American bass-baritone Michael Sumuel, hailed as having “vocals [that] are smooth and ingratiating” (Daily Camera) returns to Houston Grand Opera in the 2016/17 season as Belcore in L’elisir d’Amore, conducted by Jane Glover and Masetto in Don Giovanni at San Francisco Opera, conducted by Marc Minkowski. Additional appearances include a role and house debut as Alidoro in La Cenerentola at Norwegian National Opera. Concert engagements include debuts with the Cleveland Symphony as Pilatus in Bach’s St. John Passion, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, Mozart’s Requiem with the Phoenix Symphony and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the American Classical Orchestra at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Previous seasons have included a successful 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 in which his “strong and convincing portrayal was the most affecting and convincing of the evening.” 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 Frank in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, 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, and was seen in an HGOco commission River of Light, by Jack Perla, portraying the role of Burton. 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.
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.