Artistic Director: One of America’s foremost character bass-baritones, Peter Strummer has earned a reputation for endowing his buffo characterizations with further depth and humanity. His signature portrayals have been described as “highly individual, each formidably different whether as Bartolo or Don Magnifico or Beckmesser or Pasquale.” This season and beyond, engagements include Sacristan in Tosca at Arizona Opera; Benoit/Alcindoro in La Bohème at Opera Lyra Ottawa and Opera Tampa; Sulpice in La fille du Regiment at the Tulsa Opera; Bartolo in Le nozze in Figaro with Arizona Opera and the Orlando Philharmonic; and Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore with Austin Lyric Opera.
Engagements the last two seasons have included Quince in A Midummer Night’s Dream at the Teatro Fondazione dell’Opera in Rome; Sacristan in Tosca at Canadian Opera Company, Manitoba Opera, and Michigan Opera Theatre; Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore with the Atlanta Opera and Kentucky Opera; Pasha Selim in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Arizona Opera; Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri at Austin Lyric Opera; Bartolo in Il barbiere di Sivigliawith Manitoba Opera, Arizona Opera, and Tulsa Opera; and Daland in Der Fliegende Holländer in concert with the Syracuse Symphony. In concert he was seen as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Israel Symphony Orchestra and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
In the current 2009-2010 season and beyond, engagements include Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore with the Atlanta Opera and Kentucky Opera, Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Manitoba Opera, Arizona Opera, and Tulsa Opera, Sacristan in Tosca at the Canadian Opera Company and Michigan Opera Theatre, Pasha Selim in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Arizona Opera, Taddeo in LItaliana in Algeri with Austin Lyric Opera, Bonze in Madama Butterfly with Tulsa Opera, and Daland in Der Fliegende Holländer in concert with the Syracuse Symphony. Last season (2008-2009), Mr. Strummer performed Magnifico in La Cenerentola with the Atlanta Opera; Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Carolina and Calgary Opera; Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro at Palm Beach Opera; Benoit/Alcindoro in La Bohème with Tulsa Opera; Sacristan in Tosca with Arizona Opera, and the title role in The Mikado at Opera New Jersey.
He also has a successful career teaching voice, and has produced students who are now singing professionally in Germany, Finland, Italy, France, as well as Canada and the USA. He has given Master classes throughout Canada and the USA, such as the University of Texas, Austin, University of Manitoba, Rice University, Georgia State, and the University of Tulsa. He has taught at Scuola Italia, Italy, and at Opera on the Avalon, Canada. He is also artistic director of the newly founded summer program, The Land of Enchantment Summer Institute of Vocal Arts, in Gallup, N.M
The 2007-2008 season will see Peter Strummer, in a debut with Cleveland Opera, as the Sacristan in TOSCA, and a return to Michigan Opera Theatre as Dr. Bartolo in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO. He also returns to Seattle Opera, and New York City Opera, as the Sacristan, as well as Atlanta Opera, for Dr. Bartolo in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO. Calgary Opera will also experience his Dr. Bartolo, IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, and Atlanta will also see him as Don Magnifico, in LA CENERENTOLA. Florida Grand Opera will see him as Herr von Faninal in DER ROSENKAVALIER in 2009.
In the fall of 2005-2006, Peter Strummer returned to San Francisco Opera to sing as Antonio in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, as well as participate as Dr. Bartolo, the Alcade in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, and Bertrand in Tchaikowsky’s MAID OF ORLEANS. Then to Dallas Opera as the Haushoffmeister in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS. He made his debut as Daland in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER with Arizona Opera to critical success. A return to Opera Lyra Ottawa as Dr. Bartolo in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, followed. A critical debut with the Todi Music Festival as Sulpice in LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT, and a debut with Atlanta Opera as Dr. Bartolo in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, Austin Lyric opera as Dr. Bartolo in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA and the sacristan in TOSCA with Baltimore Opera.
In the 2004-2005 season, Peter Strummer returned to Baltimore Opera and Kansas City Lyric Opera as Dr. Bartolo, In LE NOZZE DI FIGARO. He debuted with Michigan Opera Theatre, as Sulpice in LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT, and participated in Seattle Opera¹s RING CYCLE, (Alberich).
Engagements for Mr. Strummer during the 2003-04 season included a return to New York City Opera in the title role of Don Pasquale and as Candy in Of Mice and Men, a return to Opera Lyra Ottawa and Florentine Opera as the title role of Don Pasquale, a return to New Orleans Opera as Alberich in Das Rheingold, and a return to San Francisco Opera as Benoit / Alcindoro in La Boheme and the Badger in The Cunning Little Vixen. Additional upcoming engagements include Sacristan in Tosca with Austin Lyric Opera, a return to New York City Opera as Rashid in Haroun.
Engagements during the 2002-03 season included a return to New York City Opera as Talpa in IL TABARRO and as Simone in GIANNI SCHICCHI (for Puccini’s IL TRITTICO, opening night of NYCO’s 2002-03 season); Dr. Bartolo in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA with New York City Opera; Mustafa in L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI with L’Opéra de Montréal; Sulpice in LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT with Opera Ontario; and Benoit / Alcindoro in LA BOHÈME with Utah Opera.
Engagements during the 2001-02 season included a return to San Francisco Opera as the Sacristan in TOSCA and as Bogdanovic in THE MERRY WIDOW (PBS telecast / CD / DVD); a return to New York City Opera as the Sacristan in TOSCA and as Colonel Vandeveer in John Philip Sousa’s THE GLASS BLOWERS; a return to Opera Colorado as the Sacristan in TOSCA; and a return to Florentine Opera as Faninal in DER ROSENKAVALIER.
Engagements during the 1999-00 season included a return to San Francisco Opera as Benoit / Alcindoro in LA BOHÈME and as Borov in Giordani’s FEDORA for the Domingo Gala; a return to New York City Opera as Don Prudenzio in a new production of IL VIAGGIO A REIMS and as the Sacristan in TOSCA; De Brétigny in MANON with Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera Company; the Sacristan in TOSCA with Manitoba Opera; Geronte in MANON LESCAUT with Opera Pacific; and a concert performance as Alberich in DAS RHEINGOLD with L’Opéra de Montréal.
Engagements for Mr. Strummer during the 1998-99 season included a debut with New York City Opera as the Sacristan in a new production of TOSCA, a return to L’Opéra de Montréal as De Brétigny in Massenet’s MANON, and appearances as the Sacristan in TOSCA with Vancouver Opera and as Mustafa in L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. During the summer of 1999, he appeared both as Ferrando in IL TROVATORE and as Dr. Bartolo in THE BARBER OF SEVILLE with Des Moines Metro Opera.
Other career highlights have included Beckmesser in DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG with the Metropolitan Opera (debut) and Landestheater Linz; Dansker in BILLY BUDD with the Metropolitan Opera; the title role in DON PASQUALE with Austin Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Central City Opera; Don Magnifico in LA CENERENTOLA with Opéra de Québec, Manitoba Opera, Calgary Opera, Baltimore Opera, and Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela (debut); Dulcamara in L’ELISIR D’AMORE with San Francisco Opera, Städtische Bühnen Heidelberg, and Landestheater Linz; Dr. Bartolo in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA with San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, New Orleans Opera, Portland Opera, Cincinnati Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Edmonton Opera, Calgary Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; Mustafa in L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI with Florentine Opera; Fabrizio in LA GAZZA LADRA with the Opera Company of Philadelphia; Leporello in DON GIOVANNI with the Canadian Opera Company, Edmonton Opera, Calgary Opera, Minnesota Opera, Charlotte Opera, Tulsa Opera, Städtische Bühnen Heidelberg, and Landestheater Linz; Faninal in DER ROSENKAVALIER with Santa Fe Opera, Portland Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Colorado, and L’Opéra de Montréal; Don Alfonso in COSÌ FAN TUTTE with Manitoba Opera, Greater Miami Opera, Städtische Bühnen Heidelberg, and San Diego Opera; Frank in DIE FLEDERMAUS with San Francisco Opera; the Sacristan in TOSCA with Opera Pacific, Portland Opera, Florentine Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Opera Hamilton, the Canadian Opera Company, Landestheater Linz, and at the Blossom Festival under Maestro Leonard Slatkin; Dr. Bartolo in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Greater Miami Opera, the Canadian Opera Company (in the critically acclaimed Robin Phillips production), Baltimore Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Manitoba Opera; Benoit and Alcindoro in LA BOHÈME with San Francisco Opera and Greater Miami Opera; Melitone in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO with Washington Opera, New Orleans Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company; the Music Master in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS with Edmonton Opera and the Sinfonia da Camera; Baron Zeta in THE MERRY WIDOW with Tulsa Opera and Dallas Opera (debut / opposite Joan Sutherland); Bottom in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM with Central City Opera, Wolf Trap, Landestheater Linz, and Landestheater Salzburg; Kecal in THE BARTERED BRIDE with Washington Opera; Geronte in MANON LESCAUT with L’Opéra de Montréal; the Parson and the Badger in THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN with Santa Fe Opera; Dikoj in KATYA KABANOVA with Städtische Bühnen Heidelberg; Varlaam in BORIS GODUNOV with Landestheater Linz; Mamma Agatha in VIVA LA MAMMA with Landestheater Linz; the Impresario in VIVA LA MAMMA with San Francisco Opera; the Mayor in JENUFA with Vancouver Opera; Shishkov in Janacek’s FROM THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD with Long Beach Opera; Raimbaud in LE COMTE ORY with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; and the Gouverneur in LE COMTE ORY with Houston Grand Opera.
Among the conductors with whom he has performed are Kurt Herbert Adler, Peter Herman Adler, David Agler, Maurizio Arena, Raffi Armenian, Marco Armiliato, Kenneth Armstrong, Robert Baustian, Randall Behr, Richard Bonynge, Richard Bradshaw, Philip Brunnell, Richard Buckley, Emerson Buckley, Paolo Carignani, Carlo Felice Cillario, Anton Coppola, Steven Crawford, Carol Crawford, John Crosby, Jacques Delacôte, John DeMain, Plácido Domingo, Ernst Dunshirn, David Effron, Mark Elder, Arthur Fagen, John Fiore, Leon Fleischer, Mark Flint, Heinz Fricke, Peter Paul Fuchs, Tom Fulton, Anton Guadagno, Theodor Guschelbauer, Ian Hobson, William Huckaby, Ingo Ingensand, Emmanuel Joel, Cal Kellogg, Eugene Kohn, Eric Kunzel, Christopher Larkin, Raymond Leppard, James Levine, Daniel Lipton, Robert Lyall, Peter Maag, George Manahan, Manfred Mayerhofer, Steven Mercurio, Henry Mollicone, Kenneth Montgomery, John Moriarty, Steven Mosteller, Edoardo Müller, Marcello Panni, Tyrone Paterson, Russell Patterson, Paolo Peloso, Alexander Polyanichko, Christoph Prick, Joseph Rescigno, Bruno Rigacci, Antoni Ros Marbà, Charles Rosekranz, Julius Rudel, Louis Salemno, Alexander Sander, Gerhard Schäffer, Reinhard Schmidt, Thomas Schuback, Eliakum Shapiro, Alfredo Silipigni, Leonard Slatkin, Judith Somogi, David Speers, Patrick Summers, Christian Süß, Silvio Varviso, Timothy Vernon, Willie Anthony Waters, Johannes Wetzler, Richard Woitach, Sam Wong, and Roman Zeilinger.
Among the stage directors with whom he has collaborated are Michael Albano, Christopher Alden, David Alden, Cynthia Auerbach, Grisha Azagarow, Wesley Balk, Sandra Bernhard, Anthony Besch, Garnett Bruce, Dieter Bülter-Marel, John Copley, Frank Corsaro, John Cox, James De Blasis, John Dew, Bruce Donnell, Rosalind Elias, Ann Ewers, Sonja Frisell, Colin Graham, Lou Gualtierio, Gita Hager, Bliss Hebert, John Houseman, Bodo Igez, Mark Lamos, Steven Lawless, Florian-Malte Leibrecht, Jay Lessinger, Rhoda Levine, Leon Major, Lotfi Mansouri, Nathaniel Merrill, Paolo Montarsolo, Robert Morlock, Robbin Phillips, Jean Pierre Ponnelle, Peter Mark Schifter, Graziella Sciutti, Daniel Slater, Albert Tackacauskas, Bernard Uzan, Keith Warner, and Francesca Zambello.
Many of Peter Strummer’s performances have been recorded and broadcast throughout the world. His appearances with the Canadian Opera Company as Melitone in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO and as the Sacristan in TOSCA were aired on CBC Television, and his portrayal of the Music Master in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS with Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera was made into a film which has been seen throughout the United States on PBS. His performances as the Sacristan in TOSCA and as Melitone in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, as well as a documentary film entitled THE MAKING OF AN OPERA which features Mr. Strummer as Melitone in LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, have been recorded by CBC Television and are available on commercial video in both North America and Europe. His performance as Devilshoof in THE BOHEMIAN GIRL with Central City Opera has been released on Voce Records. In addition, many of his numerous performances in Europe have been broadcast on radio and television.
Peter Strummer was born in Vienna, Austria, and emigrated with his family to Winnipeg, Manitoba, when he was a child. He later moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he resided until he came to the United States to undertake his musical education. In the formative phases of his development as a singer, he attended the Cleveland Institute of Music. While a student there, he was heard by Maestro James Levine who immediately invited him to make his operatic debut as Antonio in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; other cast members included Eleanor Steber, Justino Diaz, Maria Ewing, Judith Blegen, and Andrew Foldi. He then joined the Minnesota Opera as a principal artist for three seasons, and subsequently appeared with the American Opera Center as the Sacristan in TOSCA, directed by John Houseman and conducted by Peter Herman Adler. Numerous engagements followed, including debuts with Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. After establishing the foundation of his mainstream operatic career in the United States, he embarked upon a twelve-year career in Germany and Austria where he was a full-time member of the ensembles of the opera companies of Heidelberg and Linz, appearing as a guest artist with many of the prominent opera houses throughout Europe. Mr. Strummer lives with his wife, soprano Linda Roark-Strummer, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.