Michael Sumuel



In the 23/24 season American bass-baritone Michael Sumuel, lauded as having “vocals that are smooth and ingratiating” (Daily Camera), will sing Reginald in a new production of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X at the Metropolitan Opera, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Houston Grand Opera and the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen at Detroit Opera. A busy concert artist, Mr. Sumuel joins Jaap van Zweden and the New York Philharmonic for Mozart’s Requiem, Jonathan Cohen for Handel’s Messiah with the San Francisco Symphony, Les Violons du Roy in Québec for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, also with Jonathan Cohen, Jane Glover and Music of the Baroque for Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s Magnificat, Bernard Labadie and the Seattle Symphony for Bach’s Passion According to St. John, the National Symphony Orchestra for the Fauré Requiem and Washington National Cathedral as Jesus in St. Matthew Passion.

In the 22/23 season, Mr. Sumuel returned to the Metropolitan Opera, singing Belcore in L’elisir d’amore. Other debuts included Elviro in Xerxes with Detroit Opera, and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with Pittsburgh Opera. In concert, Mr. Sumuel performed Mozart’s Requiem with the Cincinnati Symphony and James Conlon, Bach cantatas BWV 61 and 140 with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, opened Washington Concert Opera’s season, performing in a gala with soprano Tamara Wilson, and returned to Mercury Houston for Handel’s Messiah. Finally, with Pacific Chorale, Mr. Sumuel took part in a European tour, performing in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Florence Price’s Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight.

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“Bass-baritone Michael Sumuel plays the title character with near-reckless, unabated exuberance. His three arias, each iconic in its own way, seem remarkably fresh in Sumuel’s interpretation, particularly the show-stopping jealousy number “Aprite un po’quegli occhi” in Act IV. His vocals are smooth and ingratiating, imbuing the character with the humanity he needs.”

Daily Camera

“The standout among them was bass-baritone Michael Sumuel, who brought luminous tone and theatrical presence to the roles of a Rhodesian barkeep and a Vietnam medic.”

San Francisco Chronicle

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“Most notable was bass-baritone Michael Sumuel in his San Francisco Opera debut, whose strong and convincing portrayal was the most affecting and convincing of the evening.”

California Literary Review