Internationally acclaimed American character tenor Steven Cole made his professional debut singing Monsieur Triquet in Eugene Onegin with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa at Tanglewood. Specializing in character tenor roles, he has a remarkably varied repertoire with more than 70 roles from Monteverdi to Ligeti.
Mr. Cole’s recent seasons exemplify his extraordinary versatility: Don Buscone in Veremonda with the Spoleto Festival USA, performances as the narrator in a world premiere of Chris Theofanidis’s Creation/Creator with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Goro in Madama Butterfly and the ‘Abbé de Chazeuil’ in Adriana Lecouvreur with Opéra de Nice, Nick in La Fanciulla del West with the San Francisco Opera, the four valets in The Tales of Hoffmann with Edmonton Opera and the Canadian Opera Company, the three tenor roles in L’enfant et les Sortilèges with Théâtre de Caen, Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bes’ with the Cincinnati Opera, and Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte at the Théatre Champs Elysées in Paris.
Mr. Cole made his Metropolitan Opera debut as the Tanzmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos under James Levine. He has sung with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony and performed Janacek’s From the House of the Dead with Rafael Kubelik conducting the New York Philharmonic. During the course of his career, he has returned many times to the San Francisco Opera (Die Zauberflöte', A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Boris Godunov, Khovanshchina and La fanciulla del West), and has performed with Canadian Opera, Houston, Washington, Chicago Lyric, and Seattle Opera.
Mr. Cole performs regularly in Europe, especially in France and Switzerland (Le Figaro, Paris: “Ah, if French singers pronounced like him, we would not need surtitles in our theatres.”)
He has performed with the Opéra National de Paris (most recently Billy Budd), the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, the Opéra Comique, the opera companies of Lyon, Nice, Marseille, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nantes, Nancy, Geneva, and Lausanne. He has performed at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, where he has recorded two productions for the ERATO Label: Die Zauberflöte under William Christie and The Rake’s Progress under Kent Nagano. Mr. Cole’s performance of Orphée aux enfers under the musical direction of Marc Minkowksi was recorded for EMI.
Mr. Cole has a particular interest in contemporary repertoire, having participated in the world premieres of Jean Prodromides La noche triste, Gavin Bryar’s Medea, and the revised version of Györgi Ligeti’s Le grand macabre in a production by Peter Sellars at the Salzburg Festival under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen (recorded by Sony Classical). Mr. Cole has also been heard in Berg’s Lulu, Boulevard Solitude by Hans Werner Henze and in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, the latter recorded under Kent Nagano for Virgin records. He has also collaborated with baroque specialists like Michel Corboz (Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, L’incoronazione di Poppea), and René Jacobs (Cesti’s L’argia and recently, Cavalli’s La Calisto at the Salzburg Festival).