Rod Gilfry

Associate Professor

  • Program:
    Vocal Arts and Opera
  • Division:
    Classical Performance and Composition


Rod Gilfry, Associate Professor of Vocal Arts at the USC Thornton School of Music, was born and raised in Southern California. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Fullerton, and a Master of Music in Vocal Arts at USC Thornton. From 1987 to 1989, he was a member of the Frankfurt Opera ensemble, and from 1989 to 1994 he was a member of the Zürich Opera ensemble.

The two-time GRAMMY nominee, singer and actor has performed in all the world’s music capitals. He is acclaimed worldwide in opera, musicals, recitals and cabaret. Gilfry has created 11 leading roles in opera world premieres, most recently in the Brooklyn Academy of Music solo opera by David Lang, The Loser and at the Houston Grand Opera in Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life.

Other recent appearances include: Glyndebourne Festival (Hamlet world premiere), Metropolitan Opera (Thomas Adès’ The Exterminating Angel), Brooklyn Academy of Music (Matthew Aucoin’s Crossing), Los Angeles Master Chorale (Beethoven Missa Solemnis), Edinburgh Festival (Cosi fan tutte), American Repertory Theater Boston (Aucoin’s Crossing world premiere), Zurich Opera (Rote Laterne world premiere), NYC Mostly Mozart Festival (Cosi fan tutte), San Francisco Symphony (The Tempest), Alabama Symphony (Beethoven 9th Symphony), Vienna Volksoper (Kismet), New York City Opera (Anna Nicole), Aix-en-Provence Festival (Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte), Quebec City Festival (The Tempest), Los Angeles Philharmonic (Cosi fan tutte), London Royal Opera Covent Garden (Anna Nicole), Metropolitan Opera (The Merry Widow) and Milwaukee Symphony (Cosi fan tutte). Recent recordings include Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life, Great Voices Sing John Denver, Matson’s Cooperstown, Stucky’s August 4th, 1964.

Recent engagements have included Adelaide Festival Brett Dean’s Hamlet, a solo concert with the San Bernardino Symphony, Los Angeles Opera (Crossing, The Loser), Phoenix Symphony (Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem), CSU Fullerton Elijah, Santa Fe Opera (Ariadne auf Naxos, Cosi fan tutte), Seoul (Cosi fan tutte), San Francisco Opera (It’s a Wonderful Life).