Sam Levine

Sam Levine


American tenor based in Frankfurt -
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«"wonderfully appealing"»
the new york times (2016)
«"Sam Levine’s Lensky perfectly complimented Crider in their love-struck duet, which left the audience swooning. Levine’s mastery of character and seamless legato also brought the audience to an emotional nadir with his tragic aria in Act Two."»
register-guard (2016)
«"Samuel Levine was impressive as Narraboth, the captain of the guard. His tenor voice was compelling and he displayed great decency."»
Virginia pilot (2016)
2018Neuwirth: Lost HighwayAndy
2018Wagner R.: Das RheingoldMime
2018Janáček:From the House of the DeadStarveling
2017Janáček: Kát'a KabanováVáňa Kudrjaš
2017Monteverdi: Il combattimento di Tancredi e ClorindaTesto
2017Handel: Messiah, HWV 56Tenor (messiah)
2017Janáček: Kát'a KabanováVáňa Kudrjaš
2017Paterson: Three WayJoe
2017Beecher: I Have No Stories To Tell YouNoah
2016Mozart: Die Zauberflöte1. Geharnischter
2016Tchaikovsky: Eugene OneginLensky
2016Bizet: CarmenLe Remendado
2016Mascagni: IrisUn cenciaiolo
2015Mozart: Don GiovanniDon Ottavio
2015Bizet: CarmenDon José
2014Strauss R.: SalomeNarraboth
2014Handel: AlcinaOronte
2012Britten: The Rape of LucretiaMale Chorus


Sam Levine is a radical voice in opera. The “wonderfully appealing,” “ardent tenor” (The New York Times) regularly performs new and contemporary works to great acclaim, while collaborating with cutting-edge directors and presenters to explore new ways of performing the standard repertory. His performances are distinguished by his “full-bodied” and “bright-voiced” tenor (The Wall Street Journal), deeply sensitive musicianship, and winning charisma on stage. Highlights of the current season include Andy in Lost Highway at Oper Frankfurt in a new production directed by Yuval Sharon and his house debut as Kunz Vogelgesang in Nationaltheater Mannheim's new production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, directed by Nigel Lowery.  
2017-18 season highlights Opera Philadelphia’s inaugural Festival O, as Testo and Noah in the Monteverdi/Beecher double bill War Stories, Handel’s Messiah in his debut with The Houston Symphony under the baton of Paul Agnew, and two new productions at Oper Frankfurt: his European debut as Bertoldo in Enrico, and Der Alte Sträfling in Aus einem Totenhaus. Progressive projects include a reprise of the roles of Joe and Marcus (of which he was the originator) in Three Way at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; the title role of Frankenstein with West Edge Opera; and the title role in the world premiere of Mara: A Chamber Opera at the Rubin Museum, with texts by the international Buddhist teacher, author, and scholar Stephen Batchelor.
Mr. Levine is a 2017 graduate of the Juilliard School, where he received the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies and the Novice Career Advancement Grant. Roles at Juilliard included Vana Kudrjas in Kat’a Kabanova, 1st Armed Guard in The Magic Flute, and Le Mari in Le Mamelles de Tirésias. He also appeared with Steven Blier and the New York Festival of Song, both at Juilliard and under the auspices of the 5 Boroughs Music Festival. Outside engagements during this period included a return to Boston Lyric Opera for Carmen; Mascagni’s Iris at Bard SummerScape; the world premiere of Three Way at Nashville Opera; a workshop of Ariodante at National Sawdust with frequent collaborators RB Schlather and Geoffrey McDonald; and Testo in Monteverdi’s Il Combattimento with Cantata Profana.
A champion of new music, Mr. Levine has originated 11 roles to date. World and North American premieres include Noah in I Have No Stories to Tell You with Gotham Chamber Opera at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Joe and Marcus in Three Way with Nashville Opera and American Opera Projects; 1st Traveler in Clemency with Boston Lyric Opera; Ravana in River of Light with Houston Grand Opera East + West; Andy in Lost Highway at the Miller Theater; and Léon in the new performing edition of The Ghosts of Versailleswith Opera Theater of Saint Louis and Wexford Festival Opera, which was awarded “Best Opera” by the Irish Times. He also regularly collaborates with innovative directors to present existing works in new, daring ways: such productions have included RB Schlather’s Alcina in a lower Manhattan gallery space and Ariodante workshop at National Sawdust; the title role of Frankenstein with Matthew Ozawa in an abandoned factory with West Edge Opera; Carmen set in sacred spaces of Savannah and coastal Maine with Edwin Cahill; and the Monteverdi/Beecher double bill War Stories with Robin Guarino at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Prior to attending Juilliard, Mr. Levine enjoyed performing across North America and abroad. Highlights of this period include Narraboth in Salome with Virginia Opera; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Boston Lyric Opera; Mambre in Mose in Egitto with Chicago Opera Theater; Fenton in Sir John in Love with Odyssey Opera; in Carmen as Remendado with Boston Lyric Opera and as Don José with Savannah VOICE Festival and Bay Chamber Concerts; Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor with Arizona Opera; two roles with Gotham Chamber Opera; Lenski in Eugene Onegin with Eugene Opera; the title role of Der Protagonist with Fire Island Opera Festival; Bach’s Kantata 163 with the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals; Messiah with Chicago’s Apollo Chorus and the Fort Wayne Symphony; and Bernstein’s Wonderful Town with the Orchestra Sinfonico di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. Awards have included the 2017 Gerda Lissner Foundation Grant Award, 2013 Liederkranz Competition, 2011 Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, 2010 Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Southeast Region.
Mr Levine holds Bachelor’s Degrees from The Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Oberlin College, a Master’s Degree from Yale University School of Music, and is an alumnus of the young artist training programs of The Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and, under the direction of Maestro James Levine, the Tanglewood Music Festival. The Boston native now lives in Frankfurt, Germany, with his wife, the radiant American mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall.

Highlights of the 2015-16 season included critically-acclaimed performances of Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tiresias, recital appearances with Steven Blier under the auspices of NYFOS@Juilliard and the 5 Boroughs Music Festival, and First Armed Guard in Die Zauberflöte, all at Juilliard; Testo  in Monteverdi’s Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda with Cantata Profana; a debut with Bard SummerScape in two roles in James Darrah’s production of Mascagni’s Iris; and his role debut as Lenski in Eugene Onegin with Eugene Opera, which won critical praise for “mastery of character and seamless legato.” (The Register-Guard) Other recent highlights include Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Boston Lyric Opera, Don Jose in Carmen with Savannah Voice Festival, Narraboth in Salome with Virginia Opera, and the dual roles of Testo in Monteverdi’s Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Noah in the world premiere of Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You with Gotham Chamber Opera (called “eloquent, full-bodied,” “bright-voiced and skillfully-played” by the Wall Street Journal and “well-sung” by the New York Times).

A champion of new and contemporary music, Levine has appeared in many noted productions. World and North American premieres include the roles of Traveler in James MacMillan’s Clemency with Boston Lyric Opera (which was recorded and released by the BIS Records), Léon in the new performing edition of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Wexford Festival Opera, 1st American Tailor in Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Last Savage with The Santa Fe Opera, Andy in Olga Neuwirth’s Lost Highway at the Miller Theater, and Man/Neighbor/Ravan in Jack Perla’s River of Light with Houston Grand Opera East + West,  as well as Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You at Gotham Chamber Opera and Opera Philadelphia, Three Way with Nashville Opera, American Opera Projects, and BAM.

Other credits have included Fenton in Sir John in Love (Odyssey Opera) Don Ottavio (Aspen Opera Theater, Yale Opera), Janicku in The Diary of One Who Vanished, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas (both with Yale Opera), the title role of Kurt Weill’s Der Protagonist (Fire Island Opera Festival), Mambre in Mose in Egitto (Chicago Opera Theater), Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor (Arizona Opera), Massenet’s Werther and Gounod’s Faust (Opera Fort Collins, cover for The Santa Fe Opera). In concert, Levine has sung Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Bernstein’s Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan Williams’ On Wenlock Edge, Bach’s Kantata 163, and Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9; he has appeared with New York Festival of Song, The Tanglewood Festival, the Orchestra Sinfonico di Milano, at Chicago’s Symphony Center and Harris Theater, and at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. He has won awards from Opera Index, Inc, the Liederkanz Foundation, and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, who presented him at Lincoln Center debut, where he won praise for his performance of “Salut, demeure chaste et pure” from Faust: “[Levine’s] voice has a nice, even quality, dark at the bottom, with a ping on top, and a fine high “C”.” (Brooklyn Eagle)

An alumnus of the young artist training programs of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, The Santa Fe Opera, and The Tanglewood Music Festival, Levine holds degrees from Yale University and The Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. With his wife, American mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall, Mr. Levine lives in Frankfurt, Germany.

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CV & Repertoire

Musical Work Role Jump-in ready? Company Year
Wagner R.: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Kunz Vogelsang 1 week Nationaltheater Mannheim und Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim 2019
Neuwirth: Lost Highway Andy 24 hours Oper Frankfurt 2018
Wagner R.: Das Rheingold Mime 1 week Oper Frankfurt 2018
Janáček:From the House of the Dead Starveling 1 week Oper Frankfurt 2018
Janáček: Kát'a Kabanová Váňa Kudrjaš 1 week Juilliard Opera 2017


Regional encouragement award - metropolitan opera national council
st bonaventure performance prize - the liederkranz festival
grant winner - schuyler foundation for career grants
Gerda Lissner foundation - grant winner
the juilliard school - Novick Career Advancement grant