Paul Groves, tenor

Beth Lytwynec

One of the great American tenors of his generation, Paul Groves continues to enjoy an impressive international career performing on the stages of the world’s leading opera houses and most prestigious concert halls.

Paul Groves begins his 2017/2018 season in performances of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with Opera de Lyon, followed by performances as Faust in a concert production of La Damnation de Faust with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. After performances in Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Paul will be seen with the Metropolitan Opera as Danilo in Susan Stroman’s production of The Merry Widow. This will mark the 25th season Groves has been invited to return to the Met since his debut with the company as Steuermann in Der fliegende Holländer. Later on this season, he will perform with the Prague Philharmonia in Haydn’s Creation with Maestro Emmanuel Villaume conducting. Soon after, the two will continue their season’s collaboration when Paul Groves travels to Texas to perform as Wilhelm Arndt in The Ring of Polykrates with the Dallas Opera. Finally, to close out his season, Groves will perform in Das Lied von der Erde alongside Sasha Cooke at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

Highlights of recent seasons for the American tenor include a rare role debut singing Alessandro Cesare in Cavalli’s Eliogabalo with the Opéra national de Paris, his first performances in the title role of Wagner’s Parsifal with the Lyric Opera of Chicago led by Sir Andrew Davis, appearances as Admète in Gluck’s Alceste with Madrid’s Teatro Real, Nicias in Massenet’s Thais with the Los Angeles Opera, and Pylade in Iphigénie en Aulide with Theater an der Wien. An avid concert performer, Groves’ previous season was filled with debuts and return engagements with symphonies across the United States. Throughout the 2016/2017 season, he was seen performing Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony, Berlioz’ Requiem with the San Francisco Symphony under Charles Dutoit, as well as Stravinsky’s Perséphone with the Oregon Symphony.

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Paul Groves came to national attention as a winner of the Met’s National Council Auditions in 1991. A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Artists Development Program, Mr. Groves made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1992 as the Steuermann in Der fliegende Holländer. Mr. Groves returned to the MET for performances as Camille de Rosillon in their new production of The Merry Widow, opposite Placido Domingo and Frederica von Stade; Ferrando in a new production of Cosi fan tutte; Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress; Lysander in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail; Fenton; and Don Ottavio in nationally-televised season-opening performances of Don Giovanni opposite Bryn Terfel and Renee Fleming. In 2006, he created the role of Jianli in the world premiere of Tan Dun’s The First Emperor, opposite Placido Domingo, and he returned to the MET in 2008 for further performances of this role. Paul Groves made his debut with San Francisco Opera as Fenton, and he returned in subsequent seasons for performances as Ferrando, Belmonte and Pylade. His debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago was in 1998 as Nadir in a new production of Les pêcheurs de perles, and audiences in Chicago saw him in later seasons as Tamino, Pylade and the title role in La Damnation de Faust. Los Angeles Opera audiences first saw him in season-opening performances of the title role in La damnation de Faust, and he recently returned for performances as Fritz in a new production of La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein directed by famed Hollywood director Garry Marshall.

He made his debut at La Scala in 1995 as Tamino in the opening night performance of Die Zauberflöte, Riccardo Muti conducting, and he has returned in several roles, including Renaud in Gluck’s Armide and Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore – the first American tenor invited to La Scala for this role.  Audiences in Paris have seen the tenor often since his debut in 1996 season when he appeared as Tom Rakewell at the Théâtre Musical de Paris, Châtelet in a new Sellers/Salonen production of The Rake’s Progress. Mr. Groves made his debut with the Opéra de Paris as Fenton in a new production of Falstaff, and he soon returned for performances as Tamino, Berlioz’s Faust, Nemorino, Julian in a new production of Charpentier’s Louise and his role debut as Mozart’s Idomeneo.. The role of Tamino was also the vehicle for his debut at London’s Royal Opera, Covent Garden. He has since returned to perform the role of Pylade in Iphigénie en Tauride opposite Simon Keenlyside and Susan Graham. He has performed often with the Vienna Staatsoper in roles including Camille in a new production of Die lustige Witwe, Carlo in a new production of Linda di Chamounix, Tamino, Nemorino, Don Ottavio, Flamand in Capriccio, Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier. In 2009 the tenor sang his first performances in the title role of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex in Japan under the baton of Charles Dutoit. Mr. Groves has appeared frequently with the Salzburg Festival since his debut there in 1995 as Don Ottavio conducted by Maestro Daniel Barenboim.Mr. Groves made his debut with the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1998 as Des Grieux in a new production of Manon and with the Netherlands Opera in 2001 as Bénédict. His debut with the Bayerische Staatsoper was in 1997 as Don Ottavio, and he has returned to Munich for performances as Tamino and as Arturo in a new production of I Puritani, opposite Edita Gruberova.

A gifted musician, Paul Groves is continually in demand for concerts with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. In 2003 Mr. Groves made his debut with the New York Philharmonic as soloist in Berlioz’s Requiem in performances conducted by Charles Dutoit, and he returned for performances of the title roles in La Damnation de Faust, and Candide, opposite Kristin Chenowith. His debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra came also in 2003 in the world premiere of John Harbison’s Requiem conducted by Bernard Haitink in performances in Boston and at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and he has returned frequently, including performances in Schönberg’s Gurrelieder and Tippet’s A Child of Our Time as well as La Damnation de Faust, all led by James Levine. Mr. Groves performed Stravinsky’s Rossignol and Berlioz’s Te Deum with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Christoph Eschenbach. The tenor made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in performances as Berlioz’s Faust, led by Christoph von Dohnanyi, and he has since appeared with them in performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony also under the direction of von Dohnanyi at Cleveland’s Severence Hall and at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Other recent performances at Carnegie Hall include Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Sir Charles Mackerras. The tenor made his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a program of works of Mozart and Britten led by Esa-Pekka Salonen, and soon returned for performances of Haydn’s Die Schöpfung and Stravinsky’s Les Noces. The works of Benjamin Britten figure prominently in Paul Groves’ concert work and include performances of Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings with the Atlanta Symphony and at the Caramoor Festival led by Donald Runnicles, and the composer’s War Requiem.

Paul Groves made his debut with the Munich Philharmonic in performances of Haydn’s Die Schöpfung under the direction of James Levine. He made his debut with the Bayerische Rundfunk in performances of Rossini’s Stabat Mater led by Riccardo Muti and recently returned to Munich for performances of Britten’s St. Nicholas Cantata. He has sung Berlioz’s Te Deum with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra led by Seiji Ozawa, as well as the BBC Symphony led by Sir Colin Davis. He appeared with the BBC Symphony again for Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 3led by Sir Andrew Davis, and in 2003 he appeared with Maestro Davis in a performance of Stravinsky’s Perséphoneat the BBC Proms. The tenor’s debut at the Proms was in Haydn’s Die Schöpfung in performances led by Sir Charles Mackerras, and he was first seen with the London Philharmonic as Berlioz’s Faust. In 2005 Mr. Groves sang his first performances of The Dream of Gerontius, led by Mark Elder, at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Mr. Groves made his debut with the Orchestre de Paris in performances of Mahler’s Das Klagende Lied, and he was first seen with L’orchestre National de la Radio France in performances of Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount of Olives at the Montpellier Festival. He appeared as soloist in Berlioz’s Requiem with the Orchestre National du Capitôle de Toulouse under the direction of Michel Plasson and returned for performances of the title role in La Damnation de Faust. Mr. Groves’ debut at the Festival de Saint Denis was in performances of Haydn’s Creation, and he appeared in concerts of Mozart’s Requiem at La Scala in a memorial performance for Giuseppe Sinopoli led by Riccardo Muti.

In addition to his several recordings with Maestro Levine, Paul Groves’ performances in the Salzburg Festival’s productions of Die Zauberflöte and La damnation de Faust were recorded for release on DVD by Deutsche Grammophon and Naxos Records, respectively. He recently recorded Roger Water’s new opera Ça Ira opposite Bryn Terfel for SONY Classics as well as Ravel cantatas with Michel Plasson for EMI Classics. He can be heard as Tebaldo in Teldec Classic’s recording of I Capuleti e i Montecchi, led by Donald Runnicles. He also recorded the role of Belmonte in a video and audio recording of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, filmed in Istanbul and led by Sir Charles Mackerras, for the Telarc label. Mr. Groves’ performances as Admète in Alceste at London’s Barbican Centre were recorded for CD and DVD on the Philips Classics label.

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