Admired for his interpretive depth, vocal strength, and range of expressivity, tenor Paul Appleby is one of the most sought-after voices of his generation. He graces the stages of the world’s most distinguished concert halls and opera houses and collaborates with leading orchestras, instrumentalists, and conductors. Opera News writes, “[Paul’s] tenor is limpid and focused, but with a range of color unusual in an instrument so essentially lyric… His singing is scrupulous and musical; the voice moves fluidly and accurately.”
Paul Appleby’s calendar of the 2023–24 season includes a debut at La Monnaie in the world premiere of Cassandra, written by Bernard Foccroulle and Matthew Jocelyn under the baton of Kazushi Ono, a debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in the principal role of Caesar in the European premiere of John Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra, and a return engagement with Glyndebourne to sing Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. Igor Stravinsky features prominently in the American tenor’s concert diary with a San Francisco Symphony debut with Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen in performances of Les Noces, Pulcinella with Music Director Gustavo Gimeno and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the title role of Œdipus Rex with Santtu-Matias Rouvali leading the Munich Philharmonic. As well, he assays the Evangelist in Schmidt’s seldom-heard oratorio Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln with Music Director Fabio Luisi leading the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Last season Paul Appleby gave the world premiere of Antony and Cleopatra by John Adams at San Francisco Opera conducted by Music Director Eun Sun Kim, reprised his internationally acclaimed title role portrayal of Bernstein’s Candide for the Opéra de Lyon, and returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic for performances of Girls of the Golden West under the baton of the composer, John Adams. No less impressive was the tenor’s international concert diary, which included Bach’s Matthäus-Passion both with the New York Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic conducted by Jaap van Zweden, as well as performances in Chicago with Music of the Baroque and Dame Jane Glover; a collaboration with the Met Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in a presentation of Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Marin Alsop leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival; performances with the American Modern Opera Company; and a recital at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
A leading artist of the Metropolitan Opera, where his association with the company has yielded critically acclaimed performances, Paul Appleby has bowed in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg led both by Sir Antonio Pappano and James Levine, Rodelinda conducted by Harry Bicket, the title role of Pelléas et Mélisande conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, The Rake’s Progress under the baton of James Levine, and the North American premiere of Nico
Muhly’s Two Boys with David Robertson. Celebrated as a distinguished Mozartean, he has bowed at the Metropolitan Opera in the leading tenor roles of Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, and Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
Operatic performances span both world premieres and beloved classics and have included Pelléas et Mélisande at Dutch National Opera led by Stéphane Denève; the world premiere of John Adams and Peter Sellars’s Girls of the Golden West at the Dutch National Opera and San Francisco Opera; Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Oper Frankfurt, and Dutch National Opera.
Handel’s Saul directed by Barrie Kosky at Glyndebourne and Houston Grand Opera; and Die Zauberflöte at Teatro Real, San Francisco Opera, and Washington National Opera. Closely affiliated with the title role of Béatrice et Bénédict, he has been lauded in performances at Glyndebourne directed by Laurent Pelly and conducted by Antonello Manacorda, at the Opéra de Paris under the direction of Philippe Jordan, and in a new production for his debut with Oper Köln conducted by François-Xavier Roth.
Other highlights of the recent past include concert performances of Die Zauberflöte with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Handel’s Samson with the Dunedin Consort at the Edinburgh International Festival; Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Bamberger Symphoniker; and a wide range of repertoire and on numerous occasions in North America and Europe with his frequent musical partner Manfred Honeck.
Respected as a consummate recital artist, Paul Appleby has presented solo appearances at the Wigmore Hall with Malcolm Martineau, toured North America extensively with pianists Natalia Katyukova, Ken Noda, and Conor Hanick,and has given his Tanglewood debut in a performance of Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Vanished with Emanuel Ax. With pianist Wu Han, he has sung Schubert’s masterpiece, Winterreise, under the auspices of The Schubert Club.
Paul Appleby’s recording catalogue includes Nico Muhly’s opera Two Boys, recorded live by the Metropolitan Opera and released by Nonesuch; DVDs of Glyndebourne’s acclaimed presentation of Handel’s Saul and Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict released commercially by Opus Arte; Dear Theo, the first album dedicated solely to works by American composer Ben Moore released by Delos; and Songs and Structures, a portrait album of recent vocal and chamber works by composer Harold Meltzer released on Bridge Records; in addition to other recordings by Virgin Classics, and EMI’s Juilliard Sessions.
Mr. Appleby is a founding core member of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC) and is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. A recipient of an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at the Juilliard School, he also earned a Master’s Degree from Juilliard and a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and in Music from the University of Notre Dame.