As a teenager, spinto tenor Andrew Richards was playing trombone and singing jazz semi-professionally in his native United States alongside icons The Hi-Los, The Four Freshmen, Sarah Vaughan and Carmen MacRae. Upon hearing his first opera, La Forza del Destino, he applied and was promptly accepted to Eastman School of Music to formally study singing.
Following his participation in several US young artist programs, Mr. Richards made his professional debut in the role of Pinkerton at New York City Opera in 1999. Soon he was being cast throughout the USA as the leading tenor in La Bohème, La Traviata, Cavalleria Rusticana, at opera houses such as Florida Grand Opera, Kansas City and New Orleans Opera. In 2004, he made his European debut in Trieste, simultaneously debuting the role of Don José in Carmen. This role would become his calling card, having performed it at The Metropolitan Opera, Opéra Comique in Paris, as well as stages in Verona and Berlin, in addition to being broadcast internationally on ArteTV.
From 2005-2009, Mr. Richards was a member of the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden ensemble, where he performed roles such as Radames, Cavaradossi, Rodolfo, Don José and MacDuff. His reputation grew into an international career singing in many new productions and premieres. His work at La Monnaie/De Munt (Brussels, Belgium) in the roles of Werther and Parsifal was met with great critical acclaim. His first Parsifal (for Staatsoper Stuttgart), directed by Calixto Bieito, was the subject of the movie “Die Singende Stadt”. The Parsifal successes resulted in further exploration of the Wagner repertoire: Mr. Richards sang his first Siegmund in 2018 in Kyoto, Japan with Michael Hampe directing and Richard Numajiri conducting. He was also the author of the acclaimed behind-the-scenes blog “Opera Rocks.”
Other roles performed include Florestan (Fidelio), Lancelot (Le Roi Arthus), Licinius (La Vestale), the title role in Don Carlo, Hermann (Pique Dame), Arrigo (La battaglia di Legnano), Gabriele Adorno (Simon Boccanegra), MacDuff (Macbeth), Pollione (Norma), Samson (Samson et Dalila), the title role in Faust, Duca (Rigoletto), Tamino (The Magic Flute), Carlson (Of Mice and Men). Conductor collaborators include Michele Mariotti, Hartmut Haenchen, Jacques Lacombe, Roberto Abbado, Jérémie Rhorer, Paolo Carignani, John Elliot Gardiner, Daniel Barenboim, Daniel Ettinger, among many others. His busy career took him to stages across the world, including those of the Opéra National du Rhin, Teatro Communale di Bologna, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Royal Danish Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Staatsoper Hamburg, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Fondazione Arena di Verona, Münchner Opernfestspiele, Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada, Arizona Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Oper Köln, Oper Frankfurt, Royal Opera House, London, Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Festival Pucciniano, Torre del Lago, Opéra Nice, Florida Grand Opera, Semperoper Dresden, as well as the Bregenzer Festspiele.
More recently, Mr Richards took time away from traveling and performing to be with his children. He now returns to the stage with renewed enthusiasm, and the coming seasons will see him performing new roles in Vienna, Bern, Hannover, Mexico City and Erfurt. He makes Antwerp, Belgium his home with his wife, pianist Jeanne-Minette Cilliers, and maintains a small voice studio at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp.
Courses: vocal studies