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Musical World

Thomas Meglioranza

  • Baritone

Biography

Thomas Meglioranza current season will include further performances of Brahms Liebesliederwalzer with the New York City Ballet, both in New York and at the Kennedy Center, a concert and commercial recording of Songs by Virgil Thomson with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Gil Rose, a new year’s eve concert at the Kennedy Center as well as a series of recitals on the theme of World War I, in New York City, Philadelphia and Cambridge, MA. Thomas Meglioranza has also been appointed Visiting Artist in Voice at the Longy School of Music in Boston.

Thomas Meglioranza’s 2008/2009 season took him to Taiwan for the World Premiere of the title-role in Mackay – the Black-Bearded Bible Man, followed by concerts of Messiah with the Minnesota Orchestra, Bach’s B Minor Mass with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Sierra’s Missa Latina with the Houston Symphony, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Berkshire Choral Festival, Vaughan-Williams’ Mystical Songs in Altoona, Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn in Kansas City, performances of Brahms’ Liebesliederwalzer with the New York City Ballet and recitals in the USA.

Other recent projects included a number of concerts and recitals in New York City, London, Houston, Panama City, Sarasota, Saratoga Springs, the Lanaudière Festival and at Mr. Meglioranza’s alma mater, Grinnell College, along with Brahms’ Liebesliederwalzer with the Mark Morris Dance Group on tour in the US and Canada. In the summer, Mr. Meglioranza made his Tanglewood Festival debut performing John Harbison’s 5th Symphony with Leonard Slatkin conducting the Boston Symphony and his Australian debut at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville. Other performances included the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s Romulus at the Guggenheim Museum, recitals at Bard College, in New York City, Washington DC, chamber music concerts on tour with the Musicians from Marlboro, sacred music concerts in Chicago and Cleveland as well as the release of Thomas Meglioranza’s first solo CD devoted entirely to Franz Schubert’s songs.

Mr. Meglioranza starred as Prior Walter in the North American premiere of Peter Eötvös’ Angels in America (based on the Tony Kushner play) with Opera Boston under the baton of Gil Rose. He also made his debut with the MET Chamber Ensemble with James Levine, performing Milton Babbitt’s Two Sonnets at Carnegie Hall, Erwin Schulhoff’s Cloud Pump at the Ravinia Festival with James Conlon, Stephen Foster songs with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and solo recitals at Symphony Space, the Neue Galerie and Columbia University’s Italian Academy. With orchestra, he was featured in three different programs with the New York Collegium and sang Messiah at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. Other season highlights included his debut with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque and Nicholas Kraemer in Bach’s St. John Passion, as well as recitals for the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, Pro Musica of Detroit, the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts in Clemson, SC, and the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

Mr. Meglioranza’s 2004/2005 season featured the role of Christus in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Andrew Parrott and New York Collegium that was “warmly and beautifully” sung, according to The New York Times, as well as his Kennedy Center debut, singing Copland’s Old American Songs with Murry Sidlin and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center’s 10th Annual New Year’s Gala. He made debut appearances with the Grant Park Symphony (Fauré Requiem), and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra (Haydn Creation), and sang Messiah in Portland with both the Oregon Symphony and the Portland Baroque Orchestra as well as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Northwest Florida Symphony. New music performances included two critically acclaimed appearances on the Guggenheim Museum’s “Works & Process” series. He gave his Chicago recital debut on the Dame Myra Hess Series singing an all-Schubert program (broadcast live on WFMT-FM), and he performed Winterreise at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City.

In March 2004 Mr. Meglioranza starred as Chou En-lai in Opera Boston’s celebrated production of Nixon in China, and was praised by The Boston Globe for delivering his character’s “inner music with quiet rapture.” Other highlights from recent seasons include performances with the Houston Symphony (Messiah and a return engagement that same season for Carmina Burana), Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (Bach Cantata No. 152) and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society (Bach B minor Mass), as well as Carmina Burana with the American Ballet Theatre at the Metropolitan Opera House, and critically acclaimed New York recitals at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall.

A passionate interpreter of Baroque music, Mr. Meglioranza has performed with numerous period instrument ensembles, including New York Collegium, American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque, Portland Baroque Orchestra and the Trinity Consort, and has collaborated with such Baroque luminaries as Andrew Parrott, Nicholas McGegan, Jane Glover, Richard Egarr, Nicholas Kraemer and Bernard Labadie.

Recently described in The New Yorker as “an unusually sensitive interpreter of English-language song,” Mr. Meglioranza is also in high demand for his illuminating performances of contemporary music. He has sung John Adams’ Wound Dresser at Tanglewood under Reinbert DeLeeuw, John Harbison’s Words from Paterson at the Bowdoin Music Festival, and Aaron Jay Kernis’ Brilliant Sky, Infinite Sky in Sapporo under the direction of the composer. He has also had many works written for him, including Jorge Martín’s Plundered Hearts (commissioned for Mr. Meglioranza with the assistance of CAG) and a 2006 premiere by Pierre Jalbert, commissioned by the Brooklyn Friends of Chamber Music.

On the operatic stage, Thomas Meglioranza’s portrayal of Don Giovanni with the Aspen Opera Theater and Julius Rudel, was hailed by the Denver Post as “a triumph.” Other recent opera performances include Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Aeneas) with Atlanta’s New Trinity Baroque (now available on a critically acclaimed CD), and concert versions of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie (Thésée) conducted by Andrew Parrott and Purcell’s King Arthur (all baritone roles) conducted by Bernard Labadie, both with the New York Collegium.

In March 2006, Mr. Meglioranza was featured in a special performance at Broadway’s New Victory Theatre entitled Twin Spirits: The Words and Music of Robert and Clara Schumann, directed and conceived by John Caird, and starring Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, portraying Robert and Clara in Words. Mr. Meglioranza, playing Robert Schumann in Song, performed Lieder and duets with soprano Lisa Saffer and pianist Jeremy Denk. This event, which raised over $150,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Classical Action, also featured violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Natasha Paremski.
A graduate of Grinnell College and the Eastman School of Music, Thomas Meglioranza is also an alumnus of Tanglewood, Aspen, Marlboro, Bowdoin, the Pacific Music Festival and the Steans Insititute at Ravinia. He is of Thai, Polish and Italian heritage and currently resides in New York City, where his hobbies include pork cookery and running.