Mel Ulrich, Baritone
1993 – 1996
During MEL ULRICH’S final season before retiring as an opera singer (2006 – 2007), he performed the roles of Silvio (Pagliacci) with Atlanta Opera, Papageno (The Magic Flute) with Opera Colorado, and PennyBank Bill (The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagony) with Los Angeles Opera.
Performances during 2005 – 2006 for Mr. Ulrich included a return to the Salzburg Festival for Die Gezeichneten, the role of Olivier (Capriccio) for New York City Opera, a debut at the Saxon State Opera in Dresden and the role of Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) with Opera Colorado. Mr. Ulrich also returned to the Klangbogen Festival as Joe de Rocher for a performance of Dead Man Walking. Engagements during 2005 included the role of Donald (Billy Budd) with San Francisco Opera, Dandini (La Cenerentola) with Florentine Opera, the title role in Eugene Onegin for Boston Lyric Opera, a recorded performance of Bernstein’s Dybbuk with the Nashville Symphony for the NAXOS recording company, and a performance of Michaelangeli’s Die Gezeichneten for the Salzburgher Festspeile.
2004 – 2005 engagements included the role of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire at Kennedy Center with Washington Opera and Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder for San Luis Obispo’s Mozart Festival in August of 2004. Mr. Ulrich returned to Opera San José in fall 2004 to perform at the inaugural galas for the opening of the 2004 – 2005 season in the California Theatre.
2003 – 2004 performances included the role of Macduff (Macbeth) for Klangbogen, Vienna, Sharpless (Madama Butterfly) for Santa Barbara Opera, Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) for Theatro de la Opera in Puerto Rico, Schaunard (La bohème) for Dallas Opera, Marcello (La bohème) for Colorado Opera, Escamillo (Carmen) for Pittsburgh Opera, and Malatesta (Don Pasquale) for Florentine Opera. Mr. Ulrich returned to New York City Opera for performances of the title role in Don Giovanni and Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. Mr. Ulrich also appeared as baritone soloist in Carmina Burana with Indianapolis Symphony under the baton of Raymond Leppard.
During the 2002 – 2003 season, Mr. Ulrich made debuts with both Austin Lyric Opera as Stanley Kowalski in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire and with Florentine Opera as Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as returning to Orlando Opera for performances of La bohème as Marcello. He also returned to Austin Lyric Opera as Joe DeRocher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and appeared in the title role of Eugene Oñegin for Colorado Opera. European engagements featured Mr. Ulrich as Phedros in Der König Kandaules for the Salzburger Festspiele.
During the 2000 – 2001 season, Mr. Ulrich returned to Opera San José for a reprise of the title role in Eugene Oñegin, and appeared with Metropolitan Opera as Cascada in The Merry Widow and in New York City Opera’s productions of La bohème as Schaunard and Die Tote Stadt as Fritz, for which he was profiled in the April 2001 issue of Opera News. He returned for a second season with the Met in productions of The Merry Widow and Un ballo in maschera. Other engagements featured Mr. Ulrich in the New York Festival of Song, a recital at Wolf Trap, a debut performance as Papageno with Teatro de la Opera in Puerto Rico and an appearance in the title role of the world premiere of Tale of Genji with Opera Theater of St. Louis. He also appeared as Figaro in Welsh National Opera’s production of Il barbiere di Siviglia in fall 2001 and was the soloist in Carmina Burana with Bournemouth Symphony.
In 1998, he performed Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea for San Francisco Opera, Orest in Iphigenie en Tauride for San Francisco Opera Center, the title role in Don Giovanni for Festival Opera, and Ferdinand in Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery with San Francisco Opera. In 1999, he debuted at both New York City Opera as Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and at Vienna Volksoper as Escamillo (Carmen), and he was the 1999 winner of the Aria Award and a Career Grant from The Richard Tucker Music Foundation. Other 1999 – 2000 performances included Zurga (Les Pêcheurs de perles) with Opera Theater of St. Louis, the title role in Spohr’s Faust with Klangbogen Festival in Vienna, Papageno and Schaunard for New York City Opera, and his debut season at the Metropolitan Opera as Schaunard (La bohème) and Cascada (Die lustige witwe).
After leaving the OSJ’s resident company in 1996, Mr. Ulrich performed the role of Figaro in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia as part of San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater tour. As an Adler Fellow, he performed the role of Sharpless in San Francisco Opera’s 1997 production of Madama Butterfly. He made his European opera debut as Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for Weiner Kammeroper.