Peter Tantsits, tenor

enor Peter Tantsits has earned an international reputation for his dramatic flair, keen musicianship, and ability to fearlessly embrace the most stratospheric vocal writing of the 20th and 21st centuries. Always eager to push the boundaries of the lyric tenor repertoire, he was recently named “one of his generation’s most consistently satisfying contemporary vocal music specialists” by OPERA Magazine (UK). Peter is often called upon to perform the modern classics of the 20th century such as Berg and Ligeti as well as new works, particularly evidenced by recent success on the stages of Teatro alla Scala, Lincoln Center, and the Beijing International Music Festival.  Performing with ICE since its inception, Peter has collaborated with the ensemble on works by composers such as Berio, Birtwistle, Gubaidulina, Kagel, Ligeti, Nono, Rihm, Ustvolskaya, and Xenakis in addition to new works.   

On the operatic stage, Peter has been praised by the British publication Opera Now for his “luminous timbre” and ability to craft a role with “astute understanding.“ Opera News has cited his “gifted, agile and expressive” singing with “vibrant, penetrating beauty while managing the complexities of his role with complete mastery and infallibly good diction.”  The 2010/2011 season marks his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre, the Munich Philharmonic at the Kulturzentrum Gasteig, and the China Philharmonic at the Beijing International Music Festival, as well as returning to the New York Philharmonic for Doug Fitch’s production of Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen. He sings the central role of Colin McPhee in Evan Ziporyn’s opera A House in Bali at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Boston’s Cutler Majestic Theater as well as reprising the high tenor role of Xu Xian in Robert Woodruff’s production of Zhou Long’s Madame White Snake in Beijing and creating the central role in Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone for Philadelphia’s Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Premieres include Michael LaCroix’s adaptation of Aristophanes’ The Birds with eighth blackbird in Chicago and Marcos Balter’s Aesopica at the Morgan Library with the ICE. His concert engagements this season also include Carmina Burana (one of his signature roles) with the Oberlin Orchestra. Among his engagements for 2011/2012, Peter looks forward performing John Worthing for the European premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest with Thomas Adès at the Barbican in London, returning to Opera Boston to sing Mark in the regional premiere of Tippett’s A Midsummer Marriage, debuting in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Le Grand Macabre and returning to China for additional performances of Madame White Snake in the opera houses of Guangzhou and Hangzhou.

A "fearless high tenor" (Opernwelt), Peter recently made a successful debut at La Scala in Milan singing the high tenor role of Syme in Robert Lepage’s production of Lorin Maazel’s 1984. He has worked with some of the world’s top orchestras collaborating with conductors Alan Gilbert, Lorin Maazel, Leonard Slatkin, Kristjan Järvi, Leon Botstein, Emmanuelle Haïm, Gil Rose and Philip Walsh. He made two acclaimed appearances with the New York Philharmonic in 2008 and 2010 (both broadcast nationally) and also performed with the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie at Bremen’s Die Glocke, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center and the American Symphony Orchestra at Lincoln Center.

Identified by the New York Times as an "appealing," "versatile" and "adventurous high tenor," Peter’s repertoire ranges from Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Rameau’s Platée to Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre and Xenakis’s Oresteia. Two core works in his concert repertoire include Carmina Burana and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in addition to works by Bach, Britten, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Charpentier, and Clérambault. He has performed in a number of international festivals including Britain’s Aldeburgh Festival, the Festival Lyrique-en-mer in France, and the Festival Internacional de Musica Contemporánea in Morelia. Also of note are his performances as Tony in West Side Story in the Middle East for the Centrepoint Theatre in Dubai and his collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group and Moving Theater.

Peter originally trained as a violinist and earned degrees from Yale University and the Oberlin Conservatory.

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