Well into his fourth decade of being recognized internationally as “one of the leading singing actors today”, American bass-baritone, Alan Held, has appeared in major roles in the world’s finest opera houses, including The Metropolitan Opera, The Vienna State Opera, The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, The Paris Opera, The Bavarian State Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Teatre del Liceu, Hamburg State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Netherlands Opera, Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, The Canadian Opera Company, and Teatro de la Maestranza.

His many roles include Wotan in Wagner’s “Der Ring Des Nibelungen”, Amfortas in “Parsifal”, Scarpia in “Tosca”, The Four Villains in “Les Contes d’Hoffmann”, Jochanaan in “Salome”, Kurwenal in “Tristan und Isolde”, Don Pizzaro in “Fidelio”, Orestes in “Elektra”, Balstrode in Peter Grimes, and the title roles in “Gianni Schicchi”, “Der Fliegende Holl
änder”, “Wozzeck”, and “Cardillac”.

Equally at home on the concert stage, he has performed with the world’s leading orchestras including The Berlin Philharmonic, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Pittsburgh Symphony, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The BBC-Scottish Symphony Orchestra, The Paris Orchestra, The Kirov Opera Orchestra, and The Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He has also appeared at the Salzburg and Tanglewood Festivals as well as the BBC Proms.

He has worked with the such distinguished conductors as Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohn
ányi, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, James Levine, Charles Dutoit, Kirill Petrenko, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, James Conlon, Sir Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Franz Welser-Möst, Kent Nagano, Sir Simon Rattle, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Jeffrey Tate.

The 2019-2020 season has Mr. Held returning to Wiener Staatsoper to sing one of his most performed roles, Jochanaan (“Salome”). He will also appear with the Orchestre de M
étropolitan in “Fidelio” under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He will sing for the first time in the summer opera season at Chautauqua Opera as Baron Scarpia in “Tosca” as well as Daniel Webster in Virgil Thomson’s, “The Mother of us All”. He will sing, for the first time in nearly 20 years, the role of Leporello with Wichita Grand Opera (where Mr. Held also serves as The Artistic Director).

The 2018-2019 season had Mr. Held returning to the Washington National Opera as Scarpia in “Tosca”. He has appeared with the company in nearly 25 productions in the past 31 years at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He also appeared with the
Hessische Rundfunks Sinfonieorchester in concert presentations of “Der Freischütz”. The concerts were recorded for a Fall 2019 release on the Pentatone label. Mr. Held appeared in a special concert of highlights from Wagner Dramas at the Boston Wagner Society and as the Bass Soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Wichita Symphony. He also appeared with Maestro David Robertson and The Sydney, Australia Symphony Orchestra in “Peter Grimes”. Mr. Held once again served as the Artist in Residence with the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at the Washington National Opera during the 2018-2019 season.

The 2017-2018 season began with Mr. Held appearing with The Cleveland Orchestra as part of their gala centennial season. The orchestra reprised their highly acclaimed production of Jan
áček’s “The Cunning Little Vixen” with performances in Cleveland, Vienna, and Luxembourg. Mr. Held also sang the opera with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in February, 2018. He further participated in the Cleveland Orchestra 100th Anniversary Season in concert performances of “Tristan und Isolde” in April, 2018. He returned to the Vienna Staatsoper to sing his acclaimed interpretation of Jockanaan in “Salome” and to sing, in a new production, the role of Caspar (role debut) in “Der Freischütz”. In July, 2018, Mr. Held sang a concert of highlights from “Der Ring des Niblungen” with Christine Goerke, Simon O’Neill, and Eric Owens at Wolf Trap with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Held has established a close relationship with the Canadian Opera. In the 2013-2014 season, he was the recipient of the Dora Mavor Moore award (“Outstanding Male Performance) presented by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts. In the 2015-2016 season, the COC production of “Siegfried”, also won this prestigious award. Mr. Held played the role of Wotan/Wanderer in this highly acclaimed run of performances.

Mr. Held sang the role of Don Pizzaro for the 2003 EMI Classics recording of Beethoven’s “Fidelio” with The Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle. Mr. Held can be seen in the title role on the 2005 Harmonia Mundi DVD recording of “Cardillac” from The Paris Opera lead by Kent Nagano. He appears as Donner on the 1990 Deutsche Grammaphone DVD recording of “Das Rheingold” from The Metropolitan Opera conducted by James Levine. Also from The Met, Mr. Held can be seen as Peter on the 2008 EMI DVD recording of Humperdink’s “Hansel and Gretel” staged by Richard Jones and conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. In September 2011, Orfeo Records released a live recording of “Rusalka” that was made at the Salzburg Festival in 2008 with Mr. Held, Piotr Beczala, Camilla Nylund and the Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst. A DVD recording from the 2011 Baden-Baden production of “Salome”, directed by Nikolaus Lehnhoff, was recently released on the Arthaus Musik label.

A native of Washburn, Illinois, Mr. Held received his vocal training at Millikin University and Wichita State University. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards including The Birgit Nilsson Prize. He received an Honorary Doctorate from Millikin University in 2000. He is also a noted clinician and has, since 2002, given public master classes and private coaching sessions at Yale University. In January, 2014, Mr. Held was named The Ann and Dr. Dennis Ross Faculty of Distinction in Opera at Wichita State University. In 2017, Professor Held becomes just the 3rd Director of Opera at WSU. He continues his active vocal career in addition to serving as an Associate Professor in the School of Fine Arts. Students of Mr. Held are members of prestigious young artist programs including the Lindemann Young Artist Program at The Metropolitan Opera and at the Adler Fellowship Program at The San Francisco Opera. Since 2016, Mr. Held has been a guest Master Teacher at The Miami Music Festival Wagner Institute.

In January, 2019, Mr. Held began his duties as the Artistic Director at the Wichita Grand opera. Mr. Held serves as the Artist in Residence for the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at The Washington National Opera during the 2018-2019 season, a position he held as well during the 2015-2016 season. He also served as the Artist in Residence at The Wolf Trap Opera Company during their summer of 2016 season.