American tenor Richard Croft is internationally renowned for his performances with leading opera companies and orchestras around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Opera National de Paris, Berlin Staatsoper, the Salzburg Festival, and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, as well as the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Boston Symphony Orchestra. His clarion voice, superlative musicianship, and commanding stage presence allow him to pursue a wide breadth of repertoire from Handel and Mozart to the music of today’s composers.
Mr. Croft begins his 2015-2016 season with San Francisco Opera as Edgar Allen Poe and the Doctor in the highly-anticipated double bill of Gordon Getty’s Usher House and Debussy’s La Chute de la Maison Usher, directed by David Pountney and conducted by Lawrence Foster. He will reprise the role of Peter Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw with Staatsoper Berlin, followed by his appearance as Captain Vere in Britten’s Billy Budd with Oper Köln. Mr. Croft concludes his season at Staatsoper Berlin with a new production of Bohuslav Martinů’s Juliette directed by Claus Guth and conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
Mr. Croft’s 2014-2015 season featured his role debuts as Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw with Staatsoper Berlin and as Mamud in a new production of Vivaldi’s La Verità in Cimento with Opernhaus Zürich.
Operatic highlights of Mr. Croft’s recent seasons include the title role of Mozart’s Idomeneo at Theater an der Wien, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Ravinia Festival, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and Mozarteum’s Mozartwoche in Salzburg; Hyllus in Handel’s Hercules at the Canadian Opera Company and Lyric Opera of Chicago; Jupiter in Handel’s Semele at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées; Captain Vere in Britten’s Billy Budd at Los Angeles Opera; the title role in La Clemenza di Tito with the Wiener Staatsoper; Lurcanio in Handel’s Ariodante with the San Francisco Opera; Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Seattle Opera; and Ubaldo in Haydn’s Armida at the Salzburg Festival.
Recent symphonic engagements include the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Ahab Symphony and Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte at the University of North Texas, where he has been Professor of Voice since 2004; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Leipzig Gewandhaus, National Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Berlin Philharmonic; Handel’s Messiah with the Singapore Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Theater an der Wien; Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with the Milwaukee Symphony; Berlioz’s Te Deum with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Idomeneo with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, which was recorded and released by Harmonia Mundi; Beethoven’s Mass in C with the Boston Symphony at the Tanglewood Festival; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the National Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Croft is also a frequent collaborator with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre, and he was the soloist on their European tour and recording (released on Harmonia Mundi) featuring musical odes to Saint Cecilia by Purcell, Haydn, and Handel. He also joined Les Musiciens du Louvre in a special concert for President Sarkozy and invited French dignitaries to celebrate the reopening of the newly-refurbished Palace of Versailles.
Mr. Croft is renowned throughout North America for his versatility. At the Metropolitan Opera, he has sung Ferrando under the baton of James Levine, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and M. K. Gandhi in a new production of Philip Glass’s Satygraha, which was broadcast on the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Live in HD series to move theaters around the world. He made his debuts with Houston Grand Opera and Washington Opera as Ferrando as well. He has performed Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito with The Dallas Opera and Santa Fe Opera, where he has also sung Belmonte and Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress.
In Europe, he has been heard at the Paris Opera as Don Ottavio at the Bastille and as Tacmas in Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes at the Palais Garnier, which was later released on DVD. At the Staatsoper Berlin, he has been heard as Almaviva, Ferrando, and the Composer in Gassman’s Opera Seria. At the Zurich Opera, he debuted as Abaris in Rameau’s Les Boréades in a new production by Laurent Pelly. Mr. Croft’s debut at Teatro alla Scala was in the title role of Idomeneo. At the Deutsche Oper Berlin, he performed the role of Pelléas, and has been seen in numerous leading roles at the opera companies of Hamburg, Cologne, Amsterdam, Toulouse, Nice, Lyon, Stockholm, Glyndebourne, and Salzburg.
In concert, Mr. Croft debuted with the Cleveland Orchestra in the title role of Pelléas et Mélisande in concerts led by Pierre Boulez, where he was hailed as “impassioned, clear-toned and ideal”; he made his Carnegie Hall debut under Sir Neville Marriner in Mozart’s Requiem; and he made his St. Louis Symphony debut with Nicolas McGegan in Britten’s Serenade. He made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in Mozart’s Requiem with Bernard Haitink. Of his performance of Handel’s Jephtha at Alice Tully Hall with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Alan Kozinn of The New York Times to praised, “…[it was] some of the most supple and emotionally resonant Handel singing I have ever heard.”
Mr. Croft has been heard in London at the Royal Albert Hall as Pelléas with Sir Andrew Davis, in Amsterdam at the Concertgebouw in Ariodante, at the Konzerthaus in Vienna as Hyllus in Handel’s Hercules, as well as at the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg as Orphée, in the Paris version of Gluck’s Orphée et Euridice with Marc Minkowski leading Les Musiciens du Louvre.
Mr. Croft has been twice Grammy-nominated for his recordings of Handel’s Hercules with Anne Sophie von Otter (Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv) and Scarlatti’s Il Primo Omicidio with Dorothea Roshmann (Harmonia Mundi). Other recordings with Deutsche Grammophon include Handel’s Ariodante and the Paris version of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, both with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre. For Erato, he has recorded Handel’s Theodora with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants. His performance in Theodora was also released on DVD in Peter Sellars’ production from Glyndebourne, as have his early Drottningholm performances of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail and La Finta Giardiniera. On Phillips Classics, he has been featured on Rameau’s Les Indes Gallantes from the Paris Opera, his Almaviva from the Netherlands Opera in Dario Fo’s production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and as Cassio in Verdi’s Otello with Plácido Domingo and Renée Fleming from the Metropolitan Opera. He sang the title role in the recently released and critically-acclaimed recording of Mozart’s Mitridate from the Salzburg Festival.