[ Opera ]
Richard Cross, bass-baritone, had an active international opera career. He sang a wide variety of musical periods and styles. He has also taught at The Juilliard School, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Mannes College of Music.
Mr. Cross made his professional opera debut at the first Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, in the world premiere of Lee Hoiby’s The Scarf. Giancarlo Menotti invited him to portray the role of Donato in his new opera Maria Golovin. He sang the role in its premiere at the Brussels World’s Fair in August 1958 and in the United States on Broadway in November 1958.
Richard Cross sang with numerous opera companies. With the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company he debuted as Heinrich in Wagner’s Lohengrin. In San Francisco he debuted as Count Rodolfo in Bellini’s La Sonnambula with Joan Sutherland as Amina. In 1964 he performed and recorded the role of Oroveso in Bellini’s Norma with Joan Sutherland in the title role.
He maintained an international schedule, performing at such houses at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatstheater Stuttgart, Hamburg State Opera, Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi (Trieste, Italy), Hungarian State Opera House, Cologne, and the Washington Opera, among others. He returned to the Spoleto Festival as Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. At the Glyndebourne Festival he sang Verdi’s Falstaff and Sir Morosus in Richard Strauss’s Die schweigsame Frau.
At the New York City Opera he performed in three world premieres; the role of Rakitin in Lee Hoiby’s A Month in the Country; and Jaggers in Dominic Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Fire in 1979. In 1992 he portrayed Moses in Arnold Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron.
Mr. Cross has worked as a recitalist and a concert soloist with American and European orchestras. He joined the Yale School of Music faculty in 1995.