One of America's foremost Baritones, Richard Zeller is internationally acclaimed for both his concert and opera roles. He is known for his dramatic voice, a compelling stage presence and outstanding musicianship.
Richard Zeller’s opera engagements have included 12 seasons at the Metropolitan Opera; in 2002-2003 he appeared at the Met in three new productions; as Ernesto in Bellini’s Il Pirata with Renée Fleming; in the lead role of Eddie in William Bolcom's opera, A View from the Bridge, based on Arthur Miller's play; and as Chorebe in Berlioz's Les Troyens, conducted by Maestro James Levine. His other performances and assignments at the Met have included the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth, the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème, Barak in R. Strauss’ Die Frauohne Schatten, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Carlo in Verdi’s Ernani, Rangoni and Schelkalov in Mussorgsky’sBoris Godunov in two different productions, Thoas in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride, Kothner in Wagners’s Die Meistersinger, Sprecher in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, as well as performances of smaller roles in other operas including Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, Charles Gounod’s Faust, and Verdi’s Rigoletto.
Richard Zeller was featured in Scottish Opera's widely heralded, award-winning production of Macbeth directed by Luc Bondy at its Edinburgh Festival premiere in 1999-2000 and revival at the Vienna Festival. Other highlights of past seasons include performances in Chicago Lyric Opera’s Boris Godunov and Andrea Chénier, Gluck’s Alceste at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin and Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride in Madrid. He has also sung the title role of Rigoletto in many venues including New York City Opera. Zeller also appeared as Athanaël in Massenet's Thaïs with the English National Opera at the Barbican in London and in the title role in Verdi's Macbeth with Opera de Bordeaux, Opera de Vichy and Portland Opera. Zeller has sung the role of Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata with Hamburgische Staatsoper, San Diego Opera, Scottish Opera, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Portland Opera, and in many other opera and concert venues with orchestras in Europe and the USA. His frequently performed Verdi baritone roles include Falstaff, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Conte Di Luna, Amonasro, Rodrigo, Don Carlo, Renato, and Simon Boccanegra. He has appeared with many regional opera companies in the USA including the Chicago Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Cincinnati, San Diego, Portland, New Orleans, and New Jersey Opera companies.
Richard Zeller is highly regarded in the concert field and has sung with virtually all the major orchestras in the USA, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra,National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, and San Diego Symphony, to name a few. International orchestra credits include the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Vancouver Radio Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Ottowa Symphony, Nord Deutscher Rundfunk (Hannover), MDR Sinfonieorchester (Leipzig), Dresden Staatskapelle, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra (Prague Autumn Festival), Tokyo Philharmonic, Cesky Krumlov Festival (Czech Republic), Korea Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Norway), Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo (in a command performance for Prince Rainier and Prince Albert of Monaco), as well as a performance for the Spanish Royal Family in Madrid with conductor Helmuth Rilling. He is celebrated for his interpretation of the title role in Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah which he has sung with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, and many others throughout the USA, Europe, and Asia, and he has given over 100 performances each of Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and George Frideric Handel’s Messiah.
Highlights of past seasons include appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of James Levine in Berlioz’s Les Troyens, and the title role in F. Mendelssohn’s Elijah with both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia and in a nationwide radio broadcast with the Cleveland Orchestra as well as G.F. Handel’s Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Richard Zeller was also featured in 2001 in a nationwide TV Broadcast of Live from Lincoln Center singing the Mozart Requiem with the Mostly Mozart Festival, conducted by Gerard Schwarz. His performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall include Orff’s Carmina Burana, G.F. Handel’s Messiah, Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Bloch’s Sacred Service, Catalani’s La Wally, and many others.
During 2008-2009 season, Richard Zeller returned to Scottish Opera to sing Germont in David McVicar’s new production of La Traviata, a role he reprised with Portland Opera in the USA. He also performed the title role of Verdi’s Falstaff in Portland at PSU Opera directed by Tito Capobianco and appeared at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall with American Symphony Orchestra as the lead role of Signor Rivière in Luigi Dallapiccola’s opera Volo di notte and at Lincoln Center Jazz with Deborah Voigt and The Collegiate Chorale as Grand-Pretre/Hercule in Gluck’s Alceste. Zeller’s concert engagements during that season included Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, and Spokane Symphony, and Carmina Burana with the Buffalo Philharmonic at Artpark.
Richard Zeller’s recordings include the critically acclaimed Merry Mount by Howard Hanson for Naxos, Deems Taylor’sPeter Ibbettson with Naxos, and the world premiere of Henri Lazarof's Fifth Symphony on Centaur Records - all recorded with Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded Dvorak's Te Deum with Zdenec Macal and theNew Jersey Symphony Orchestra for Delos, and David Schiff’s Gimpel the Fool for Naxos, as well as Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 for Centaur Records, and Virgil Thompson's Lord Byron and Aaron Copland's The Tender Land for Koch International. He also appears with the Martingale Ensemble in Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with MSR Classics.
Richard Zeller is an Associate Professor at Biola University Conservatory of Music in La Mirada, California (Los Angeles area) and he also teaches at his private studio in Portland, Oregon. Many of his students, both university and private, are singing professionally in Opera and Concert work and have been winners in the Metropolitan Opera National Council as well as many other contests. They have been accepted into major conservatories and music schools which include the Juilliard School, Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Indiana University, the Oberlin, Boston, and Peabody Conservatories, Manhattan School of Music, and many others.