Biography

Photo by Jeannie Liataud

With his powerful voice and commanding stage presence, baritone Jacob Lassetter enjoys an exciting and vibrant career on both the operatic and concert stage. Critics have praised his dignified characterizations, his soaring high range, and his deep, rich tone quality. 

In June 2021 Mr. Lassetter makes his company and role debut as Scarpia in Tosca with Marble City Opera. Later in 2021 Mr. Lassetter makes another company debut as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Painted Sky Opera, and sings a solo recital of British composers (date TBA.) He will return to Painted Sky Opera in 2022 to sing his first Tonio in I pagliacci. Earlier in the 2020–2021 season he sang benefit concerts for both Winter Opera Saint Louis and Union Avenue Opera. Mr. Lassetter was scheduled to make his role and company debut as the title role in Der fliegende Holländer with Mid Ohio Opera, as well as a return to Italy for performances of the title role in Elijah, as soloist for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, and various other concerts. These engagements were all unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19.

In the 2019–2020 season Mr. Lassetter sang Sonora in La fanciulla del West with Winter Opera Saint Louis, and both Schubert’s Winterreise and Argento’s The Andrée Expedition in recital. In the 2018–2019 season he sang Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus with Winter Opera Saint Louis, Carmina Burana with the Washington University Symphony Orchestra, Verdi’s Requiem and A Symphony of Toys with The Missouri Symphony, Dick Deadeye in H.M.S. Pinafore and Il Gran Sacerdote in Nabucco with Union Avenue Opera, and a series of three recitals with St. Louis Art Song.

Opera audiences have recently seen Mr. Lassetter as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Annapolis Opera, Wolfram in Tannhäuser with Apotheosis Opera (New York City,) Peter in Hänsel und Gretel with Union Avenue Opera, and Rodrigo in the world premiere of Borgia Infami with Winter Opera Saint Louis. Concert performances include Schubert’s Mass in A-Flat at Carnegie Hall, Mendelssohn’s Elijah in Robbiate, Italy, Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Bach Chamber Players of Saint Paul, Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Rochester Choral Arts Ensemble, and a recital on the Shepley Concert Series at Christ Church Cathedral (Saint Louis.)

Mr. Lassetter’s additional operatic credits include Germont in La traviata (including his Italian debut in Castelfranco Veneto,) Michele in Il tabarro, the title roles in Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Horace Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, and Griswold in Argento’s The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe. Other concert credits include Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Bach’s St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion. He has earned critical acclaim for Orff’s Carmina Burana, including a performance at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, where he also sang Fauré’s Requiem. A frequent recitalist, he made his debut at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 2008 alongside his wife, soprano Karen Kanakis.

A recent Finalist in the National Opera Association Vocal Competition, Mr. Lassetter has been a Semi-finalist in the Marguerite McCammon Voice Competition, a Regional Finalist in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Award Competition, and received the Encouragement Award from the Southern Ohio District of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He is an alumnus of the Young Artist Programs of Chautauqua Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Utah Festival Opera, and holds degrees from Louisiana State University, The University of North Texas, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.