The Kennedy Center

Alan Held


Recognized internationally as one of the leading singing actors today, American bass-baritone Alan Held has appeared in major roles in the world's finest opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Teatro alla Scala, Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, Bayerische Staastoper, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Teatro Real in Madrid, De Nederlandse Opera, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, and Tokyo Opera Nomori. His many roles include Wotan in Wagner's The Ring Cycle, the title roles in Wozzeck and Der fliegende Holländer, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde, Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg, Scarpia in Tosca, Leporello in Don Giovanni, the Four Villains in Les Contes d'Hoffman, Jochanaan in Salome, Don Pizzaro in Fidelio, Orestes in Elektra, and Balstrode in Peter Grimes.

Equally at home on the concert stage, Mr. Held has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Berlin Philharmonic, Kirov Opera Orchestra, and Montreal Symphony. He has also appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Salzburg, Tanglewood, Cincinnati May, and Saito Kinen festivals, and at the BBC Proms. He has worked with many distinguished conductors including Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Sir Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Franz Welser-Möst, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Simon Rattle, David Robertson, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Jeffrey Tate.

Mr. Held appears as the title role in Cardillac in the DVD of the Paris Opera production, and recorded the role of Don Pizzaro in Fidelio with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic for EMI Classics. He also appeared as the Four Villains in the Met's HD broadcast and DVD of the Les Contes d'Hoffman and as Peter in the broadcast of Hansel and Gretel.

Mr. Held appears with The Cleveland Orchestra in both Cleveland and in tour of Europe in performances of the The Cunning Little Vixen. He also returns to the Vienna State Opera for Salome and Der Freischütz.

A native of Washburn, Illinois, Mr. Held received his vocal training at Millikin University and at Wichita State University where he was most recently named Associate Professor, The Ann and Dennis Ross Faculty of Distinction. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Birgit Nilsson Prize and the 2014 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Male Performance in an Opera, and is also a noted clinician who regularly gives master classes at Yale University.

Upcoming Events

  • Washington National Opera: <em>Tosca</em> Washington National Opera: Tosca

    Love gets political in Puccini’s striking drama set against 18th-century Rome. Passionate singer Tosca takes matters into her own hands when dreaded chief of police Scarpia hunts for her lover. But no one is guaranteed to get out alive.