Bio: Currently based at Frankfurt Opera and with an active career in both North America and Europe, THEO LEBOW continues to solidify his reputation as one of the finest young lyric tenors on international stages. His performances reveal exceptional intelligence and musical understanding along with dramatic skill, to complement his technical finesse and beautiful sound. These qualities have enabled him to build a remarkably diverse repertoire from Baroque to contemporary.
A Los Angeles native, now entering his fourth season as a member of the ensemble at Frankfurt Opera, Theo’s experience there has ranged from Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, and Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, to the taxing tenor role of Massimo in Gluck’s Ezio (“Theo Lebow is a find as Massimo... his voice has the sound of an heroic Italianate tenor but on a smaller scale well-suited to Baroque opera...” Stage Door). After singing Ozia in a recent new production of Mozart’s Betulia liberata, reviews were rapturous: “Theo Lebow sings his entrance aria, a bravura piece marked by bold coloratura, with astounding verve and confidence” (Frankfurter Rundschau) “Theo Lebow mastered the challenging tenor part of Ozia with radiant heights and great agility in the runs” (Online Music Magazine) “The young American singer Theo Lebow conquered this role, one that also requires an actor’s gift, with flying colors. Immediately, in his very first aria, he moves effortlessly into coloratura heights.” (Feuilleton Frankfurt)
After his 2018 appearance for Boston Mid-Summer Opera as Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Lebow returned to Frankfurt where the 2018-2019 season included featured roles in Ariadne auf Naxos, Satyricon, The Merry Widow, Dalibor and Die Zauberflöte. Frankfurt opera patrons also heard him as Ruiz in Il Trovatore, Squeak in Billy Budd, An Old Prisoner in Janácek’s From the House of the Dead, as well as Carlo in the Frankfurt première of Manfred Trojahn’s Enrico, and Krell in the world première of Arnulf Herrmann’s Der Mieter (The Tenant). Theo’s repertoire, ranging from Baroque to contemporary, already embraces some 20 roles in operas, and he has sung in six languages.
Plans for the 2020-2021 Season in Frankfurt include appearances in Salome, House of the Dead, Boris Godunov and Prinz von Hamburg. These productions will be subject to the Coronavirus and public health advisories in Hesse.
Engagements have included Jupiter/Apollo in Handel’s Semele at Seattle Opera; Picasso and F. Scott Fitzgerald in the première of Ricky Ian Gordon’s opera“27" alongside Stephanie Blythe and Elizabeth Futral for Opera Theatre of St. Louis (also on CD from Albany Records); Jaquino in Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Shippensburg Festival in Pennsylvania; Mr. Porcupine in Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox for both Opera San Antonio and Odyssey Opera in Boston; and Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff at Opera Hamilton – his Canadian debut – where he was hailed for his “plangent tenor with a sweet timbre” (La Scena Musicale, Montréal).
Theo won early recognition from Santa Fe Opera when he received the Richard Tucker Foundation Award after becoming part of its young artists’ program and he was invited to participate successively in San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Summer Program, and Seattle Opera’s young artist program.
In recital, Theo’s performances are marked by musical eloquence and powerful communication of text, wedded to vocal beauty. He has sung in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall; given a Schwabacher Debut recital in San Francisco; performed recital programs with the New York Festival of Song at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington, as well as in Caramoor and New York City; and participated in a Schubert and His World recital of vocal chamber music at the Bard Music Festival in New York.
Theo’s concert engagements have featured multiple appearances on Carnegie Hall’s main stage, often as soloist Handel’s Messiah. On the same stage, he has sung the tenor solo in Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 (Lobgesang) and excerpts from Verdi’s Rigoletto alongside soprano Jennifer Zetlan. Theo also had the opportunity to sing with Bryn Terfel, Stephanie Blythe and Angela Meade at the Richard Tucker Gala in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.