BACH'S ST. MATTHEW PASSION
American bass-baritone Michael Sumuel, hailed as having “vocals [that] are smooth and ingratiating” (Daily Camera) returns to Glyndebourne Festival Opera to perform Sharpless in Madama Butterfly and makes his debut at Teatro Massimo di Palermo performing Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Concert appearances include debuts with the BBC Proms, singing Kate Whitley’s “I am I say” with the Multi-Story Orchestra, Mozart’s Mass in c minor with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado at Carnegie Hall, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Seattle Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s Passion According to St. John with Music of the Baroque in Chicago, conducted by Jane Glover, and a return to Mercury Houston to perform the bass solos in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.
Previous seasons have included a successful Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Masetto in a new production of Don Giovanni by Robert Falls, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, as well as his San Francisco Opera debut as Tom in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Heart of a Soldier opposite baritone Thomas Hampson in a Francesca Zambello production conducted by Patrick Summers. He later returned to perform Elviro in Handel’s Xerxes, alongside David Daniels and Susan Graham. On the stage of Houston Grand Opera he has performed the roles of Papageno in The Magic Flute, Frank in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Belcore in L’elisir d’Amore, Masetto and Schaunard in John Caird’s new production of La Bohéme, a role that also served as his European debut with Glyndebourne Festival Opera, where he later returned to sing Junius in The Rape of Lucretia. He made his role debut as Figaro in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with Dayton Opera and reprised the role for his company debut with Central City Opera.
Notable concert appearances include Messiah with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, United States Naval Academy and San Francisco Symphony, where he later returned to perform Copland’s Old American Songs. He has made multiple appearances with Mercury Houston including Handel’s Messiah, a project called “Napoleon and the Battle of Nations,” excerpts from Rameau’s Les Amants trahis and Thétis, and a concert of select Bach canatatas. He has also appeared with Da Camera of Houston for a program of Brahms and Schönberg lieder in a multi-media project called “In the Garden of Dreams” and the Santa Barbara Symphony for selected scenes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Mr. Sumuel’s competition accolades include being awarded a 2015 Richard Tucker Career Grant, 2012 MONC Finalist and a winner of the 2009 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. He is an alumnus of the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera Center and the Filene Young Artist program at Wolf Trap Opera.