Currently based at Frankfurt Opera and with an active career in both North America and Europe, Theo Lebow continues to solidify his reputation as one of the finest young lyric tenors on international stages. His performances reveal exceptional intelligence and musical understanding along with dramatic skill, to complement his technical finesse and beautiful sound. These qualities have enabled him to build a remarkably diverse repertoire from Baroque to contemporary.
A Los Angeles native, now entering his third season as a member of the ensemble at Frankfurt Opera, Theo’s experience there has ranged from Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, to the taxing tenor role of Massimo in Gluck’s Ezio (“Theo Lebow is a find as Massimo… his voice has the sound of an heroic Italianate tenor but on a smaller scale well-suited to Baroque opera…” Stage Door)
After singing Ozia in a recent new production of Mozart’s Betulia liberata, reviews were rapturous: “Theo Lebow sings his entrance aria, a bravura piece marked by bold coloratura, with astounding verve and confidence” (Frankfurter Rundschau) “Theo Lebow mastered the challenging tenor part of Ozia with radiant heights and great agility in the runs” (Online Music Magazine) “The young American singer Theo Lebow conquered this role, one that also requires an actor’s gift, with flying colors. Immediately, in his very first aria, he moves effortlessly into coloratura heights.” (Feuilleton Frankfurt)
Following his appearance for Boston Mid-Summer Opera as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Lebow returned to Frankfurt where his 2018-2019 season includes featured roles in Ariadne auf Naxos, Satyricon, The Merry Widow, Dalibor and Die Zauberflöte. In 2017-18, Frankfurt opera patrons heard him as Ruiz in Il Trovatore, Squeak in Billy Budd, An Old Prisoner in Janácek’s From the House of the Dead, as well as Carlo in the Frankfurt première of Manfred Trojahn’s Enrico, and Krell in the world première of Arnulf Herrmann’s Der Mieter (The Tenant). Theo’s repertoire, ranging from Baroque to contemporary, already embraces some 20 roles in operas, and he has sung in six languages.
Engagements have included Jupiter/Apollo in Handel’s Semele at Seattle Opera; Picasso and F. Scott Fitzgerald in the première of Ricky Ian Gordon’s opera“27″ alongside Stephanie Blythe and Elizabeth Futral for Opera Theatre of St. Louis (also on CD from Albany Records); Jaquino in Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Shippensburg Festival in Pennsylvania; Mr. Porcupine in Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox for both Opera San Antonio and Odyssey Opera in Boston; and Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff at Opera Hamilton – his Canadian debut – where he was hailed for his “plangent tenor with a sweet timbre” (La Scena Musicale, Montréal).
Theo won early recognition from Santa Fe Opera when he received the Richard Tucker Foundation Award after becoming part of its young artists’ program and he was invited to participate successively in San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Summer Program, and Seattle Opera’s young artist program.
In recital, Theo’s performances are marked by musical eloquence and powerful communication of text, wedded to vocal beauty. He has sung in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall; given a Schwabacher Debut recital in San Francisco; performed recital programs with the New York Festival of Song at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington, as well as in Caramoor and New York City; and participated in a Schubert and His World recital of vocal chamber music at the Bard Music Festival in New York.
Theo’s concert engagements have featured multiple appearances on Carnegie Hall’s main stage, often as soloist Handel’s Messiah. On the same stage, he has sung the tenor solo in Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 (Lobgesang) and excerpts from Verdi’s Rigoletto alongside soprano Jennifer Zetlan.
Theo also had the rare opportunity to sing with Bryn Terfel, Stephanie Blythe and Angela Meade at the Richard Tucker Gala in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in 2011.
|Gordon, Ricky Ian||Picasso/Fitzgerald||27|
|Mozart||Ferrando||COSÌ FAN TUTTE|
|Belmonte||DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL|
|Don Ottavio||DON GIOVANNI|
|Contino Belfiore||LA FINTA GIARDINIERA|
|Picker, Tobias||Mr. Porcupine||FANTASTIC MR. FOX|
|Poulenc||Chevalier de la force/L’Aumônier||DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES|
|Rossini||Il Conte Almaviva||IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA|
|Strauss, J.||Alfred||DIE FLEDERMAUS|
|Bach||BWV 211 (Coffee)|
|Ich Armer Mensch|
|Johannes Passion (Evangelist)|
|Mass in B Minor|
|Berlioz||Grand Messe des Morts|
|Haydn||Ode to St. Cecilia|
|Monteverdi||Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (Narrator)|
“The third tenor, Theo Lebow, was cast in the role of Iago, which although given greater prominence in this production, is, in essence, a secondary role, with fewer singing opportunities than Otello or Rodrigo, and doesn’t have an aria. Lebow produced a solid singing performance, in which his voice displayed flexibility and an attractive tone, and sang well in the duets. His Iago was more than a simple psychopath, he was far more unstable, impulsive, delusional and exhibited too little control to simply hide in the shadows and coldly manipulate. It was a convincing portrayal…” [Otello, Oper Frankfurt] Opera Wire, Alan Neilson
“Faster than the fastest vibrato, and able to intone an impossible number of notes in a single bound, Theo Lebow, the felicitously facile and sweet-toned tenor with a trumpeting top, portrayed a prince the most discerning Cinderellas and audiences had hoped someday would come.” [Boston Midsummer Opera] The Boston Musical Intelligencer, Lee Eiseman
“Lebow’s tenor is focused and capable of the sort of elaborate melismas required by the cante flamenco, as evidenced in Abril’s ‘Zorongo.’ But the full range of his musicianship was perhaps best shown in four of the Lorca songs written by William Bolcom for Placido Domingo.” [New York Festival of Song] Washington Post, Patrick Rucker
“And for any lieder aficionados offended by hearing Wolf performed in Spanish, too bad, Mr. Blier said, joking, before the tenor Theo Lebow’s sensitive rendition of ‘Qué producirá mi Dios’” [New York Festival of Song] New York Times, Vivian Schweitzer
“Their counterparts in Sunday’s alternate cast… and Theo Lebow, proved every bit their equal, displaying tonal beauty and vocal alacrity (Lebow’s virtuoso passagework was particularly commendable).” [Seattle Opera, Semele] Seattle Times, Melissa Bargreen
With Oper Frankfurt, Theo Lebow sings as the 1st Jew in Salome from March 1 through April 13, 2020. oper-frankfurt.de
JOHN BRANCY AND THEO LEBOW
And the winners are in! With the Boston Modern Orchestra Project starring John Brancy as Mr. Fox and with Theo Lebow as Mr. Porcupine, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” takes home the GRAMMY® Award for Best Opera Recording. Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Odyssey Opera and its visionary leader, Gil Rose are front and centre in presenting stimulating repertoire to an ever-more-diverse audience and Tobias Picker’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” contributes to that remarkable vision. grammy.com
LA CENERENTOLA WITH BOSTON MIDSUMMER OPERA
Theo joins the Boston Midsummer Opera as Don Ramiro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, from July 24 to 28, 2019. bostonmidsummeropera.org
“La donna è mobile” from Seattle Opera Young Artists “Viva! Verdi” Concert
“Here I stand… Since it is not by merit” from The Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky