Three Mo' Tenors
African-American opera stars Victor Trent Cook, Rodrick Dixon, and Thomas Young make up the acclaimed THREE MO' TENORS.
Tenor VICTOR TRENT COOK, a native New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, began singing at the age of three in his neighborhood church, The House of David. After the discovery of his unique talent, he was then enrolled in the Brooklyn Boys Chorus School of Musical Training, under the direction of James McCarthy. McCarthy took immediate attention to Cook's talent, and in less than a two-week period he was removed from training choir status directly to concert choir status! The concert choir enabled Cook to travel throughout the United States and Rome, where he sang for the Pope. From this, Cook was selected to sing the boy alto solo in Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms with the New York Philharmonic, directed by Zubin Mehta. This would be Cook's first professional endeavor, marking the beginning of his career. This journey continued with Cook singing with renowned conductors James Levine and Seiji Ozawa, performing in venues such as the White House, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Boston's Symphony Hall, and the Kennedy Center.
After being seen by a New York commercial agent, Cook went on to do commercials, which led to an introduction to theatrical mogul Joseph Papp, who then embraced his abilities and opened the doors for Cook's numerous Off-Broadway productions, such as The Haggahdah, Romance in Hard Times, Little Mighty, Moby Dick, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Cook immediately went from Off-Broadway to his first Broadway production, Don't Get God Started, and after receiving rave reviews, he went on to receive the title of the Star Search Male Vocal Champion 1998, capturing the $100,000 grand prize.
Victor Trent Cook has traveled throughout Europe and Japan, where he has starred in such renowned shows as Body and Soul and Harlem Symphony. Cook's television credits include roles on All My Children and The Days & Nights of Molly Dodd, with featured appearances on The Arsenio Hall Show, The Today Show, and The Rosie O'Donnell Show. Feature film credits include Hangin' with the Homeboys and Starlight.
Cook's Broadway credits include such hits as St. Louis Woman, opposite Vanessa Williams, and his Tony Award-nominated performance in Smokey Joe's Café. Cook appeared most recently in a featured role as Lionel in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella starring Eartha Kitt. Throughout his career, Cook has shared the stage with favored performers such as Patti Labelle, Gladys Knight, Lou Rawls, Ashford and Simpson, Betty Buckley, Tony Randall, Jennifer Holliday, and Bette Midler.
RODRICK DIXON's artistry combines a beautiful voice with a flair for acting and dancing. He has appeared on stage and in concert in a variety of dramatic roles that encompass the repertoire of opera, musical theater, operetta, and contemporary works. Dixon has performed in several roles with the Lyric Opera of Chicago: both Ruiz in Il trovatore and Rodriguez in Don Quichotte. He also performed Don Ottavio in Mozart's Don Giovanni and Gonzales in Ravel's L'heure espagnole with the Lyric Center for American Artists and Hoffman in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffman with the Portland Opera. Two highlights of his career included creating the title roles in the world premieres of Bright Sheng's Song of Majnun at the Civic Theatre, and as the Prince in Vanqui with the Columbus Opera. He was also heard in the world premiere of William Bolcom's McTeague.
As a concert soloist, he has performed with the Denver Symphony at Boettcher Concert Hall and with the Concordia Orchestra under the direction of Marin Alsop at Lincoln Center. He earned rave reviews for his series of concerts in Paris at the Chatêlet Theater, at Napolean's Court in Fontainebleau, and in Assisi, Italy. Dixon has also appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival and with the Wheeling Symphony in West Virginia. Most recently, he performed at the Rossini Gala Concert at Ravinia and a Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert broadcast on WFMT-FM.
For three consecutive years, Dixon has been the tenor soloist for the popular "Do It Yourself" Messiah at Chicago's Orchestra Hall. Other noteworthy operatic and Broadway performances include Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and Kern's Show Boat with the Wheaton Symphony. Dixon's musical credits include Ragtime on Broadway and Livent's production of Show Boat in Chicago's Auditorium Theatre. His television appearances include the Tony Awards, Good Morning America, and The Rosie O'Donnell Show.
Rodrick Dixon was a 1991 winner of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation and the Mary Dawson Art Guild "Tenor of the Year" award. He has also been the recipient of the Jan Peerce Scholarship, Links Foundation Scholarship, and a multi-year grant from the Osceola Foundation. Dixon earned his Bachelor and Master of Arts degree from the Mannes College of Music in New York. He has also studied at l'Academia Musicale Ottorino Respighi, Italy and L'École d'Art Américain-Palais de Fontainebleau.
Lyric tenor THOMAS YOUNG has appeared as a principal soloist in the major concert halls and opera houses of some 20 countries, and under the baton of, among others, Zubin Mehta, Roger Norrington, Simon Rattle, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. In addition to his distinguished performance career, Young serves as a tenured Professor of Music at Sarah Lawrence College.
Known for his unique dramatic and musical intelligence, as well as beauty of tone and exceptional technique, Young is recognized as one of today's foremost interpreters of tenor roles in contemporary opera. He made his Chicago Lyric Opera debut in the world premiere of Anthony Davis' Amistad as the Trickster God, a role written for him. Young made his New York City Opera debut singing the dual roles of Street and Elijah Muhammad in his first collaboration with Davis for the world premiere of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X. New York City Opera invited him back to sing Aron in Schoenberg's Moses und Aron and then Desportes in Zimmermann's Die Soldaten. Anthony Davis went on to compose another role for Young in the science-fiction opera Under the Double Moon, which premiered at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Marking his San Francisco Opera debut in John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer, Young created the role of Molqi and the role of Jonathan Rumor for the world premiere at the Opéra de la Monnaie in Brussels. Under the direction of Peter Sellars and baton of Kent Nagano, performances followed at the Opéra de Lyon, Vienna Festival, and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Called on 48 hours notice, Young made his Covent Garden debut as the rebel Schwalb in Hindemith's Mathis der Maler, again under the direction of Peter Sellars with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting.
Young sang Polo in Tan Dun's Marco Polo at the Hong Kong Festival, a role which he created for the Biennale Festival in Munich. Performances followed in Glasgow, London, Amsterdam, Torino, Zagreb, and Tokyo.
Young's North American concert appearances include performances in Blitzstein's Airborne Symphony and Schmidt's The Book of Seven Seals with the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall; Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Brooklyn Philharmonic conducted by Dennis Russell Davies at Brooklyn Academy of Music and Avery Fisher Hall; Mozart's Mass in C minor conducted by Lukas Foss at Brooklyn Academy of Music; Too Hot to Handel, and Duke Ellington's Sacred Songs with Concordia Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop at Alice Tully Hall; and Elliott Carter's In Sleep In Thunder with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Oliver Knussen conducting.
Recent engagements include touring, recording, and performing as part of the well-known ensemble Three Mo' Tenors; Michael Tippett's A Child of Our Time under the direction of Sir Roger Norrington and Poulenc's Les mamelles de Tirésias in concert version conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, both with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Stravinsky's The Flood at Carnegie Hall with the London Sinfonietta under the direction of Oliver Knussen; Bernstein's Mass as the Celebrant with the Cincinnati Orchestra, James Conlon conducting; and Verdi's Requiem with the Colorado Symphony, Marin Alsop conducting.
Young's recordings include the Grammy-nominated X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, on Gramavison; John Adams' Grammy-nominated The Death of Klinghoffer on Elektra/ Nonesuch; Tan Dun's Marco Polo on Sony, named Opera of the Year by Opera Magazine; and George Gershwin's Blue Monday on Telarc.