Praised by Opera News as possessing a “smoky-dark baritone” and “remarkable confidence and color,” baritone Samuel Schultz recently made his company and role debuts as Howie Albert in Champion with Washington National Opera, Schaunard in La Bohème with Opera Omaha, and Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos with Berkshire Opera Festival. After making his company debut with Utah Opera in La Bohème, Samuel sang his debut performance of Carmina Burana with the Omaha Symphony. Mr. Schultz next looks forward to singing Wagner in Gounod’s Faust with Opera Omaha.
Mr. Schultz can be heard on the album New American Song @ Songfest performing the world premiere recording of Bolcom’s Gettysburg: July 1, 1863. Samuel performed in a concert version of Wozzeck with the Houston Symphony, a concert whose recording recently won a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.
Mr. Schultz has appeared with Houston Grand Opera as Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, Mr. Lindquist in A Little Night Music, Morales in Carmen, The Businessman in The Little Prince, and Perückenmacher in Ariadne auf Naxos. For his Santa Fe Opera debut he performed Wyatt in the world premiere of UnShakeable. He performed Ramiro in Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole and Don Quichotte with the Houston Symphony. Mr. Schultz sang Berio’s rarely-performed Coro, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, at the Lucerne Festival (Switzerland).
Mr. Schultz is an alumnus of the United States Senate Page Program and The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.
Dramatic baritone Thomas Hall made his European debut in 2011 as Telramund in Wagner’s Lohengrin at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland, to very favorable reviews. The Finnish newspaper Aamulehti said of his performance, “Thomas Hall as Telramund oozed physical activeness and powerful singing;” and Uutispäivä reported, “Thomas Hall is impressive in the part of Friedrich, his baritone was… striking.”
He was invited to return to Savonlinna in summer 2012 to perform the title role in Der Fliegende Holländer, and he reprised the role immediately afterward for Teatro Regio Torino. He then made his house debut with Opera Australia, performing Jochanaan in Salome, followed by his house debut at Teatro Comunale di Bologna performing the title role in Der Fliegende Holländer. He reprised the role of Jochanaan with Den Norske Opera & Ballett in Oslo, Norway; and returned to Savonlinna Opera Festival to perform both Abimelech in Samson et Dalila and a reprise of Telramund in Lohengrin. He then performed the title role in Der Fliegende Holländer for both Opera Hong Kong and for a touring production performing in four Italian cities, followed by Scarpia in Tosca and Orest in Elektra with Teatro Comunale di Bologna. He also reprised Telramund once again for both the Hong Kong Arts Festival as well as for Teatr Wielki Opera Narodawa in Warsaw, Poland.
Mr. Hall recently performed Telramund for Korea National Opera; Wotan in Das Rheingold and Wanderer in Siegfried for the Staatstheater Wiesbaden Maifestspiele, Wanderer for Theater Kiel; and Wotan in Die Walküre for Grange Park Opera. Recent performances include a return to Theater Kiel to reprise the role of Wotan and der Wanderer in their RING.
Upcoming performances include der Wanderer with Theater Oldenburg and Barak in die Frau Ohne Schatten with Theater Kiel.
Mr. Hall was also seen as the title role in Rigoletto in a concert performance with the Ann Arbor Symphony; Il Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore with Opera de Nuevo Leon in Monterrey, Mexico; and The Bonze in Madama Butterfly at Madison Opera. A two time finalist in the Chester Ludgin Verdi Baritone Competition, Mr. Hall’s other roles include Germont in La Traviata, Don Carlo in La Forza del Destino, Rodrigo in Don Carlo, and Carlo Quinto in Ernani.
Concert appearances include Brahms’ A German Requiem with the Wichita Symphony; Vaughan-Williams’ A Sea Symphony with the University of Chicago Orchestra and Chorus; and understudying the baritone solo in Berlioz’ Lelio for the Chicago Symphony. Other concert repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mendelssohn’s oratorios Elijah and St. Paul, Faure’s Requiem, Dvorak’s Te Deum, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. In recent years he has performed as a soloist with such prestigious organizations as the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Grant Park Music Festival. Formerly a professional french horn player, Mr. Hall switched to singing at the age of 27.