Praised for his “stentorian” and “robust bass” by the New York Times, American bass Peter Volpe continually receives critical and popular acclaim across four continents for his powerful command and the rich texture of his timbre. Possessing a vast and ever-expanding repertoire of over 90 roles in six languages in a career encompassing 40 years, his captivating style and interpretive skill embraces the depth of every historical and fictional character he embodies. Of his portrayal of Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin with Vancouver Opera, Opera News applauded his ability “to create in his single aria and scene an impressive dignity. His full-bodied bass and great candor of tone, together with his intelligent interpretation, won him a well-deserved ovation.” 

Notable performances for Mr. Volpe include the title role in Don Giovanni with Florentine Opera for which Opera News praised “Peter Volpe's handsome figure and aristocratic bearing made for good casting as Giovanni. His virile bass caressed 'Deh vieni alla finestra' sensuously…”, King Philip II in Don Carlo with Vancouver Opera and Austin Lyric Opera to which the Austin Post hailed “The standout performer of the evening was Peter Volpe as King Phillip. His stage presence and deep bass were captivating”, and Méphistophélès in Faust with Vancouver Opera and Palm Beach Opera to which the Sarasota Herald-Tribune proclaimed, “Evil is seductively portrayed in the magnificent performance of basso Peter Volpe as Mephistopheles... Gifted with a commanding presence, a wicked comic sense and a robust voice, Volpe dominates every scene... 'Le Veau d'Or'... is irresistibly outrageous.” 

Mr. Volpe made his memorable Metropolitan Opera debut in the company’s new production of Prokofiev’s War and Peace, and subsequently returned for13 seasons. Along with performing many different roles at the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Volpe was invited to sing in several new productions including Berlioz’ Les Troyens, Strauss’ Salome, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, as well as Falstaff, Gianni Schicchi, Roméo et Juliette, Aïda, I vespri siciliani, Cyrano de Bergerac, Andrea Chenier, and Carmen, and most recently as Idraote in Armida, Angelotti in Tosca, and Dr. Grenvil in La traviata.

Highlights of Mr. Volpe’s career include three broadcasts for the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series: Puccini's Triptych, Rossini’s Armida, and Verdi’s La Traviata as well as the Verdi Requiem at the Chichester Festival in Chichester, England, Prince Gremin with Spoleto Festival USA, and Marcel in Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots with Leon Botstein at Bard SummerScape for which Opera News Hailed “Peter Volpe gave a terrific performance as the querulous old soldier Marcel, incisive and endearing; the decibels he produced were impressive” and the New York Times declared “the bass Peter Volpe brought a robust voice and charismatic presence to Marcel, the count’s stalwart protector.” In 2007, Mr. Volpe created the role of Antoine Deguiche in the world premiere of David DiChiera and Bernard Uzan’s Cyrano for Michigan Opera Theatre. Recordings of the Bard SummerScape Les Huguenots and Michigan Opera Theatre’s Cyrano, as well as a DVD of the MET’s Armida, were subsequently released and well-received. 

Mr. Volpe made a timely foray into the Wagnerian repertoire, having performed Hunding in Die Walküre with the American Symphony Orchestra at Bard College under Leon Botstein, an All-Wagner concert with North Carolina Opera, and Daland in Der fliegende Holländer at the Glimmerglass Festival in a new production by Francesca Zambello for which Opera News extolled “Peter Volpe, in firm, resonant voice, played Daland not as an old buffoon but as a virile commander in early middle-age.” In addition, he has performed Daland to great acclaim with Virginia Opera, Florentine Opera, and Washington National Opera.

Other notable roles in Mr. Volpe’s expansive repertoire include Ramfis in Aïda, Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Gremin in Eugene Onegin, König Ludwig in Euryanthe, Padre Guardiano in La forza del destino, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Zuniga in Carmen, Banquo in Macbeth, Timur in Turandot, and Ferrando in Il trovatore, as well as productions of Britten’s Billy Budd, Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans, Salome, Zaccaria in Nabucco, and Silva in Ernani.

Recent engagements for the 2019-2020 season included Sparafucile in Rigoletto with Austin Lyric Opera, a gala performance and masterclass at Hawaii Opera Theatre, Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni and Old Hebrew in Samson et Delila, both with Washington National Opera. Upcoming engagement with the Washington Concert Opera will include Zaccaria in Verdi’s Nabucco.

In this wide-ranging repertoire that spans from Mozart to Verdi and Rossini to Britten, Mr. Volpe has had the honor of performing on the stages of many of the great opera houses throughout the US and abroad, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Oper Stuttgart, Vancouver Opera, the Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Philadelphia, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Central City Opera, Florentine Opera, Arizona Opera, Atlanta Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Sarasota Opera, Nashville Opera, Kentucky Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Spoleto Festival USA, Palm Beach Opera, Portland Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Saratoga, Mobile Opera, Opera Omaha, Virginia Opera, New Orleans Opera, and the Bard Festival as well as the opera houses of Manitoba, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Tokyo, Kyoto, Shanghai, Beijing, Prague, Colmar, Mulhouse, Imola, Riccione, Strasbourg, Karlsruhe, Bremen, Dusseldorf, and Saarbrucken.

Along with gracing the world's stages, Mr. Volpe has performed with some of the most celebrated conductors of his time: Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Seiji Ozawa, Valery Gergiev, Placido Domingo, Sir John Pritchard, Maurizio Arena, James Levine, Marcello Viotti, Semyon Bychkov, Joseph Rescigno, Vincent La Selva, Richard Buckley, Arthur Fagen, Leon Botstein, and Richard Hickox among others.

A consummate concert artist, Mr. Volpe has performed Verdi’s Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London at The Chichester Festival, the Manhattan Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, The Chattanooga Symphony, L’Orchestra di Imola in Italy,the New Jersey Symphony, Oberlin Conservatory, Arizona State University, Indianapolis Symphony, Queens Symphony, and Augusta Choral Society. In addition, he has performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Chattanooga Symphony, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the New York Metropolitan Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony, and Augusta Choral Society, Händel’s Messiah with the Edmonton and Louisville Symphonies, Mozart’s Requiem with the Choral Society of Philadelphia, and an all-Verdi concert with The Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. While consistently in demand as a focused performer and concert soloist, Mr. Volpe is also a talented educator who feels an affinity for mentoring developing singers. To this end, he was appointed to the faculty at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music as a Professor of Voice in 2017. Mr. Volpe also serves as the Head Voice Teacher at Opera Lucca, a summer immersion program of Italian bel canto opera and language which he personally helped develop.

Additionally, he has given lessons and masterclasses at Sociedad Internacional de Valores de Arte Mexicano (SIVAM) and Artescenica Saltillo, Mexico. Mr. Volpe frequently gives master classes and voice lessons in conjunction with his engagements with such companies as Hawaii Opera Theatre, the Glimmerglass Festival, Florida Grand Opera, Austin Opera, Portland Opera, Opera Omaha. On the University level he has taught both master classes and private lessons at Arizona State University, Loyola University, and in South Korea at Kookmin University, Dankook University, K-Arts University, Keimyung University. He also maintains a voice studio in New York City and has frequently been called upon to judge competitions and serve in an advisory capacity for opera companies and opera agencies.

Mr. Volpe was born and raised on Long Island, NY. A second-generation Italian American, he was exposed to opera early in life and quickly developed a passion for the art form. He completed his studies at Indiana University under the tutelage of the great Italian basso, Nicola Rossi-Lemeni who took Volpe on as his protegèe and to whom Mr. Volpe attributes his technique and knowledge of the bass repertoire. Shortly after the completion of his studies, Mr. Volpe was accepted into the prestigious Merola Program at San Francisco Opera and subsequently made his San Francisco Opera main stage debut at 26 years of age. He has received awards and mentions from the MacAllister Vocal Awards Competition, the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition, The Richart Tucker Foundation, the Alamura International Vocal Competition, The International Verdian Voices Competition, and the Sylvia Getzky Competition.

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