Another new faculty member

by Jeffrey Carter

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Jacob Lassetter, currently on the faculty of Luther College (Decorah, Iowa), will join the Department of Music as Associate Professor of Music (Voice) in August 2016.   Prof. Martha J. Hart will become Director of Vocal Studies upon the retirement in May of Prof. Carole Gaspar.

Dr. Lassetter will teach studio voice and master classes, and other courses in support of the voice performance program.

“In a crowded field of candidates,” said Jeffrey Carter, Chair of the Department of Music, “Jacob rose to the top, especially as we see his ability to round out our voice faculty with current stage experience, and an impeccable academic and young-artist pedigree.”

We send thanks to Prof. Martha Hart and the search committee for a job well done indeed!


lassetter-jacobWith 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.

Dr. Lassetter is thrilled to make his house and role debut as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Annapolis Opera in 2017. Still to come in 2016 are performances as Elijah with the Bassi Brugnatelli Symposium in Robbiate, Italy, and of Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass in the Minnesota’s Twin Cities. In 2015 Dr. Lassetter sang Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Rochester Choral Arts Ensemble, and made his Wagner debut in the role of Wolfram in Tannhäuser with Apotheosis Opera in New York City

Other recent performances include engagements with Music by the Lake as Horace Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe and in his signature role of Germont in La Traviata. He most recently sang Germont with Opera Theatre of the Rockies, and the role also served as his Italian debut at the Teatro Accademico in Castelfranco Veneto. He has earned critical acclaim for Orff’s Carmina Burana, performing with such companies as the Lexington Philharmonic, the Rochester Choral Arts Ensemble, the Ottumwa Symphony, the Grinnell Symphony, and the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. He made his Orchestra Hall debut in Fauré’s Requiem with Manhattan Concert Productions. He has performed frequently with the Peninsula Music Festival, singing Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9, Verdi’s Requiem, and the title role of Le Nozze di Figaro.

Dr. Lassetter’s additional operatic credits include Michele in Il Tabarro, the title role in Don Giovanni, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, and Griswold in Dominick 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. A frequent recitalist, he made his debut at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 2008 alongside his wife, soprano Karen Kanakis.

A 2016 Finalist in the National Opera Association Vocal Competition, Dr. 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.

Dr. Lassetter holds a Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude, from Louisiana State University; the Master of Music degree from The University of North Texas; and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.