George Somerville

 

George Ross Somerville, a tenor praised for his “animated portrayal” of Laca in Janácek’s Jenufa (New York Times/ Allan Kozinn) is originally from Point Pleasant, New Jersey, and is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. In Die Zauberflöte, Mr. Somerville was a “strong, clear-voiced Tamino,” (Cleveland Classical/ Daniel Hathaway), and in La clemenza di Tito, he “was an imposing presence as Tito and negotiated his extensive role with authority and stamina,” (Cleveland Classical/ William Fazekas). As Jeník in The Bartered Bride, Mr. Somerville “proved easily adept at navigating the trickier musical moments…with a clear tone and powerful voice,” (The Oberlin Review/ Daniel Walden). He was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and this past July he was a CoOperative Fellow with The CoOperative Program. This summer he will be an Apprentice Artist with Des Moines Metro Opera. He will sing Rev. Horace Adams in their production of Peter Grimes.

 

His performance credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lysander); Jenufa (Laca); The March – A new civil rights opera by Jonathan Stinson (JFK); Alcina (Ruggiero); Die Zauberflöte (First Armored Man); La clemenza di Tito (Tito); The Bartered Bride (Jeník); Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio); Così fan tutte (Ferrando); La rondine (Ruggero); The Magic Flute (Tamino); The Gondoliers (Marco Palmieri); Le nozze di Figaro (Don Basilio); and L’incoronazione di Poppea (Nutrice). He has performed the partial roles of: Lulu (Der Maler); La Bohème (Rodolfo); Lucia di Lammermoor (Edgardo); Die Zauberflöte (Monastotos); La Traviata (Alfredo); The Rake’s Progress (Tom Rakewell); Albert Herring (Albert Herring); Cendrillon (Le Prince Charmant); Idomeneo (Idomeneo); and Carmen (El Remendado).

 

An active church musician with Nassau Presbyterian Church of Princeton New Jersey, Mr. Somerville’s concert and oratorio work has included Benjamin Britten’s Canticle I: My Beloved is mine; the J.S. Bach Cantata BWV 142; the Schumann Bicentennial Recital Series; the Vivaldi Magnificat; and the Stravinsky Mass. This past June, he performed in the opera chorus of Francesca da Rimini with The Princeton Festival, and in the summer of 2011, he sang in the opera choruses of Don Giovanni, Pelléas et Mélisande, La Fille Du Regiment, and The Death of Klinghoffer with Opera Theatre Saint Louis. He is a founding member of The Thirteen, an elite vocal ensemble of twelve professional singers based in South Jersey, specializing in music of the Renaissance and Baroque. South Jersey’s only professional choir, The Thirteen performs throughout the mid-Atlantic region. He is also a member of The Princeton Singers, which in recent years has earned a reputation as one of the nations preeminent chamber choirs. This group, under the direction of Steven Sametz, is strongly committed to the creation of new choral repertoire with its strong commissioning program and by participating in workshops for aspiring composers. In major choral works, George Ross Somerville has appeared in the ensemble with The Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkanazy, The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, The New York Philharmonic conducted by Peter Schreier, The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jacques Lacombe, and The Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Simon Rattle.Mr. Somerville won 1st place last year in the Westminster Voice Scholarship Competition and is completing the second year of his Masters degree at Westminster Choir College. Significant influences in Mr. Somerville’s career include Laura Brooks Rice, William Hobbs, Salvatore Champagne, Jonathon Field, Edward J Crafts, and Howard Lubin.