James Maddalena


Born: 1954
American baritone James Maddalena commands a large and varied repertoire of roles, from Monteverdi to contemporary opera. His performance of the role of Richard Nixon in the world premiere of John Adams' Nixon in China at the Houston Grand Opera won him an international audience. The performance broadcast nationally on the PBS Great Performances series won an Emmy Award and the recording of the opera for Nonesuch won a Grammy Award. Maddalena is a frequent collaborator with director Peter Sellars and sang major roles in Sellars' controversial stagings of the Mozart/Da Ponte operas (the Count in Le nozze di Figaro and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte). He also appeared in the Sellars production of Nixon in China at the Netherlands Opera, the Edinburgh Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Washington Opera, the Frankfurt Opera, at Australia's Adelaide Festival, and in Paris. In 1991, Maddalena created the role of the Captain in John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer in the world premiere at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. Klinghoffer was then produced at the Opera de Lyon, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the San Francisco Opera, and at the Vienna Festival prior to being recorded by Nonesuch (with Kent Nagano conducting). Maddalena also sang in the world premiere of Harvey Milk with the Houston Grand Opera, as well as the subsequent production with San Francisco Opera (recorded by Teldec with Donald Runnicles conducting). In 2001, he performed the role of Gideon March in Adamo's Little Women at the Houston Grand Opera. On the concert stage, Maddalena has performed with Boston's Handel & Haydn Society, the Orchestra of the Accademia di Santi Cecilia in Rome, and the San Francisco Symphony. He sang in the premiere of Elliot Goldenthal's oratorio Fire, Water, Paper with the Pacific Symphony (recorded by Sony Classical) and in the world premiere of John Harbison's Four Psalms with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.