Baritone Alexander York, from Wisconsin, is beginning his third season in the Académie of the Opéra national de Paris, where he was seen in Don Carlo as a Flemish Deputy and in L'Enfant et les Sortilèges as the Horloge comtoise and Le chat. Highlights of his work in the Académie include singing Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, Demetrius from Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream in Shakespeare: Fragments Nocturnes, Don Giovanni and Papageno in in-house performances of Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte, and concerts at the Palais Garnier, in Évian-les-Bains, Amiens, Metz, and Grenoble. In the spring, he will be seen as Tarquiniusin Britten's Rape of Lucretia.
York recently made his Bayerische Staatsoper debut in Viktor Ullmann's Der zerbrochene Krug in the role of the Bedienter. In 2017, he sang the role of James Ramsey in the world premiere of Zesses Seglias' To the Lighthouse at the Bregenz Festival. In September, York was awarded the City of Gordes Prize as well as the Best Young Baritone or Bass Prize at the International Competition of Art Song (Concours international de la mélodie) in Gordes, France.
In his first two years in Europe, York was a fixture of the opera stage at Theater Augsburg -- firstly, making his European debut as Belcore in L’elisir d’amore in 2016; secondly, as a scholarship-holding member of the 2016-17 soloist ensemble, playing Angelotti and Sciarrone in Tosca, the Captain in Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Simplicius Simplicissimus, Weickmann/Fuhrmann in Hans Thomalla's Kaspar Hauser, and as the Herald in Verdi's Otello; and most recently, singing the German premiere of Kelvin (Off stage) in Dai Fujikura’s Solaris.
In addition to his operatic pursuits, York studied German, French, and Slavic Lied repertoire at the Munich University of Music and Theater Arts under the tutelage of Lars Woldt, Rudi Spring, Donald Sulzen, and Andreas Schmidt. His study culminated in July 2018 with a comprehensive recital and presentation titled, Heine gegen Platen [Heine versus Platen], which highlighted the polemic between the two 19th-century poets through Lieder set to their poetry.
York was a 2016 winner of the prestigious Fulbright Research Grant, a 2017 winner of the Hanns-Seidel Foreign Student Grant, and has been supported by the arte-Musica Foundation in Frankfurt.
As a concert artist in Europe, York has sung a solo recital at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, performed with the Munich Radio Orchestra, and joined the Heidelberg Philharmonic to sing the bass solos in Bach's Weihnachtsoratorium. Recently, he appeared with the Jewish Chamber Orchestra Munich in a concert of Mahler's 14 Lieder und Gesänge and sang a Liederabend in the Hamburg Art Museum. Equally at home in the new music scene, York recently gave the world premiere of Rudi Spring's Augenblicke des Abschieds, a song cycle for baritone and hammered dulcimer.
In 2017, he took part in the Excellence in Voice/Opera masterclass led by Hedwig Fassbender in Weikersheim, Germany and the IMAS masterclass with Lars Woldt in Bückeburg, Germany.
Before making his way to Europe, York made the rounds in the American summer festival scene. As a Fellowship recipient at the Aspen Opera Center in 2016, he performed as Snooks in William Bolcom’s A Wedding and was seen in masterclass with Renée Fleming. As an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera in 2015, York jumped in on one day’s notice to sing Cervantes/Don Quixote in Mitch Leigh’s Man of La Mancha, earning a glowing review, performed Baron Duphol in La Traviata, and received the prestigious John Moriarty Award for collegiality and service to the company.
During his graduate studies at Northwestern University, York performed the Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Joseph DeRocher in the Chicago-area premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Sam in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, and Overtop in Michael Ehrmann's modern adaptation of Mozart's Der Schauspieldirektor.
He was awarded a Luminarts Fellowship, a Bel Canto award from the Bel Canto Society of Chicago, and was the runner up in the Art Song/Oratorio division of the American Prize. York is a 2014 graduate of Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where he was seen as Sid in Albert Herring, Harry Easter in Street Scene, and Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods.
Upon joining the Académie in Paris, York received the Richard F. Gold Career Grant.