Daniel Belcher, baritone
Grammy Award-winning baritone Daniel Belcher has performed in many of the world’s music capitals, including Paris, London, New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Stuttgart, Amsterdam, Geneva, Toronto, Tokyo, Seoul and Houston. With a 60-role repertoire, Belcher has championed roles from the Baroque to those composed expressly for him. He came to international attention in 2004 creating the role of Prior Walter in Peter Eötvös’ Angels in America for the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris for which he was hailed by London’s The Guardian as “possessing the kind of powerhouse stuff that indicates a star in the making.” Belcher most recently created the roles of Brian Castner in Jeremy Howard Beck's The Long Walk with Opera Saratoga and Robert Kennedy in Robin de Raaff’s Waiting for Miss Monroe for his debut at The Netherlands Opera and Holland Festival. Other world premiere roles include John Brooke in Mark Adamo’s Little Women (released on the Ondine label and recorded by PBS’ Great Performances), Andy Warhol in Michael Daugherty’s Jackie O (released by Decca on the Argo label) and multiple roles in Tod Machover’s Resurrection (released on the Ondine label), all with Houston Grand Opera. World and American premieres in development include The Scarlet Letter by Lori Laitman and Frau Schindler by Thomas Morse and Ken Cazan.
In 2015-16, he debuts at Royal Opera House, Versailles in Lully's Armide after performances of the same work in Toronto with Opera Atelier. Also this season, Belcher returns to the Utah Opera for his role debut as Count Danilo in The Merry Widow and Lord Bellingham in the world premiere of Lori Laitman's The Scarlet Letter with Opera Colorado. His recording of Kaija Saariaho's Sombre is scheduled for release fall of 2015 on the Ondine label. In addition, he returns to the voice faculty of the College of Music at The Florida State University.
He recently debuted in Sweden at Stockholm's Baltic Sea Festival with Saariaho's Sombre and also in Norway, with the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival for Saariaho's L'Amour de loin and Sombre. Belcher returned to the Lyric Opera of Kansas City for Father Palmer in Silent Night , Portland Opera for Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, and Opera Colorado as Papageno in The Magic Flute. He performed his role debut as Ping in Turandot with Utah Opera and sang in recital at Houston's Zilkha Hall and for the Harriman-Jewell Series in Kansas City.
In recent seasons, he returned to Houston Grand Opera as Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri, Opera Colorado as Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, Utah Opera as Papageno, Florentine Opera for Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and Central City Opera as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. On the concert stage, he debuted with Lyric Opera Baltimore for a Bel Canto concert and sang and recorded the world premiere of Saariaho’s chamber piece Sombre for Rothko Chapel with Da Camera of Houston. This was his second collaboration with Saariaho after recording the leading role of Jaufré Rudel in her first opera, L’Amour de Loin with Kent Nagano and Harmonia Mundi. Opera News said “Belcher gives a powerful, convincing portrayal of Jaufré, capturing expertly the troubadour’s mercurial disposition.” This recording received the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording, the Diapason d’Or by Diapason in France, and a nomination for Best Opera Recording by Gramophone.
Recently, he debuted with ABAO-OLBE, Bilbao, Spain as Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette, made his role debut as Chou En-Lai in Nixon in China with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City for which he was declared a "revelation" by KCMetropolis.org, and debuted with the Madison Opera as Dandini in La Cenerentola: "If there was a surprise show-stealer, it was Daniel Belcher in the role of Dandini...Belcher displayed some spot-on comic contributions." (Madison Magazine)
As a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, he has returned for numerous roles including his role debut as Billy Budd, Papageno, Schaunard in La Bohème, Monteverdi’s Orfeo and Mercutio. At HGO, he also performed roles in A Little Night Music, Carmen, Madama Butterfly, and Arabella.
He made his highly acclaimed European debut with the Staatstheater Stuttgart in Reinhard Keiser’s Masaniello Furioso. Other European engagements have included Ned Keene in Peter Grimeswith the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Jaufré Rudel in L’Amour de Loinat the Théâtre du Châtelet and Berlin’s Maerzmusik Festival with the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester, Gunther in Sacré Siegfriedat the Opéra National de Montpellier, Guglielmo in Così fan tuttefor Garsington Opera and London’s Barbican Center, staged performances of Carmina Buranawith the St. Gallen Festspiele, Gluck’s Orfeo and Securo in the world premiere of Cherubini’s Koukourgiwith the Stadttheater Klagenfurt, Austria (released on ArtHaus DVD), and the title role of Handel’s Imeneo with Opera Ireland.
Mr. Belcher has portrayed Figaro in Il Barbiere di Sivigliain Tokyo with Japan’s New National Theater and the Fauré Requiemfor Seiji Ozawa’s Saito Kinen Festival to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima. He performed John Brooke in Little Women with New York City Opera in Japan and New York, as well as with Fort Worth Opera, Kentucky Opera and Central City Opera. He was also heard throughout Japan and in Seoul, Korea as the title role in Don Giovanni with Toronto’s Opera Atelier. Other roles with Opera Atelier include the title role in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Mozart’s Figaro, Papageno and the role of Orestes in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride.
Mr. Belcher is one of the premiere interpreters of Rossini performing today, and he is closely associated with the roles of Dandini in La Cenerentola, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri. He has performed Dandini with San Francisco Opera, Opera Colorado, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Company of Philadelphia, and Utah Opera; Figaro with Arizona Opera, Portland Opera, Lake George Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Florentine Opera, and Utah Opera; Taddeo with Opera Company of Philadelphia, Florentine Opera, and Utah Opera.
In addition to these Rossini performances, he has performed a wide repertoire including the roles of Gianni Schicchi, the Husband in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias, and Henry Cuffe in the American premiere of Britten’s Glorianawith Central City Opera, Papageno and Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos for his debut with San Francisco Opera, Prince Paul in La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolsteinwith Opera Company of Philadelphia, Guglielmo, Marcello in La Bohème, and Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinaforewith Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus at Opera Columbus.
Mr. Belcher made his Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the New York Choral Society. Active in concert work, he has performed Carmina Burana and Copland’s Old American Songs with the Pacific Symphony, Gounod’s St. Cecelia Mass and Vaughan Williams’ Hodie for performances in New York City, a concert of Opera Favorites with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, an all-Bernstein concert and “A Night in Vienna” with the National Symphony Orchestra, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Belcher is a recipient of Le Cercle International des Amis et Mécènes du Châtelet Award (International Circle of Friends and Patrons of Théâtre du Châtelet, CIAM) for his acclaimed performance of Prior Walter in Angels in America. He also received a Robert Jacobson Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation for his work with Wolf Trap Opera and the Sullivan Foundation Award. He received the Apprentice Artist Award from the Santa Fe Opera and the Young Artist Award and Outstanding Studio Artist Award from the Central City Opera.
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