A superb singer and actor, bass-baritone DEAN ELZINGA (Speaker) is regularly welcomed on concert and opera stages, often in contemporary works requiring his unique dramatic conviction, presence, and assured musicianship. He enjoyed international acclaim for Peter Maxwell Davies' fiendishly difficult Eight Songs for a Mad King, performing it in New York and Cleveland, with Jonathan Sheffer conducting the Eos and Red Orchestras, respectively. He sang the title role in Harold Farberman's A Song of Eddie and Schoenberg's Die glückliche Hand at New York's Bard Festival, and Elliott Carter's What next? at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
The summer of 2006 returned Elzinga to Des Moines Metro Opera for Nick Shadow in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, following last summer's Four Villains in the company's Les contes d'Hoffmann of Offenbach. Reinvitations in the 2006/07 season include the Edmonton Opera (where he sang Nilakantha in The Pearl Fishers and Nick Shadow) for Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni, the Reading Symphony (for an evening of opera arias and duets), and the National Philharmonic (for Mozart's Figaro, coming after last season's Don Giovanni title role with the orchestra). In addition he made his Pittsburgh Opera debut as the Speaker in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, a role he recently sang at Michigan Opera Theatre. Elzinga's opera credentials include the Los Angeles and Metropolitan Operas, the San Diego Opera (the King in Aida), Seattle Opera (Hoffmann Villains), Arizona Opera (Leporello and Figaro), Hawaii Opera Theatre (Almaviva in Figaro), Sacramento Opera (Leporello, Méphistophélès in Gounod's Faust), Glimmerglass and New York City Operas (Polyphemus in Handel's Acis and Galatea), Opera Omaha (Raimondo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor), Opera San Jose (title role of Il Turco in Italia), and Vancouver Opera (Ramfis in Aida). Of note last season was his participation as Hagen in the Long Beach Opera's reduction of Wagner's Ring cycle.
Equally adept at concert literature, Dean Elzinga has been repeatedly invited by Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra, including a unique double-bill of Zemlinsky's Der Zwerg and Florentine Tragedy in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. He is one of the country's most sought-after basses for Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, having performed this work with the Reading, Vancouver, Long Beach, New West, Phoenix, Pasadena, and San Diego Symphonies, Minnesota Orchestra, and Rochester and Naples Philharmonics. He is equally acclaimed for performances of Messiah (Toronto, Pacific, Baltimore, and Ann Arbor Symphonies, and Florida Philharmonic), Haydn's Creation (Florida Orchestra and Amarillo Symphony), Britten's War Requiem (Nashville Symphony), Brahms' Requiem (Memphis Symphony), and Berlioz' Roméo et Juliette (Portland Symphony). At the Vienna Volksoper he sang Mozart's Figaro, Escamillo in Carmen, Leporello, and Méphistophélès. Conductors with whom he has worked to date include Bramwell Tovey, James Levine, Christopher Seaman, David Lockington, Bertrand de Billy, Asher Fisch, Jorge Mester, Boris Brott, Emmanuel Villaume, Yves Abel, and Maximiano Valdés.