Baritone, ‘German Fest: Is it for me?’
Named one of CBC's Top 30 Canadian Classical Musicians under 30, Canadian baritone Samuel Chan has been praised by critics for his “naturally produced, forwardly placed, attractive baritone” (Ludwig van Toronto). An artist whose repertoire spans centuries from Dowland to Dutilleux, Samuel is establishing himself as a versatile young artist to watch internationally.
For the 2020-21 season, Samuel made his European house debut as part of the Fest Ensemble at Theater Kiel. Though the year was marked with many cancellations and schedule changes, roles performed during the season include the Gurilla in the world premiere of Giovanni Sollima’s Das Dschungelbuch, and Hans in Könneke’s Der Vetter aus Dingsda.
2019-20 season highlights include a surprise last minute role debut at the Canadian Opera Company (COC) as the title character in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, under the baton of Maestra Speranza Scappucci, Handel’s Messiah for Kitchener Waterloo’s Grand Philharmonic Choir, Faure’s Requiem for the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, new work workshops for Tapestry Opera and City Opera Vancouver, and Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus for Saskatoon Opera.
A recent graduate of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Samuel’s roles during his studio tenure included Marcello/Sergeant in La Bohème, Dad in Ana Sokolovic’s The Old Fools (workshop), Guglielmo understudy in Così fan tutte, Orestes’ Guardian understudy in Elektra, the Sycophantic Senator in the world premiere of Hadrian, the Captain/Eugene Onegin understudy in Eugene Onegin, the 2nd Japanese Envoy in The Nightingale and Other Fables, the Usher/Marullo understudy in Rigoletto, and Count Lamoral’s understudy in Arabella. Other operatic engagements include Moralès in Carmen (Brott Music Festival); Don Asdrubale/Calandrino/Gomatz in Lo sposo deluso/L’oca del Cairo/Zaide (City Opera Vancouver); and Pastore II/Apollo in L’Orfeo (Cincinnati Chamber Opera).
Samuel’s academic studies were completed with a focus on Concert repertoire/Art Song. He has been recognized for this affinity with 2nd Place in Lieder and 3rd Place in Oratorio at the 2019 Stella Maris International Vocal Competition. Samuel’s repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah; Fauré’s Requiem; Arvo Pärt’s Passio; Monteverdi’s Selva morale et spirituale / Vespers; Bach’s St John Passion / B Minor Mass; and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music / Five Mystical Songs. Notable song repertoire performances include Schumanns’ Dichterliebe, Schubert’s Schwanengesang/Harper’s Lieder from Wilhelm Meister / Schulze Lieder from Poetisches Tagebuch; Poulenc’s Tel jour telle nuit / Calligrammes / Le travails du peintre; and Bergs’ Op. 2.
Other competition highlights include 2nd Place in the COC’s Ensemble Studio Competition, and a district win/encouragement award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions’ Western Canada/Ohio district respectively.
Future engagements include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Pantalone & Farfarello in The Love of Three Oranges, and Montano in Otello (Theater Kiel), and Dancairo in Carmen (Pacific Opera Victoria).
Samuel received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and has had further training at the National Arts Centre’s Young Artist Programme, Highlands Opera Studio, the Vancouver International Song Institute, Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, and the Toronto Summer Music Festival.