretia

    Captain Vere Billy Budd


    Laca Jenufa


    Princ Rusalka


    Grigorij Boris Godunov


    Hoffmann Les Contes d'Hoffmann


    Rodolfo La Boheme

    Cavaradossi Tosca

    Pinkerton Madama Butterfly


    Alfred Die Fledermaus


    Italian Singer Der Rosenkavalier

    Bacchus Ariadne auf Naxos


    Ismaele Nabucco

    MacDuff MacBeth

    Alfredo La Traviata

    Don Carlo Don Carlo

    Gabriele Ardono Simon Boccanegra


    Erik Der Fliegende Hollander