Daniel Belcher

Grammy Award-winning baritone Daniel Belcher has performed in many of the world’s music capitals, including Paris, London, New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Stuttgart, Amsterdam, Geneva, Madrid, Toronto, Montreal, Tokyo, Seoul and Houston.  With a repertoire of more than 80 roles, Belcher has championed roles from the Baroque to those composed expressly for him.  He came to international attention in 2004 creating the role of Prior Walter in Peter Eötvös’ Angels inAmerica for the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris for which he was hailed by London’s The Guardian as “possessing the kind of powerhouse stuff that indicates a star in the making.”

Belcher most recently created the roles of Inspector Kildare in Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Elizabeth Cree at Opera Philadelphia, James Addison III in Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek’s The House Without a Christmas Tree at Houston Grand Opera (recorded for a September 2018 release on the  Pentatone label), Lord Bellingham in Lori Laitman’s The Scarlet Letter at Opera Colorado (released on the Naxos label), Brian Castner in Jeremy Howard Beck’s The LongWalk with Opera Saratoga and Robert Kennedy in Robin de Raaff’s Waiting for Miss Monroe for his debut at The Netherlands Opera and Holland Festival.  Other world premiere roles include John Brooke in Mark Adamo’s Little Women (released on the Ondine label and recorded by PBS’ Great Performances), Andy Warhol in Michael Daugherty’s Jackie O (released by Decca on the Argo label) and multiple roles in Tod Machover’s Resurrection (released on the Ondine label), all with Houston Grand Opera.

In 2018-19, he creates the role of Alfred Stieglitz in Laura Kaminsky, Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed’s world premiere of Today it Rains with Opera Parallele, sings role debuts of Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music at Madison Opera, and Beaumarchais in John Corigliano’sThe Ghosts of Versailles at Chautauqua Opera.  He also returns to the role of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Chautauqua Opera and Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors for his debut with OnSite Opera

Last season, he appeared additionally at the Utah Opera as Gabriel von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus and debuted as the Street Singer and Tiger Brown in The Threepenny Opera at Boston Lyric Opera and as the Captain of the guard in Hans Werner Henze’s The Bassarids for his first performances in Madrid with the Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de Espana.  His recording of Bill in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place with Kent Nagano and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal was released in June of 2018 on the Decca label.

In recent seasons, he returned to Opera Philadelphia as Ping inTurandot, Lyric Opera of Kansas City for his role debut as Owen Hart in Dead Man Walking, Utah Opera as Brian Castner in The Long Walk, Chautauqua Opera as Orfeo in the Resphigi version of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and made house debuts at Michigan Opera Theatre as Father Palmer in Silent Night and Atlanta Opera for performances of Ping in Turandot.  

Recently, he debuted at Royal Opera House, Versailles in Lully’sArmide after performances of the same work in Toronto with Opera Atelier, as well as Pooh Bah in The Mikado with Chautauqua Opera.  Belcher also returned to the Utah Opera for his role debut as Count Danilo in The Merry Widow.  In addition, he had releases of recordings of Kaija Saariaho’s Sombre on the Ondine label and Robin de Raaff’s Waiting for Miss Monroe on the Challenge Records label.

He debuted in Sweden at Stockholm’s Baltic Sea Festival with Saariaho’s Sombre and also in Norwaywith the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival for Saariaho’s L’Amour de loin and Sombre.  Belcherreturned to the Lyric Opera of Kansas City for Father Palmer in Silent Night, Portland Opera for Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, and Opera Colorado as Papageno in The Magic Flute. He performed his role debut as Ping in Turandot with Utah Opera and sang in recital at Houston’s Zilkha Hall and for the Harriman-Jewell Series in Kansas City.

In recent seasons, he returned to Houston Grand Opera as Taddeo inL’Italiana in Algeri, Opera Colorado as Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, Utah Opera as Papageno, Florentine Opera for Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and Central City Opera as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia.  On the concert stage, he debuted with Lyric Opera Baltimore for a Bel Canto concert and sang and recorded the world premiere of Saariaho’s chamber piece Sombre for Rothko Chapel with Da Camera of Houston.  This was his second collaboration with Saariaho after recording the leading role of Jaufré Rudel in her first opera, L’Amour de Loin with Kent Nagano and Harmonia Mundi.  Opera News said “Belcher gives a powerful, convincing portrayal of Jaufré, capturing expertly the troubadour’s mercurial disposition.”  This recording received the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording, the Diapason d’Or by Diapason in France, and a nomination for Best Opera Recording by Gramophone.

Recently, he debuted with ABAO-OLBE, Bilbao, Spain as Mercutio inRomeo et Juliette, made his role debut as Chou En-Lai in Nixon in China with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City for which he was declared a “revelation” by KCMetropolis.org, and debuted with the Madison Opera as Dandini in La Cenerentola: “If there was a surprise show-stealer, it was Daniel Belcher in the role of Dandini…Belcher displayed some spot-on comic contributions.” (Madison Magazine)

As a graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, he has returned for numerous roles including his role debut as Billy Budd, Papageno, Schaunard in La Bohème, Monteverdi’s Orfeo and Mercutio.  At HGO, he also performed roles in A Little Night Music, Carmen, Madama Butterfly, and Arabella.

He made his highly acclaimed European debut with the Staatstheater Stuttgart in Reinhard Keiser’s Masaniello Furioso.  Other European engagements have included Ned Keene in Peter Grimeswith the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Jaufré Rudel in L’Amour de Loin at the Théâtre du Châtelet and Berlin’s Maerzmusik Festival with the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester,  Gunther in Sacré Siegfried at the Opéra National de Montpellier, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte for Garsington Opera and London’s Barbican Center, staged performances of Carmina Burana with the St. Gallen Festspiele, Gluck’s Orfeo and Securo in the world premiere of Cherubini’sKoukourgi with the Stadttheater Klagenfurt, Austria (released on ArtHaus DVD), and the title role of Handel’s Imeneo with Opera Ireland.

Mr. Belcher has portrayed Figaro in Il Barbiere di Sivigliain Tokyo with Japan’s New National Theater and the Fauré Requiemfor Seiji Ozawa’s Saito Kinen Festival to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima.  He performed John Brooke in Little Women with New York City Opera in Japan and New York, as well as with Fort Worth Opera, Kentucky Opera and Central City Opera.  He was also heard throughout Japan and in Seoul, Korea as the title role in Don Giovanniwith Toronto’s Opera Atelier.  Other roles with Opera Atelier include the title role in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Mozart’s Figaro, Papageno and the role of Orestes in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride.

Mr. Belcher is one of the premiere interpreters of Rossini performing today, and he is closely associated with the roles of Dandini in La Cenerentola, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri.  He has performed Dandini with San Francisco Opera, Opera Colorado, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Philadelphia, and Utah Opera; Figaro with Arizona Opera, Portland Opera, Lake George Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Florentine Opera, and Utah Opera; Taddeo with Opera Philadelphia, Florentine Opera, and Utah Opera.

In addition to these Rossini performances, he has performed a wide repertoire including the roles of Gianni Schicchi, the Husband in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias, and Henry Cuffe in the American premiere of Britten’s Glorianawith Central City Opera, Papageno and Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos for his debut with San Francisco Opera, Prince Paul in La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolsteinwith Opera Company of Philadelphia, Guglielmo, Marcello in La Bohème, and Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore with Lyric Opera of Kansas City,  and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus at Opera Columbus.

Mr. Belcher made his Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the New York Choral Society.  Active in concert work, he has performed Carmina Burana and Copland’s Old American Songs with the Pacific Symphony, Gounod’s St. Cecelia Massand Vaughan Williams’ Hodie for performances in New York City, a concert of Opera Favorites with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, an all-Bernstein concert and “A Night in Vienna” with the National Symphony Orchestra, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Belcher is a recipient of Le Cercle International des Amis et Mécènes du Châtelet Award (International Circle of Friends and Patrons of Théâtre du Châtelet, CIAM) for his acclaimed performance of Prior Walter in Angels in America.  He also received a Robert Jacobson Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation for his work with Wolf Trap Opera and the Sullivan Foundation Award.  He received the Apprentice Artist Award from the Santa Fe Opera and the Young Artist Award and Outstanding Studio Artist Award from the Central City Opera.

Image of: Daniel Belcher

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