Alan Held

Recognized internationally as one of the leading singing actors today, American bass-baritone Alan Held has appeared in major roles in the world’s finest opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera,  Canadian Opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, Munich State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, the Netherlands Opera, Theatre Royal de la Monnaie and Tokyo Opera Nomori. His many roles include Wotan in the Wagner’s Ring Cycle, the title role in The Flying Dutchman, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg, Scarpia in Tosca, Leporello in Don Giovanni, the Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann,  Jochanaan in Salome, Don Pizzaro in Fidelio, Orestes in Elektra, Balstrode in Peter Grimes and the title role in Wozzeck.

Equally at home on the concert stage, Mr. Held has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Berlin Philharmonic, Kirov Opera Orchestra,and Montreal Symphony. He has also appeared at the Salzburg, Tanglewood and Saiton Kinen festivals and at the BBC Proms.

He has worked with many distinguished conductors including Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Sir Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Franz Welser-Möst, Kent Nagano, Sir Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jeffrey Tate.

He recently appeared as the Four Villains in the Met’s HD broadcast of the Les contes d’Hoffmann and appears as Donner in their DVD of the Das Rheingold. He also appears as the title role in Cardillac in the DVD of the Paris Opera production, and recorded the role of Don Pizarro in Fidelio with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic for EMI Classics

This season, Mr. Held many engagements include Balstrode at the Canadian Opera and with the St. Louis Symphony in St. Louis and at Carnegie Hall; the Mogul in Valentino’s Dream at the Minnesota Opera, Jochanaan at the Bayerische Staatsoper and with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Forester in Cunning Little Vixen with the Cleveland Orchestra.

A native of Washburn, Illinois, Mr. Held received his vocal training at Millikin University and Wichita State University.   He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Birgit Nilsson Prize, and is also a noted clinician who regularly gives master classes at Yale University.

Stay in Touch With Our Newsletter

Support the Opera and Donate

Find Out More