Jesse Merlin, Bass
2002 – 2006
JESSE MERLIN continues to receive critical praise for his role of Dr. Hill in the New York Musical Theater Festival production of Re-Animator the Musical. Most recently, he was featured in a nationally aired NPR feature about his career in horror musicals, as well as a rave review in the New York Times. Upcoming engagements will feature him in a small part in Clint Eastwood’s upcoming film Jersey Boys. He continues to perform with the Opera A La Carte touring company, having recently appeared as the Major General in The Pirates of Penzance.
During the 2011-12 season, Mr. Merlin performed the role of Benoit/Alcindoro (La bohème) with Opera Santa Barbara and Angelotti (Tosca) for Opera Las Vegas. He also was featured in Opera A La Carte’s touring programs as the Sergeant of Police (The Pirates of Penzance) and Pish-Tush (The Mikado).
As an actor, he appeared in the film The Entity as Dr. Schimmerman, and performed the role of Werewolf Hitler (FDR: American Badass!) and the Bird Expert (Jackass 3D) for Paramount/MTV Films.
In 2009 – 2010, Mr. Merlin appeared in the world premiere of Seance on a Wet Afternoon with Opera Santa Barbara. On the stage, he performed the role of Oscar Wilde in Theatre Asylum’s production of Carved in Stone from June – August, 2009.
During the 2008 – 2009 season, Mr. Merlin performed the role of President of the USA in The Beastly Bombing for the Steve Allen Theater and NY Musical Theater Festival, and reprised the role for Opera aan het IJ, in Amsterdam. For Long Beach Opera, he appeared in their production of The Emperor of Atlantis and The Clever One, and performed the role of the Priest in The Cunning Little Vixen. He also performed the role of the Duke of Plaza Toro in Opera A La Carte’s production of The Gondoliers in April, 2009.
Other engagements during the 2008 – 2009 season included the roles of Dick Deadeye (HMS Pinafore) and Pish-Tush (The Mikado), both with Opera A La Carte. On the concert stage, he appeared as baritone soloist in Erich Zeisl’s Requiem Ebraico in March of 2008.
After departing OSJ’s resident company, Mr. Merlin performed the leading role in the world premiere of The Beastly Bombing at the Steve Allen Theater in Los Angeles which received rave reviews from the LA Times and The New Yorker. In December 2006, Mr. Merlin returned to the Bay Area to perform Marquis d’Obigny (La traviata) with Martinez Opera, and then in February 2007, he made his debut with Sacramento Opera in the role of Zuniga (Carmen).
While a member of OSJ’s resident company, Mr. Merlin performed the roles of Francis Nurse (The Crucible), Colline and Benoit/Alcindoro (La bohème), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Dr. Bartolo (Le nozze di Figaro), the Sacristan (Tosca), Zuniga (Carmen), and Daland (Der fliegende Holländer). Other roles performed for Opera San Josè include the title role in Don Pasquale, Nourabad (Les Pêcheurs de perles), Frank (Die Fledermaus), Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Ferrando (Il trovatore), Mephistopheles (Faust), Alidoro (La Cenerentola), Yamadori (Madama Butterfly), Count des Grieux (Manon), Benoit (La bohème), and Count Ceprano (Rigoletto).
Roles performed with West Bay Opera include Benoit (La bohème), Wagner (Faust), and Marquis d’Obigny (La traviata). In 2001, he created the role of Aileen’s Grandfather in the world premiere of WUORNOS at the Yerba Buena Center.
With Lamplighters Music Theatre, Merlin performed the title role in The Mikado and the Boatswain’s Mate (H.M.S. Pinafore), with Lyric Theatre of San Jose, Lord Mountararat (Iolanthe), and with the Stanford Savoyards, Lord Mountararat (Iolanthe), the Sergeant of Police (The Pirates of Penzance), and Arac (Princess Ida).
Mr. Merlin made his international debut in the world premiere of Benjamin Hamon’s opera Le Terrain Vague in Paris at the Théâtre du Rond-Point and the Théâtre Lucernaire in June of 2005.
For more information, please visit Mr. Merlin’s website: http://www.jessemerlin.com/