Artist in Residence

Each year, Wolf Trap Opera chooses one of its highly successful alumni as Artist in Residence. This master artist works with WTO’s young singers on both artistic and practical preparation for their careers. The 2016 Artist in Residence will be bass-baritone Alan Held.

Mr. Held will present a public master class with young artists of Wolf Trap Opera on Monday, June 27.

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Recognized internationally as one of the leading singing actors today, American bass-baritone Alan Held has appeared in major roles in the world’s finest opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera,  Canadian Opera Company, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Teatro alla Scala, Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, Bayerische Staastoper,  Hamburgische Staatsoper, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Teatro Real in Madrid, De Nederlandse Opera, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, and Tokyo Opera Nomori. His many roles include Wotan in Wagner’s The Ring Cycle, the title roles in Wozzeck and Der fliegende Holländer, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg, Scarpia in Tosca, Leporello in Don Giovanni, the Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffman,  Jochanaan in Salome, Don Pizzaro in Fidelio, Orestes in Elektra, and Balstrode in Peter Grimes.

Equally at home on the concert stage, Mr. Held has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Berlin Philharmonic, Kirov Opera Orchestra, and Montreal Symphony. He has also appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Salzburg, Tanglewood, Cincinnati May, and Saito Kinen festivals, and at the BBC Proms. He has worked with many distinguished conductors including Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Sir Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Franz Welser-Möst, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Simon Rattle, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Jeffrey Tate.

Mr. Held appears as the title role in Cardillac in the DVD of the Paris Opera production, and recorded the role of Don Pizzaro in Fidelio with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic for EMI Classics. He also appeared as the Four Villains in the Met’s HD broadcast and DVD of the Les Contes d’Hoffman  and as Peter in the broadcast of Hansel and Gretel. 

This season, Mr. Held returns to the Washington National Opera as Wotan in the complete Ring Cycle and to the Canadian Opera Company as The Wanderer in Siegfried. He also makes his debut at the Opéra de Montréal in Elektra. 

A native of Washburn, Illinois, Mr. Held received his vocal training at Millikin University and at Wichita State University where he was most recently named Associate Professor, The Ann and Dennis Ross Faculty of Distinction.  He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Birgit Nilsson Prize and the 2014 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Male Performance in an Opera, and is also a noted clinician who regularly gives master classes at Yale University.

Mr. Held was a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera in 1987 and 1988. He appeared at The Barns and the Filene Center in a number of roles: Leporello (Don Giovanni, below with mezzo-soprano Margaret Lattimore), Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) Dr. Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia), and Tchelio(L’amour des trois oranges.)

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