Sean Michael Plumb
Hailed for his “full, exciting lyric baritone” (Opera News) and “elegant lyricism and responsive musicality” (The New York Times), 26-year-old Sean Michael Plumb returns to the Ensemble of the Bayerische Staatsoper for the 2018/19 season to sing Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Marcello in La bohème, Graf Dominik in Arabella, Apollon in Alceste, and Jake Wallace in La fanciulla del West working under the batons of Ivor Bolton, James Gaffigan, and Antonello Manacorda. North American performances include Die Zauberflöte at Kentucky Opera and a world premiere by German composer, Arnulf Hermann, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by Susanna Mälkki.
Last season, performances at the Bayerische Staatsoper included Dandini in La cenerentola, Schaunard in La bohème, Prosdocimo in Il turco in Italia, and Marco in Gianni Schicchi working with Antonello Alemandi, Lotte de Beer, General Music Director Kirill Petrenko, and Constantin Trinks. In North America, Sean Michael Plumb joined the Cleveland Orchestra as Melot in fully staged performances of Tristan und Isolde led by Franz Welser-Möst and bowed as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Krzysztof Urbański. A recital program of R. Strauss, Ives, Barber, and Bernstein was presented on numerous recital stages of Germany including under the auspices of the Bayerische Staatsoper and at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg and the Heidelberger Frühling festival.
The California native made his Bayerische Staatsoper debut in the 2015/16 season in the world premiere of South Pole, by composer Miroslav Srnka and librettist Tom Holloway, conducted by Kirill Petrenko and directed by Hans Neuenfels, and he assayed the role of Schaunard in La bohème for his debut at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Other highlights included a return engagement at the Glimmerglass Festival with main-stage performances of Papageno in The Magic Flute and Sam in Trouble in Tahiti.
Passionate about contemporary music, Sean Michael Plumb has performed the roles of Owens/Ethan in the world premiere workshop of Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer’s Cold Mountain with Opera Philadelphia and Santa Fe Opera. He has collaborated with Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek on Breaking the Waves, in workshop performances in New York and San Francisco, and he covered the lead role of Clyde Griffiths in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy at the Glimmerglass Festival.
The baritone has performed across the United States in such prestigious venues as the Kennedy Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Kimmel Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Gusman Theater, and the Broad Stage, as well as with orchestras including the Florida Orchestra, Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the LA Opera orchestra, and the Curtis Symphony. He was a member of the Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project in 2016 and has been a young artist at the Glimmerglass Festival, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and the Aspen Music Festival.
Sean Michael Plumb made his national television debut in the HBO documentary Renée Fleming: A YoungArts Masterclass and performed as the youngest soloist at the Grammy Week Salute to Plácido Domingo in 2010. He was honored by President Obama as a United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts at a ceremony at the White House and has garnered a multitude of awards for his singing including the Grand Prize of the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Top Prize at the 2016 Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, a 2016 Shoshana Foundation Grant, the 2015 Sullivan Foundation Award from the Sullivan Foundation, Top Prize at the 2015 Opera Index Competition, a 2015 Sara Tucker Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, First Prize at the 2015 Gerda Lissner Liederkranz Competition, and the 2015 Theodor Uppman Prize from the George London Foundation. Sean Michael Plumb was graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied under renowned instructors Mikael Eliasen and William Stone.