Biography

American baritone Christian Bowers, hailed by Opera News for his "warm, well-knit baritone", and by BroadwayWorld.com for his "strong, clear voice", is quickly making a name for himself at home and abroad as a leading interpreter of the baritone repertoire. Mostly recently, Mr. Bowers made his role debut as Lord Enrico Ashton in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Festival Lyrique en mer in Belle Île, France. March 2019 performances as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte saw the completion of a Mozart/DaPonte collaboration with Teatru Manoel in Malta. Other engagements for 2018-2019 included a return to Washington National Opera as Ponchel in Silent Night, his German debut with the role of Vicomte de Valmont in Francesconi’s two person opera Quartett with Theater Dortmund. Bowers’ 2019-2020 season includes his Arizona Opera debut as Lassiter in Riders of the Purple Sage, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Maryland Lyric Opera and a return to the title role in Don Giovanni with Festival Lyrique en mer.

Mr. Bowers’ diverse repertory spans from concert to stage and from the Bel Canto classics to new works. A busy 2017-2018 season saw Mr. Bowers returning to favorite roles such as Escamillo in Carmen (Utah Opera), Maximilian in Candide (Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse and Opéra National de Bordeaux), Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro (Pittsburgh Opera and Teatru Manoel in Malta), and The Pilot in The Little Prince (Washington National Opera & Glimmerglass Festival). Mr. Bowers made his debut with Hawaii Opera Theater playing the roles of Hermann/ Schlémil in Les contes d’Hoffmann. He also added the roles of Emile de Becque in South Pacific (Annapolis Opera) and performed Duruflé's Requiem with the National Symphony Orchestra.

 

2016-2017 performances included singing Escamillo in Carmen and Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore with Shreveport Opera, and reprising the role of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Project Columbus. He also covered Simon Thibault and Father Arguedas in the world premiere of Bel Canto at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

 

Mr. Bowers prides himself on his collaborations with leading creators of contemporary music. He worked especially closely with his long time friend and neighbor Lee Hoiby, and has also collaborated with Rachel Portman, Kevin Puts, David Little, Jake Heggie, Lori Laitman, Huang Ruo, Jimmy Lopez, Theodore Morrison, Gene Scheer and Tobias Picker. Mr. Bowers’ performance as Clyde Griffith in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy at The Glimmerglass Festival in 2015 was received to great acclaim. Opera Today said, "The central role of Clyde Griffiths is a huge sing and baritone Christian Bowers was every inch the heart of the piece.”

 

Mr. Bowers is an alumnus of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera. While with WNO, he performed many roles including Schaunard in La bohème, The Pilot in The Little Prince, Second Commissioner/ First Officer in Dialogues of the Carmelites, The Chirurgo in La forza del destino, Dancaïro in Carmen, and Stubb in Moby-Dick.

 

Prior to joining WNO, he attended the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia, where he performed Hermann in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Renato in Un ballo in maschera and Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He has also participated in training programs with The Glimmerglass Festival, Santa Fe Opera and Sarasota Opera and made his professional debut in April of 2013 as Masetto in Opera Colorado’s production of Don Giovanni.

 

In 2014, Mr. Bowers won first prize in the Violetta Dupont Vocal Competition and was a grant winner at the Giuilo Gari Foundation International Vocal Competition. He was a finalist in the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition and the George London Foundation in 2013 and won second prize in the Mario Lanza Vocal Competition in 2011. He was also a district winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Philadelphia in 2010 and 2011.

 

Mr. Bowers received a Masters in Opera and Vocal Performance from Temple University and a Bachelor’s of Music for S.U.N.Y Purchase Conservatory of Music.

 

A native of Hankins, New York, Mr. Bowers enjoyed exposure to many different genres of music while growing up in the Catskill Mountains. He attended fiddle, bluegrass, rock, and folk festivals and even had a chance to meet and work with American legend Pete Seeger. When he is not working on classical music, he enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, and playing his ukulele and 5-string banjo.

 

November 2019

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