Sam Levine has emerged as an elegant, robust tenor on the cusp of a major career. He is a second-year candidate for the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at the Juilliard School, where he appears this season as Váňa Kudrjaš in Káťa Kabanová; outside engagements for 2016-17 include Carmen with Bay Chamber Concerts and Boston Lyric Opera, his debut at National Sawdust as Lurcanio in R.B. Schlather’s workshop production of Ariodante, the roles of Joe and Marcus in the world premiere of Three Way at Nashville Opera and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Highlights of last season included performances as Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tiresias (where his performance was called “wonderfully appealing” by the New York Times), in recital with Steven Blier under the auspices of NYFOS@Juilliard and the 5 Boroughs Music Festival, and as First Armed Guard in Die Zauberflöte, all at Juilliard, Testo in Monteverdi’s Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda with Cantata Profana, a debut with Bard SummerScape in two roles in James Darrah’s production of Mascagni’s Iris, and his role debut as Lenski in Eugene Onegin with Eugene Opera, which won critical praise for “mastery of character and seamless legato.” (The Register-Guard)
Other recent highlights include Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Boston Lyric Opera, Don Jose in Carmen with Savannah Voice Festival, Narraboth in Salome with Virginia Opera, and the dual roles of Testo in Monteverdi’s Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Noah in the world premiere of Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You with Gotham Chamber Opera (called “eloquent, full-bodied,” “bright-voiced and skillfully-played” by the Wall Street Journal and “well-sung” by the New York Times). Upcoming engagements include a return to Boston Lyric Opera and debuts with Opera Philadelphia, Nashville Opera, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
An outstanding interpreter of new and contemporary music, Levine has appeared in many noted productions, singing the roles of Traveler in James MacMillan’s Clemency (Boston Lyric Opera), Léon in John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Wexford Festival Opera), 1st American Tailor in Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Last Savage (The Santa Fe Opera), Andy in Olga Neuwirth’s Lost Highway (Miller Theater), and Man/Neighbor/Ravan in Jack Perla’s River of Light (Houston Grand Opera East + West). Other credits have included Fenton in Sir John in Love (Odyssey Opera) Don Ottavio (Aspen Opera Theater, Yale Opera), Janicku in The Diary of One Who Vanished, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas (both with Yale Opera), the title role of Kurt Weill’s Der Protagonist (Fire Island Opera Festival), Mambre in Mose in Egitto (Chicago Opera Theater), Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor (Arizona Opera), Massenet’s Werther and Gounod’s Faust (Opera Fort Collins, cover for The Santa Fe Opera). In concert, Levine has sung Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Bernstein’s Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan Williams’ On Wenlock Edge, Bach’s Kantata 163, and Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9; he has appeared with New York Festival of Song, The Tanglewood Festival, the Orchestra Sinfonico di Milano, at Chicago’s Symphony Center and Harris Theater, and at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. He has won awards from Opera Index, Inc, the Liederkanz Foundation, and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, who presented him at Lincoln Center debut, where he won praise for his performance of “Salut, demeure chaste et pure” from Faust: “[Levine’s] voice has a nice, even quality, dark at the bottom, with a ping on top, and a fine high “C”.” (Brooklyn Eagle)
An alumnus of the young artist training programs of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, The Santa Fe Opera, and The Tanglewood Music Festival, Levine holds degrees from Yale University and The Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. With his wife, American mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall, Mr. Levine lives in Brooklyn and Frankfurt, Germany.