About this Artist
American bass-baritone MICHAEL SUMUEL, lauded as having “vocals [that] are smooth and ingratiating” (Daily Camera) returns in the 2018/19 season to perform Marcello in La bohème at Houston Grand Opera, and Alidoro in La Cenerentola at Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. A wonderful concert artist, Mr. Sumuel will sing Haydn’s Mass No. 12 in B-flat with the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria with the San Diego Symphony, conducted by Speranza Scappucci, and participate in a Schubertiade at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia.
In the 2017/18 season, Michael Sumuel returned to Glyndebourne Festival Opera to perform Sharpless in Madama Butterfly and made his debut at Teatro Massimo di Palermo performing Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Concert appearances included debuts with the BBC Proms, singing Kate Whitley’s “I am I say” with the Multi-Story Orchestra at Eastgate Centre Rooftop Car Park, Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado at Carnegie Hall, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Seattle Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s St. John Passion with Music of the Baroque in Chicago, conducted by Jane Glover, and a return to Mercury Houston to perform the bass solos in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.
Previous seasons have included his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Masetto in a new production of Don Giovanni, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, as well as San Francisco Opera debut as Tom in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’ Heart of a Soldier in Francesca Zambello’s production. Subsequent appearances included Escamillo in Calixto Bieito’s production of Carmen, Masetto, conducted by Marc Minkowski, and Elviro in Handel’s Xerxes. At Houston Grand Opera, he has performed Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Frank in Die Fledermaus, Masetto, Sharpless, and Schaunard in John Caird’s new production of La bohéme, a role that also served as his European debut with Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He subsequently returned there to sing Junius in The Rape of Lucretia and Theseus. At Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, he performed Alidoro and Escamillo, and made his role debut as Figaro in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with Dayton Opera, later reprising the role for his company debut with Central City Opera. At Opera Southwest, Wolf Trap Opera and Juilliard Opera, in cooperation with the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Sumuel performed the role of Selim in Rossini’s Il turco in Italia.
Notable concert appearances include Messiah with San Francisco Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, United States Naval Academy, and University Musical Society in Ann Arbor. He later returned to San Francisco Symphony to perform Copland’s Old American Songs. He made his European concert debut with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in Mozart’s Mass in C minor at the Concertgebouw, conducted by Speranza Scappucci. With the Cleveland Orchestra, he performed Pilatus in Bach’s St. John Passion, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, as well as Mozart’s Requiem with the North Carolina Symphony and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the American Classical Orchestra at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. He has made multiple appearances with Baroque ensemble Mercury Houston, including a project called “Napoleon and the Battle of Nations,” excerpts from Rameau’s Les Indes galantes and Thétis, a concert of select Bach cantatas, and Messiah. He has also appeared with Da Camera of Houston for a program of Brahms and Schönberg lieder in a multi-media project called “In the Garden of Dreams” and the Santa Barbara Symphony for selected scenes from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Mr. Sumuel’s competition accolades include being awarded a Richard Tucker Career Grant, Metropolitan Opera National Council audition Grand Finalist and a winner of the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. A Texas native, he is an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera and the Filene Young Artist program at Wolf Trap Opera.