A recent graduate of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Soloman Howard is garnering superlatives from the press for his vivid performances on the opera and concert stages. His voice is called “sonorous” by The New York Times, “superhuman” by The Denver Post, and “spectacular” by Maryland Theatre Guide. Soloman Howard’s 2015-16 season includes performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel conducting both the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra on tour and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Los Angeles performances celebrate the commercial release of a CD of the work that the bass recorded last spring with Mr. Dudamel in Caracas. Mr. Howard makes a role debut as Fafner in Das Rheingold and Siegfried in Washington National Opera’s epic presentation of Der Ring des Nibelungen directed by Artistic Director Francesca Zambello and conducted by Music Director Philippe Auguin. Other performances of the season include a debut at Santa Fe Opera as Commendatore in Don Giovanni, a company debut with l’Opéra national de Bordeaux as Jacopo Fiesco in a new production of Simon Boccanegra conducted by Paul Daniel, and Banco in Macbeth with Kentucky Opera. The past season was marked by several high profile debuts, most notably, at the Metropolitan Opera as The King in Verdi’s Aida conducted by Marco Armiliato. Additionally, Mr. Howard debuted with the Los Angeles Opera under the baton of Music Director James Conlon as Doctor Grenvil in La traviata and at the Glimmerglass Festival in Verdi’s Macbeth and as Sarastro in Mozart’s The Magic Flute during the same period. In a return engagement to North Carolina Opera, the bass reprised his acclaimed portrayal of the title role in Approaching Ali. Highlights of the recent past for the Washington National Opera feature Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Ole Joe in Show Boat, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, and the High Priest of Baal in Nabucco. As a part of the Company’s American Opera Initiative, Mr. Howard created the role of Muhammad Ali in the world premiere of Approaching Ali by composer D.J. Sparr. Of his performance, The Washington Post noted, “the accomplished young bass Soloman Howard, a Washington native, gave powerful voice to Muhammad Ali with equal parts humor and proud bluster.” Notable concert performances include Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht at Carnegie Hall with Kent Tritle and the Oratorio Society of New York, Händel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and the Fauré Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the title role of Porgy and Bess with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and Tippett’s A Child of Our Time at New York’s Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Soloman Howard is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and Morgan State University.
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from Approaching Ali
Photo Credit: Scott Suchman