American tenor Richard Croft is internationally renowned for his performances with leading opera companies and orchestras around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Opera National de Paris, Berlin Staatsoper, the Salzburg Festival, and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, as well as the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Boston Symphony Orchestra. His clarion voice, superlative musicianship, and commanding stage presence allow him to pursue a wide breadth of repertoire from Handel and Mozart, to the music of today’s composers.
The 2017/18 season saw Mr. Croft in the role of Mozart’s Idomeneo with the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa. Other recent engagements have included Tito in the critically acclaimed Glyndebourne production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito at Glyndebourne directed by Claus Guth, with Robin Ticciati leading the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. The run of performances concluded with a semi-staged performance at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms. Mr Croft also performed the role of Captain Vere in Billy Budd for Deutsche Oper Berlin, Handel’s Jeptha also directed by Claus Guth and conductor Ivor Bolton at Dutch National Opera and sang Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica with Oper Köln led by Gianluca Capuano.
Operatic highlights of Mr. Croft’s past seasons include the title role of Mozart’s Idomeneo at the Teatro alla Scala, Theater an der Wien, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Ravinia Festival, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and Mozarteum’s Mozartwoche in Salzburg; Hyllus in Handel’s Hercules at the Canadian Opera Company and Lyric Opera of Chicago; Jupiter in Handel’s Semele at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées; Captain Vere in Britten’s Billy Budd at Los Angeles Opera; the title role in La Clemenza di Tito with the Wiener Staatsoper; Lurcanio in Handel’s Ariodante with the San Francisco Opera; Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Seattle Opera; Ubaldo in Haydn’s Armida and the title role of Mozart’s Mitridate at the Salzburg Festival; Mamud in Vivaldi’s La verità in cimento with Opernhaus Zürich; and M. K. Gandhi in a new production of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha at the Metropolitan Opera, which was broadcast on the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Live in HD series in movie theaters around the world. The 2018/19 season found Mr. Croft in the role of Mamud in La verità in cimento at Opernhaus Zürich, as well as performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Minnesota Orchestra.
Recent symphonic engagements include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Leipzig Gewandhaus, National Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Berlin Philharmonic; Handel’s Messiah with the Singapore Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Theater an der Wien; Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with the Milwaukee Symphony; Berlioz’s Te Deum with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; Idomeneo with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, which was recorded and released by Harmonia Mundi; Beethoven’s Mass in C with the Boston Symphony at the Tanglewood Festival; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the National Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Croft is a frequent collaborator with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre, and he was the soloist on their European tour and recording (released on Harmonia Mundi) featuring musical odes to Saint Cecilia by Purcell, Haydn, and Handel. He also joined Les Musiciens du Louvre in a special concert for President Sarkozy and invited French dignitaries to celebrate the reopening of the newly-refurbished Palace of Versailles.
In Europe, Croft has been seen in numerous leading roles at the opera companies of Hamburg, Cologne, Amsterdam, Toulouse, Paris, Berlin, Zurich, Milan, Nice, Lyon, Stockholm, Glyndebourne, and Salzburg, among others. He has been heard at the Paris Opera as Don Ottavio at the Bastille and as Tacmas in Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes at the Palais Garnier, which was later released on DVD. At the Staatsoper Berlin, he has been heard as Almaviva, Ferrando, and the Composer in Gassman’s Opera Seria, and he has performed the role of Pelléas with Deutsche Oper Berlin. At the Zurich Opera, Mr. Croft debuted as Abaris in Rameau’s Les Boréades in a new production by Laurent Pelly, and his debut at Teatro alla Scala was in the title role of Idomeneo. He has been heard in London at the Royal Albert Hall as Pelléas with Sir Andrew Davis, in Amsterdam at the Concertgebouw in Ariodante, at the Konzerthaus in Vienna as Hyllus in Handel’s Hercules, as well as at the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg as Orphée, in the Paris version of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice with Marc Minkowski leading Les Musiciens du Louvre.
Mr. Croft is renowned throughout North America for his versatility. At the Metropolitan Opera, he has sung Ferrando in Così fan tutte under the baton of James Levine, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, M. K. Gandhi in Philip Glass’s Satyagraha and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. He made his debuts with Houston Grand Opera and Washington Opera as Ferrando as well. He has performed Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito with The Dallas Opera and Santa Fe Opera, where he has also sung Belmonte and Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress.
In concert, Mr. Croft debuted with the Cleveland Orchestra in the title role of Pelléas et Mélisande in concerts led by Pierre Boulez, where he was hailed as “impassioned, clear-toned and ideal”; he made his Carnegie Hall debut under Sir Neville Marriner in Mozart’s Requiem; and he made his St. Louis Symphony debut with Nicolas McGegan in Britten’s Serenade. He made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in Mozart’s Requiem with Bernard Haitink. Of his performance of Handel’s Jephtha at Alice Tully Hall with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Alan Kozinn of The New York Times praised, “…[it was] some of the most supple and emotionally resonant Handel singing I have ever heard.”
Mr. Croft has been Grammy-nominated for his recordings of Handel’s Hercules with Anne Sophie von Otter (Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv) and Scarlatti’s Il Primo Omicidio with Dorothea Roshmann (Harmonia Mundi). Other recordings with Deutsche Grammophon include Handel’s Ariodante and the Paris version of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, both with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre. For Erato, he has recorded Handel’s Theodora with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants. On Phillips Classics, he has been featured on Rameau’s Les Indes Gallantes with the Paris Opera, Almaviva from The Netherlands Opera in Dario Fo’s production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and as Cassio in Verdi’s Otello with Plácido Domingo and Renée Fleming from the Metropolitan Opera. He can also be heard on Querstand Records performing Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Gewandhausorchester under Herbert Blomstedt. His performance in Peter Sellars’ critically-acclaimed production of Theodora from Glyndebourne has been released on DVD, as has his performance in the title role of Mozart’s Mitridate with the Salzburg Festival (Decca).