Grammy nominee and CCM alum Stuart Skelton receives Distinguished Alumni Award

The heldentenor is critically acclaimed for his musicianship, tonal beauty and dramatic portrayals

UC College-Conservatory of Music alumnus Stuart Skelton (MM Voice, ’95) is an internationally acclaimed heldentenor who has appeared on many of the world's most prestigious opera stages. 

Skelton is a recipient of the 2021 CCM Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes outstanding professional achievement and engagement with the college by graduates and former students above the age of 40. Fellow 2021 CCM Distinguished Alumni Award award recipients also include Diana Maria Riva (BFA Drama, ’91; MFA Theatre Performance, ’95) and Xian Zhang (DMA Orchestral Conducting, att. ’98-01). The awards will be presented as part of CCM's Virtual Graduation Convocation Ceremony, which streams on Saturday, May 1, 2021. 

Stuart Skelton

Stuart Skelton. Photo/Provided

Grammy nominee and 2014 International Opera Awards Male Singer of the Year, Stuart Skelton is one of the finest heldentenors on the stage today, critically acclaimed for his outstanding musicianship, tonal beauty and intensely dramatic portrayals.

Skelton has appeared in many of the world’s most celebrated opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, English National Opera, Paris Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Dresden Semperoper and the Vienna State Opera. His roles include the title roles in LohengrinRienziParsifalDmitrij, Otello and Peter Grimes as well as Florestan in Fidelio, Laca in Jenufa, Erik in Der Fliegende Holländer, The Kaiser in Die Frau ohne Schatten, Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos, Max in Der Freischütz,  Canio in Pagliacci, Gherman in The Queen of Spades, and Siegmund in Der Ring des Nibelungen.

He continues to be in demand on concert stages around the world, having appeared with such orchestras as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich Radio Symphony Orchestras, London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Orchestras of Scotland and Wales and the Symphony Orchestras of Sydney, Melbourne, Western Australia and Tasmania. He has also appeared at the Edinburgh and Lucerne Festivals, and in the BBC Proms.

Throughout his career, Skelton has been fortunate enough to work with many acclaimed conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Asher Fisch, Edward Gardner, Daniele Gatti, Phillipe Jordan, Fabio Luisi, David Robertson, Sir Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, Simone Young and Jaap van Zweden.

The tenor made his debut at Teatro alla Scala in the 2017-18 season in Fidelio conducted by Myung-Whun Chung in a production directed by Deborah Warner. Skelton’s robust concert calendar included performances of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Asher Fisch and the Milwaukee Symphony, Adam Fischer and the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, and with Sir Simon Rattle and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the London Symphony Orchestra at Lincoln Centre; Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with Sir Andrew Davis and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and with Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Skelton also joined the Dallas Symphony in the farewell performances of Jaap van Zweden in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, appeared in recital at the Melbourne Recital Centre with pianist Richard Peirson, followed by concert performances and recording of Tristan und Isolde with Western Australian Symphony Orchestra under Asher Fisch.

Skelton’s 2018/19 season saw him make his Royal Opera House debut as Siegmund in Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano and a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Otello under Gustavo Dudamel and again as Siegmund in Die Walküre und Phillipe Jordan. Skelton returned to Otello with the Berlin Philharmonic at the Baden Baden Festival under Maestro Zubin Mehta before making his Budapest Wagner Festival debut as Siegmund under Adam Fischer. Skelton continued his close relationship with David Robertson and Sydney Symphony in concert performances of Peter Grimes and with Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony, in a performance of Das Lied von der Erde at the BBC Proms.

Further appearances in 2019 included Act II of Tristan und Isolde with the Concertgebouw Orchestra under Daniel Harding, Die Walküre with the Netherland’s Radio Philharmonic under Jaap van Zweden, and collaborations with Karina Canellakis in Act 1 of Die Walküre with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. 2019/20’s season also saw Skelton return to Teatro Real, Madrid for Robert Carsen’s Die Walküre, San Francisco Symphony for Act 1 of Die Walküre under Simone Young, Bergen Philharmonic for performances and recording of Peter Grimes under Edward Gardner.

Many performances in 2020 were cancelled but despite the year of COVID-19 cancellations, Skelton appeared with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Fabio Luisi in Das Lied von der Erde, as Siegmund, as the Opera National de Paris under Phillipe Jordan, Florestan with Opera de Oviedo under Marc Piollet, and most recently at the beginning of 2021 as Laca in Jenufa with the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden with Sir Simon Rattle.

This summer, Skelton makes his Aix-en-Provence debut, once again singing Tristan under Sir Simon Rattle, with the London Symphony Orchestra and Act II of the same opera, in concert, at the Verbier Festival under Daniele Gatti. 

Skelton recently released his first solo Album, "Shining Knight," with works by Wagner, Griffes and Barber and Tristan und Isolde, both recorded with West Australian Symphony Orchestra under Asher Fisch. Most recently released are his recording of Peter Grimes with Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic and a disc of Viennese Romanticism, also with Mo. Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

In 2016 Skelton made his role debut as Tristan in production of Tristan und Isolde with the Baden-Baden Festspiel with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle, followed on by a new production of the same opera at the English National Opera under Ed Gardner and then again in the MET’s season-opening production of Tristan und Isolde also conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Skelton returned to his native Australia for Tristan und Isolde in concert with Nina Stemme and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra under Marko Letonja, a Wagner Arias concert with West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Asher Fisch, rounding out his Australian tour with concert performances of Parsifal Act II with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Simone Young.

In 2017 Skelton returned to the Opera National de Paris in the title role of Lohengrin, the Bavarian State Opera as Laca in Jenufa and the Deutsch Oper Berlin as Siegmund. He also made his debt with the Cincinnati Symphony in Mahler´s Das Lied von der Erde and returned to the Bergen Philharmonic for concert performances of Peter Grimes and Otello. Skelton also made a return to Mahler´s Das Lied von der Erde with The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, under Esa-Pekka Salonen and Sir Andrew Davis and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, as well as concert performances of Die Walküre with the Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa. Making a welcome return to the BBC Proms, Skelton appeared as Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio with the BBC Philharmonic under Juanjo Mena. Renewing his frequent collaborations with Edward Gardner, Skelton once again appeared as Peter Grimes with the Bergen Filharmonic at The Edinburgh International Festival. Skelton rounded out his year with performances of Siegmund with the Salzburg Easter Festival production of Die Walküre with the Hong Kong Philharmonic under Jaap van Zweden, in Beijing and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with St Louis Symphony Orchestra and long time collaborator David Robertson.

Skelton has twice been honoured with the Sir Robert Helpmann Award, once for his performance of Siegmund in the State Opera of South Australia’s 2004 production of the The Ring Cycle, and again in 2010 for Best Male Performer in a Lead Role for his portrayal of Peter Grimes for Opera Australia. He received a 2010 Green Room Award for A Streetcar Named Desire and is a two-time Olivier Award nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Opera for his performances as Peter Grimes and Tristan with the English National Opera and is a Grammy nominee, on the Bergen Philharmonic recording of Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass, under Edward Gardner. 

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