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William Stone: bio

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William Stone: Long Biography

William Stone is a North Carolina native whose warm and powerful baritone lends elegance and style to a repertoire ranging from Mozart to Berg, with a special emphasis on the Bel Canto masterworks. He has had a thirty-five year career at the international level in the major theaters of the world. Mr. Stone's engagements at the major opera houses in North America are impressive. His stage debut at the Metropolitan Opera was as Capulet in Romeo et Juliette, followed by Die Fledermaus (Falke), the new production of Moses und Aaron. conducted by James Levine, Lucia di Lammermoor (Enrico), Sharpless in Madama Butterfly and John Plake in the new production of Sly with Placido Domingo.

His long association with the Lyric Opera of Chicago began with his creation of the role of Adam in the world premiere of Penderecki's Paradise Lost, and continued with the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Schaunard in La Bohème, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and Paolo to Sherrill Milnes' first Simon Boccanegra. His appearances at the New York City Opera reflect most of the leading roles in his repertoire (Germont in La traviata, the Count in Le nozze di Figaro [Live from Lincoln Center Telecast], Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Marcello in La Bohème, Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Valentin in Faust), and include particularly memorable performances of the title role in new productions of Hindemith's Mathis der Maler, and Busoni's Doktor Faust. In addition, Mr. Stone has appeared in lead baritone roles with the opera companies of Atlanta, Austin, Cleveland, Omaha, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Seattle, Spoleto-Charleston, North Carolina, Mobile and Santa Fe.

William Stone is one of few American baritones to have sung extensively in the major opera houses of Italy, and has twice opened the May Festival in Florence: as Wozzeck and as Oreste in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride, conducted by Riccardo Muti. At the Rome Opera, he sang the title role in Eugene Onegin, Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande, and Malatesta in Don Pasquale. Other Italian opera engagements include Ezio opposite Samuel Ramey in Attila at La Fenice in Venice (telecast throughout Europe), and leading roles at La Scala, the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste, and San Carlo in Naples. For three summers he also performed at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, where he was seen in the world premiere of Napoli Milionaria, directed by Eduardo de Filippo. He also appeared at Genoa's Teatro Carlo Felice in the role of Sharpless in a production of Madama Butterf1y, directed by Renata Scotto and conducted by Bruno Bartoletti.

Frequently engaged in Belgium, the baritone made his stage debut as Germont in the highly acclaimed Karl Hermann production of La Traviata at the Théâtre Royale de la Monnaie in Brussels. He was re-engaged by the theater for the title role in Simon Boccanegra, Ford in Falstaff, Alfonso XI in La favorita, Chorèbe in Les Troyens, and Renato in Un ballo in Maschera (Sir Antonio Pappano conducting). At De Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, he gave his first performances of Jack Rance in La fanciulla del West and Michele in Il tabarro as part of Robert Carsen's Puccini celebration.

Mr. Stone performed the Count in Le nozze di Figaro on a Chamber Orchestra of Europe tour (with Margaret Price, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Ann Sophie von Otter, & Bryn Terfel) conducted by Sir Georg Solti. In addition to these appearances with Maestro Solti in London, Paris and Cologne, Mr. Stone appeared as Sharpless in a new Robert Wilson production of Madama Butterfly at the Opéra Bastille in Paris, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia in Stuttgart, Germont in La Traviata in Frankfurt and in Nantes, Ford in Falstaff (telecast from the Aix-en-Provence Festival) and as Rodrigue in Don Carlos, and Oreste in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam.

A distinguished concert artist, William Stone has performed as a baritone soloist with every major orchestra in North America. He made his debut with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur in performances of Carmina Burana, followed by performances of the Bach B-minor Mass and the St. Matthew Passion, also with Maestro Masur. His debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Seiji Ozawa in the North American premiere of Takemitsu's My Way of Life led to his invitation to return to the orchestra the next season for the world premiere of Kirchner's Of Things Exactly As They Are, also with Maestro Ozawa. His numerous European concert engagements include a command performance for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.

Among his many recordings with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, William Stone can be heard on two Grammy Award Winning Telarc recordings: Walton's Belshazzar's Feast and Hindemith's When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed, and on a solo recording of Arias and Songs by Robert Ward [Bay Cities]. His portrayal of Ford with Jose van Dam from the Aix-en Provence Festival is available on DVD.

Mr. Stone, Professor Emeritus of Voice and Opera at Temple University, was recently a voice teacher for the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program with the Washington National Opera, and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He served on the voice faculty at the Academy of Vocal Arts for 10 years, until 2019, and was the Head of the Voice Faculty for the Maryland Lyric Opera Young Artist Institute from 2017 to 2023. Mr. Stone continues to teach privately, and adjudicate for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and other vocal competitions.

January 2024


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