American bass-baritone Michael Sumuel, lauded as having “vocals that are smooth and ingratiating” (Daily Camera), will return to the Metropolitan Opera in the 22/23 season, singing Belcore in L’Elisir D’amore. Other debuts include the Father in Blue with English National Opera, Elviro in Xerxes with Detroit Opera, and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with Pittsburgh Opera.
In concert, Mr. Sumuel will perform Mozart’s Requiem with the Cincinnati Symphony and James Conlon, Bach cantatas BWV 61 and 140 with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, open Washington Concert Opera’s season, performing in a gala with soprano Tammy Wilson, and return to Mercury Houston for Handel’s Messiah. Finally, with Pacific Chorale, Mr. Sumuel will take part in a European tour, performing in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Florence Price’s Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight.
Last season, Michael Sumuel made his debut as Jesus in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with LA Opera, a semi-staged production conducted by James Conlon with choreography by the Hamburg Ballet, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with Seattle Opera, Escamillo in Carmen for his debut with The Santa Fe Opera, a concert of arias to open The Dallas Opera season, the King in Massenet’s Cinderella with the Metropolitan Opera, Leporello in Don Giovanni with Opera San Antonio and Escamillo in Carmen with Chicago Opera Theater. In concert, Mr. Sumuel returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall to sing Mozart’s Mass in C minor with Zubin Mehta, Bach’s Easter Oratorio with Music of the Baroque and Mozart’s Requiem with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
Highlights of past opera seasons have included the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Masetto in a new production of Don Giovanni, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, the San Francisco Opera to perform the title role in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro, Tom in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Heart of a Soldier, Escamillo in Calixto Bieito’s production, Masetto, conducted by Marc Minkowski, and Elviro in Handel’s Xerxes. At Houston Grand Opera, he has performed Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Frank in Die Fledermaus, Masetto, Sharpless, Marcello and Schaunard in La bohéme.
With Glyndebourne Festival Opera, he performed Sharpless, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia, Schaunard and Theseus. At Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, he performed Alidoro and Escamillo, and Figaro in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with Dayton Opera, later reprising the role for his company debut with Central City Opera. Finally, he performed Leporello in Don Giovanni with Seattle Opera.
An in demand concert artist, previous work has included Messiah with San Francisco Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, the United States Naval Academy, New Jersey Symphony, Phoenix Symphony and University Musical Society in Ann Arbor. He has performed Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with Cleveland Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Lukes, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, American Classical Orchestra in David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.
Other repertoire includes Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Pittsburgh Symphony and Grant Park Music Festival), Mozart’s Requiem (North Carolina Symphony), Haydn’s Theresienmesse (Grant Park Music Festival), Puccini’s Messa di Gloria (San Diego Symphony), the bass solos Bach’s St. John Passion (Music of the Baroque), the bass solos in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion as well as the Magnificat (Mercury Houston).
Mr. Sumuel’s competition accolades include being awarded a Richard Tucker Career Grant, Metropolitan Opera National Council audition Grand Finalist and a winner of the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. A Texas native, he is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera and the Filene Young Artist program at Wolf Trap Opera. He currently resides in San Francisco with his wife and baby son.
Last updated: 23rd March 2023