Alex Richardson, tenor
American tenor Alex Richardson is increasingly in demand as a leading tenor in opera companies around the world. Originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico, he holds degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Manhattan School of Music. He participated in young artist programs at Central City Opera, The Santa Fe Opera (two seasons) and Tanglewood Music Center under the direction of James Levine (two seasons). He has been honored by several competitions, including the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, the Laureen Butler Competition of El Paso Opera (first place) and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (two-time regional prize winner).
Alex has been seen as Romeo in Roméo et Juliette (St. Petersburg Opera), Rodolfo in La Bohème (Opera Western Reserve), The Duke in Rigoletto (Dicapo Opera at the Tilles Center), Cavaradossi in Tosca (Winter Opera Saint Louis), the Steuermann in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer (Princeton Festival), Fenton in Otto Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor (Boston Midsummer Opera) and Tom Buchanan in John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby (Emmanuel Music).
His performance in The Great Gatsby, reprised at the Tanglewood Festival, caused the New York Times to praise his “compelling, even sympathetic” portrayal, and the Boston Classical Review to write, “Tenor Alex Richardson gave the most vivid performance of the night, all jutting jaw and smoldering aggression as Daisy Buchanan’s husband Tom. He was aided by having some opera-size passions to play and a taut, ringing voice to match.”
Alex has been a featured soloist at Tanglewood numerous times―including in the 75th Anniversary Gala Concert, which was televised on PBS’s Great Performances. He also performed the role of Vogelgesang in Act III of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under the baton of Maestro James Levine, and the solos in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Maestro Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.
At Washington National Opera, Alex covered the title role in Werther and performed selections on The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. For New York City Opera, he performed several scenes as part of the VOX: Contemporary American Opera Lab festival, and also covered the role of André in the American premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna. His starring role in Dicapo Opera’s production of Iolanta caused the critics to exclaim:
“Vocal luminescence… singing with passionate lyricism and a deep burgundy coloring” – Opera News
“A breathtakingly sweet and even tone and expert dynamic control even in the most exposed sections of his music; an ideal bel canto instrument” – Examiner.com
“[His] phrases were infinite in length even at the upper reaches of his range” – Opera Pulse
Alex debuted the role of the Soldier Ruiz Alonzo at Santa Fe Opera in Osvaldo Golijov’s opera Ainadamar, directed by Peter Sellars. Subsequently, he performed the role of the Bullfighter, making his debut with the Atlanta Symphony in Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center and at the Ojai and Ravinia Festivals. He later made his debut in the same role with the Chicago Symphony at Chicago’s Symphony Hall.
Other favorites roles include Alfredo in La Traviata and the Duke in Rigoletto (Festival Lyrique-en-mer/Festival de Belle-Île, France), Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi (Princeton Festival), Tamino in Die Zauberflöte (Fort Worth Symphony), Fenton in Falstaff and Will Tweedy in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree (Amarillo Opera), Alfred in Die Fledermaus and Camille in The Merry Widow (Opera Southwest), and Fatty the Bookkeeper in Kurt Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City at Mahagonny (Tanglewood).
Equally at home on the concert stage, Alex is an avid recitalist. As a roster member of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, he sang in the concert series “On Wings of Song” and completed residencies and recitals in towns throughout America under its auspices. He performed in the world premiere of the Five Borough Songbook at the Five Borough Music Festival in New York (with a subsequent album release on the GPR Records label). In Regina Resnik Presents: Colors of the Diaspora, he performed examples of classical songs on Jewish themes by composers such as Shostakovich, Schubert, Massenet, Glinka and Balakirev (DVD release on VAI).
Other concert and oratorio repertoire includes solos in the Verdi Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C Minor, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Evangelist in the St. John Passion, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Puccini’s Gloria, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Hymn of Praise, and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Concert venue appearances include Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Trinity Church and the Austrian Cultural Forum.