Slovakian bass Stefan Kocan has emerged in recent years as one of the most exciting voices of his generation. He has been acclaimed at such theaters as the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Berlin State Opera, and Bavarian State Opera. In the current season, Kocan makes several significant debuts: his debut with the Canadian Opera Company as Vodnik in Rusalka, his role role and house debut as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte at the Royal Opera House of Muscat, and his first Oroveso in Norma at the Theater an der Wien. He will also return to the Palm Beach Opera as Gremin in Eugene Onegin.
In the 2018/19 season, Kocan debuted at the Opera National de Bordeaux as Hunding in Die Walküre. He also sang Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Il Commendatore, Ramfis in Aida and Sparafucile in Rigoletto. Kocan finished out the season with his debut at the Arena di Verona as Ramfis. In the 2017/18 season, Kocan returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Ferrando in Il Trovatore, appeared as Hunding/Fafner in Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Theater an der Wien and sang his first Gurnemanz in Parsifal at Opera Vlaanderen in the Netherlands. Engagements from the 2016/17 season included Banco in Macbeth at the Theater an der Wien, Sparafucile at Choregies d’Orange and the Palm Beach Opera, and Il Commendatore, Gremin in Eugene Onegin and Sparafucile at the Metropolitan Opera. In the 2015/16 season, Kocan sang Ferrando and Sparafucile at the Metropolitan Opera, The Watcher in Oedipe at Covent Garden, as well as both the title role in Boito’s Mefistofele and Vodnik in Rusalka at the Prague State Opera. Additionally, Kocan gave several concert and recital appearances throughout Europe.
In the 2013/14 season, Kocan gave a critically acclaimed performance of Gremin, followed by Khan Konchak in Dmitriy Tcherniakov’s new production of Prince Igor, which was broadcast live in HD. He also returned to the Teatro alla Scala to sing The Grand Inquisitor and Filippo in Don Carlos. In the 2012/13 season, he sang Ramfis and Sparafucile at the Metropolitan Opera, Banco at La Scala with Valery Gergiev, Il Commendatore at the Bavarian State Opera and Ramfis with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl under Gustavo Dudamel.
Stefan Kocan started gainging worldwide attention when he became a prize-winner at the famed International Tchaikovsky competition. After completing his studies in Bratislava, Kocan began his professional operatic career at the Landestheater in Linz, Austria. Singing with the company from 2002-2006, he appeared in such leading roles as Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Filippo in Don Carlos, Osmin in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Mephistopheles in Faust, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Banco in Macbeth, and Kecal in The Bartered Bride. In 2003, Kocan was awarded the Eberhard Waechter Prize for his interpretation of the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos. Following these successes came Kocan’s American debut at the Metropolitan Opera as The King in Aida under the baton of Daniele Gatti in the 2009/10 season. In the 2010/11 season, he made his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Banco in a new production of Macbeth, returning to Chicago the following season to sing Ramfis. In the 2011/12 season, he was also invited to make his debut at the Teatro alla Scala as Masetto in the season opening production of Don Giovanni, featuring Anna Netrebko, Bryn Terfel and Peter Mattei.
Since making his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, Kocan has established himself as an electric performer both vocally and physically, returning there every season for such performances as Sparafucile in Otto Schenk’s production of Rigoletto, Ferrando in Il Trovatore (broadcast live in HD), and Il Commendatore in Michael Grandage’s new production of Don Giovanni (broadcast live in HD). In 2013, Kocan received much critical acclaim for his sinister and compelling portrayal of Sparafucile in Michael Mayer’s new production of Rigoletto (broadcast live in HD). New York Magazine praised him as a “gifted scene stealer with a voice that is a ‘tectonic rumble.’” He made the Sparafucile in this production uniquely his own, reprising it in the 2013/14 season and most recently in the 2015/16 season.