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Since his spectacular debut at the Bayreuth Festival 1997 as Walther von Stolzing in Die Meistersinger, ROBERT DEAN SMITH has been singing in the world's leading opera houses and concert halls. At Bayreuth he has sung Walther von Stolzing 1997-2002, Lohengrin 2000-2002, and since 2001 Siegmund in Die Walküre. An acclaimed interpreter of dramatic and Heldentenor roles, his engagements in theaters such as the Vienna State Opera (Die Meistersinger), Munich State Opera (Die Meistersinger, Tosca, Bartered Bride, Queen of Spades), London Covent Garden (Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger, Katja Kabanova), La Scala Milano (Fidelio), San Francisco Opera House (Die Meistersinger), Madrid Teatro Real (Parsifal), Deutsche Oper Berlin (Parsifal, Die Meistersinger, Lohengrin, Fidelio), Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona (Parsifal, Ariadne auf Naxos), Tokyo New National Theatre (Die Walküre), and Brussels Theatre de la Monnaie (Die Meistersinger), with conductors Pappano, Thielemann, Muti, Barenboim, Sawallisch, Boulez, von Dohnanyi, Haitink and A. Davis confirm his status as one of today's most sought after singers.
He performed Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde in Munich with Lorin Maazel conducting and in Amsterdam with Edo de Waart; the title role in Elgar's Dream of Gerontius in London with Colin Davis conducting the London Symphony Orchestra; Beethoven's Christus am Ölberge in Berlin with Kent Nagano conducting; the tenor solo in Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch in New York's Carnegie Hall; and the title role in Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex in Amsterdam with Riccardo Chailly conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Robert Dean Smith had the special honor of singing the tenor solo in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony for the 125th anniversary of the Bayreuth Festival in August 2001, in the Bayreuth Festspielhaus with the Festival Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Christian Thielemann.
Born in Kansas, USA, he studied at Pittsburg (Kansas) State University with Margaret Thuenemann, at the Juilliard School in New York City with Daniel Ferro, and with Professor Janice Harper in Europe. Like many dramatic tenors, he began his career as a baritone and sang for several years in German opera houses. His excellent training and stage versatility allow him to sing a wide variety of operas in many different languages and styles; for example, Verdi's Il Trovatore (Manrico) and Don Carlo; Puccini's Tosca (Cavaradossi), Manon Lescaut (des Grieux), and Madama Butterfly (Pinkerton); Ponchielli's La Gioconda (Enzo), Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades (Ghermann), Bizet's Carmen (Don José), and Beethoven's Fidelio (Florestan).
Robert Dean Smith's CD recording on Arte Nova of Wagner scenes has been awarded the Orphée d'Or 2002. The prize is awarded annually to outstanding recordings of vocal music by the Académie du Disque Lyrique.