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 Ismaele in Nabucco, Grigori in Boris Godunov and Bois-Rose in Les Huguenots.


    Watson has been a two-time Filene Young Artist at Wolf Trap Opera where he sang Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with the National Symphony Orchestra; Begearss in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles; and the titular character in Milhaud’s Le pauvre matelot. He is an alumnus of the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, the Opera Santa Barbara Studio, the Palm Beach Opera Benenson Young Artist Program, and the Dolora Zajick Institute for Young Dramatic Voices.


    Watson has appeared in concert as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Kansas City Symphony, and in Verdi's Requiem with the Florence Masterwork's Choral Society. He has performed in recital at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.


    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.


     Watson will return to Detusche Oper Berlin for the 2017-18 season to sing Cavaradossi in Tosca, Erik in Der Fliegende Hollaender, Ismaele in Nabucco, and the messenger in Aida. Watson will make debuts with Opera Orchestre National Montpellier as Don Jose in Carmen and Opera de Lille as Ismaele in Nabucco

  • Brandenburg Symphoniker

    Friday December 1st, 2017, 7:30pm

    Saturday December 2nd, 2017, 7:30pm


    Grabenstrasse 14, 14776 Brandeburg an der Havel



    Saturday January 6th, 20178 7:30pm

    Sunday January 14th, 2018 6:00pm



    Bismarckstraße 35, 10627 Berlin, Germany



    Thursday February 8th, 2018 7:30pm


    Bismarckstraße 35, 10627 Berlin, Germany 


    Don Jose

    Friday March 16th, 2018 8pm

    Sunday March 18th, 2018 3pm

    Tuesday March 20th, 2018 8pm

    Thursday March 22nd, 2018 8pm


    11 Boulevard Victor Hugo, 34000 Montpellier, France​




    Wednesday May 16th, 2018 8pm

    Saturday May 19th, 2019 6pm

    Tuesday May 22nd, 2018 8pm

    Saturday May 26th, 2018 6pm

    Monday May 28th, 2018 8pm

    Thursday May 31st, 2018 8pm

    Sunday June 3rd, 2018 4pm

    Wednesday June 6th, 2018 8pm


    2 Rue des Bons Enfants, 59000 Lille, France


    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."

    The Rape of Lucretia

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


    "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."

    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."

    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."

  • audio

  • Video

    Di Quella Pira

    Verdi's Il Trovatore


    Dio che nell'alma infondere

    Verdi's Don Carlo

    Don Carlo with Don-Hwan Lee as Posa


    Puccini's Madama Butterfly

    Lt. B.F. Pinkerton


    Bizet's Carmen

    Don Jose

  • Repertoire 


    Drum Major Wozzeck


    Don Jose Carmen


    Peter Grimes Peter Grimes

    Male Chorus The Rape of Lucretia

    Captain Vere Billy Budd


    Laca Jenufa


    Werther Werther


    Grigorij Boris Godunov


    Hoffmann Les Contes d'Hoffmann


    Rodolfo La Boheme

    Cavaradossi Tosca

    Pinkerton Madama Butterfly

    Ruggero La Rondine

    Luigi Il Tabarro

    Strauss J.

    Alfred Die Fledermaus

    Strauss R.

    Italian Singer Der Rosenkavalier

    Bacchus Ariadne auf Naxos


    Lenski Eugene Onegin


    Ismaele Nabucco

    Macduff Macbeth

    Duca Rigoletto

    Alfredo La Traviata

    Gustavo Un ballo in maschera

    Don Carlo Don Carlo


    Erik Der Fliegende Hollander

  • Materials

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