Critics have described Sepp Hammer’s voice as “powerful” (BostonEdge) and as showing “warm baritone gravity” (The Boston Globe). In recent seasons on the opera stage, Sepp has appeared as Orest (Elektra) with Berkeley Elektra Project, Pistola (Falstaff) with Cinnabar Theater, the Speaker (Die Zauberflöte) with Pocket Opera, Malatesta (Don Pasquale) with North Bay Opera, and Wagner (Gounod’s Faust) with Opera San Jose. His operatic repertory encompasses a wide range of roles, including Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas), Conte Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), the title role in Don Giovanni, Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Falke (Die Fledermaus), Escamillo (Carmen), Schaunard (La Bohème), and John Proctor (The Crucible).
An experienced concert artist, Sepp made his role debut as Jesus in St. Matthew Passion with the California Bach Society in fall 2016, singing with “smoothness, private and sepulchral, with enough low grit to embody the inner strife and luminance of a prophet” (Berkeley Times). He has been a frequent soloist with this ensemble, appearing in Zelenka’s Missa Votiva, Charpentier’s Messe des Morts, various Bach cantatas, and in Carissimi’s Jonas, in which he portrayed the voice of God, “with booming authority” (San Francisco Classical Voice). His concert engagements have included Rutter’s Mass of the Children with Solano Symphony, Zelenka’s Gloria with Chora Nova, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with Contra Costa Chorale, and, with various ensembles, Schütz’s Symphoniae Sacrae, Bach’s Magnificat, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Schubert’s Mass in G Major, Brahms’ Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, and Duruflé’s Requiem.
Sepp holds a master’s degree in vocal performance from New England Conservatory and a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley. His operatic training includes the young artist programs of the Central City Opera and Opera New Jersey. This season, Sepp will appear as Eupolemus in Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, and as soloist in a program of Bach cantatas with Santa Cruz Chorale.