Dutch baritone Geert Smits received his vocal/musical education at Sweelinck Konservatorium in Amsterdam graduated cum laude in 1993. In 1997, he was awarded the Dutch Music Award, the most important and prestigious prize in the Netherlands and was prize winnaar at the Belvedere Competition Vienna.
His first engagements on the opera stage were Valentin in Gounods Faust in Cologne, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Lescaut in Manon Lescaut in Nancy and Caen. At the Salzburg F
estival 1996 he made his double debut in Oberon (under Sylvain Cambreling) and as Don Fernando in Beethovens Leonore (under John Eliot Gardiner).
During 1998 – 2003, Geert Smits was a member of the Wiener Staatsoper where he sang amongst others Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos), Heerrufer (Lohengrin), Silvio (I Pagliacci), Donald (Billy Budd), Faninal (Der Rosenkavalierl), Don Fernando (Fidelio), Sharpless (Madame Butterfly), Wolfram (Tannhäuser).
In 2004/05 he performed the part of Jesus in the staged production of the St. Matthew Passion at Deutsche Opera Berlin and made his role debut of Der fliegende Holländer (title role) at Opera Zuid. His guest engagements include Donner (Das Rheingold) and Heerrufer (Lohengrin) at the Netherlands Opera Amsterdam, Sharpless and Wolfram at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Faninal at the Wiener Staatsoper, Wolfram (Tannhäuser) at Oslo Operan. In December 2010 he returns to Amsterdam for Don Fernando (Fidelio). At the Opera du Rhin, Strasbourg, he sings in the new production of Schreker’s Der ferne Klang.
Geert Smits devotes a great deal of his time to concerts and he has built a wide repertoire in the vocal-symphonic field. He worked with conductors such as Frans Brüggen, Riccardo Chailly, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Philippe Herreweghe, René Jacobs, Neeme Järvi, Eri Klas, Edo de Waart, Lothar Zagrosek and Jaap van Zweden.
The baritone frequently works with the Dutch Radio for concert performances such as Cherubini’s Lodoïska, Donizetti’s La Favorita (Alfonso), Strauss’ Daphne, Ariadne auf Naxos, Dvorak’s Die Geisterbraut, Schreker’s Der ferne Klang, Wagner’s Lohengrin, and La chute de la Maison Usher by Debussy, all in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
CD recordings with Geert Smits are L'Orfeo (conductor René Jacobs), Merlijn (conductor David Porcelijn), St. Matthew Passion (Christus, conductor Jos van Veldhoven), Beethovens 9th Symphony (conductor Jan Willem de Vriend) and C-Dur Messe (conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt). The Erasmus-Label published his first Lieder-CD with songs after texts of Heinrich Heine. On DVD appeared Lohengrin with Geert Smits as Heerrufer (conductor Jaap van Zweden).