Photo: Lutz Edelhoff
American tenor Brett Sprague begins his second season as an Ensemble member at Theater Erfurt with a exciting slate of performances throughout the season. The 2020/2021 season kicks off with a pair of pastiche pieces, the first called "Drunter und Drüber"inspired by the worldwide reaction to the Corona virus pandemic, the second is an evening of Mozart conceived using the composer's Der Schauspieldirektor. Taking place in the more intimate STUDIO.BOX in Erfurt, Mr. Sprague will perform in the Saloonkonzert, an evening of Western inspired music. In November, Mr. Sprague will perform a solo recital with Stefano Cascioli, showcasing music inspired by Van Gogh and Shakespeare. In the new year, his planned performances in Erfurt include a Neujahrkonzert titled Wien bleibt Wien, and productions of Les Contes d'Hoffmann (Offenbach) in the title role of Hoffmann, the world premiere of Mio mein Mio (Leipold) in the role of Mios/Benkas Vater, Manon Lescaut (Puccini) in the role of Edmond, and Die Jungfrau von Orleans (Tchaikovsky) in the role of Raimond for the DomStufen Festspiele. Near the end of the season, he will give a recital of music by Benjamin Britten. A highlight of the season outside of Germany is Mr. Sprague's debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra singing the tenor solo in Carmina Burana (Orff) at the Royal Festival Hall. In August, he can be seen at the Staufer Festspiele in the role of Camille de Rosillon in Die Lustige Witwe (Lehár).
In 2019/2020 Mr. Sprague began his work in Germany with a new production of Der junge Lord (Henze) in the role of Lord Barrat with the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich, followed by a production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart) performing Pedrillo with the Thüringer Schlossfestspiele. In August 2019, Mr. Sprague began as an ensemble member with Theater Erfurt, singing roles spanning the operatic repertoire, including Prinz Gwidon in Das Märchen vom Zaren Saltan (Rimsky-Korsakov), Hexe in Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck), Ernesto in Don Pasquale (Donizetti) as a jump in, and as a featured soloist in a summer concert series, Opera Gloriosa, in the DomStufen Festspiele. His appearances as Visitor in In the Penal Colony (Glass) and Ismaele in Nabucco (Verdi) in Erfurt were postponed due to the Corona Virus Pandemic, and will be rescheduled in future seasons. In addition to his operatic pursuits in Europe, Mr. Sprague is gaining acclaim for his performance as a concert soloist, most recently in Carmina Burana with the Tampere Filharmonia in November 2018 and the Gӧteborgs Symfoniker in April 2019, earning him praise from the critics in both cities. In celebration of the Thirty Year Anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down, he sang the solos in Beethoven's 9th Symphony in Erfurt.
To date, Mr. Sprague has been performing across the United States, often called upon for the creation and production of contemporary operas. Highlights include the world premiere of Happy Birthday Wanda June (Clark) singing Herb Shuttle and the American premiere of Mansfield Park (Dove) in the role of Henry Crawford with Indianapolis Opera, the workshop of The Scarlet Letter (Laitman) with Opera Colorado and the development of a new opera with OnSite Opera in New York. Additionally, he has performed Laurie in Little Women (Adamo) with Eugene Opera. He is also very comfortable with the classic repertoire, having performed many different roles spanning the gamut of musical periods and styles, including Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti) at Opera Colorado, and Antinoüs in Pénélope (Faure) with Vespertine Opera.
Mr. Sprague received his professional training as a resident artist at Opera Colorado during the 2014 and 2014/2015 seasons. Performance highlights include Tamino and Erster Geharnischter in Die Zauberflöte (Mozart), Don José and Remendado in Carmen (Bizet), and Borsa in Rigoletto (Verdi). He was also afforded the opportunity to cover the roles of Goro in Madama Butterfly (Puccini) and Il Duca in Rigoletto (Verdi). He spent two summer seasons as a young artist with Chautauqua Opera. In 2015, as an apprentice artist, he performed the role of Malcolm and covered Macduff in Macbeth (Verdi) and covered Lensky in Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky), as well as performing multiple concerts with the Chautauqua Symphony. In 2013, as a studio artist, he performed Rector Adams in Peter Grimes (Britten). As a young artist at Ash Lawn Opera in 2014, he sang Little Bat in Susannah (Floyd).
Mr. Sprague is originally from Tacoma, Washington and received his Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Chapman University and his Master of Music degree in classical voice performance from Manhattan School of Music. He performed often on the stage at Manhattan School of Music, as Almaviva in Ghosts of Versailles (Corigliano), Ferrando in Così fan tutte (Mozart), and La voz en la fragua in La Vida Breve (de Falla). He has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Seattle Opera Guild, the Anita Cerquetti Competition, the CareerBridges organization, and the Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competition at Manhattan School of Music.
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Photo: Lutz Edelhoff