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Woitach Richard

Woitach Richard

Item No. Artist1454

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Richard Woitach joined the Metropolitan Opera in 1959, where he served as staff conductor for 38 years. He studied at the Eastman School of Music and was a student of the late Orazio Frugoni. Before graduation, he joined the Rochester Philharmonic as official pianist until his engagement by The Met. He also appeared as piano soloist under the baton of Erich Leinsdorf with the Rochester orchestra and the Boston Symphony. He has toured as the piano accompanist for violinist Zino Francescatti (1957-59 in USA, Canada & Europe) and played for many celebrated singers such as Sherrill Milnes, Anna Moffo, Jon Vickers, John Shirley-Quirk and Teresa Stratas. With the latter, he recorded THE UNKNOWN KURT WEILL, which received a Grammy nomination in 1982, as well as having made recordings, as pianist, with Regina Resnik and Jon Vickers. CDs of his recordings with Ms Resnik and Mr Vickers are currently available. He also made a recording in the UK conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. He has also appeared frequently as guest piano soloist with various orchestras in works by Karol Szymanowski, Ludwig van Beethoven, J S Bach, W A Mozart and George Gershwin. Richard Woitach’s professional operatic debut was in 1961 with the Cincinnati Opera’s production of THE BARBER OF SEVILLE. He has served as Artistic Advisor of the ARIZONA OPERA, Music Director of WESTERN OPERA THEATER and the WOLF TRAP OPERA COMPANY (7 seasons). He has appeared as guest conductor with numerous companies including the SAN FRANCISCO OPERA, OPERA COMPANY OF BOSTON, the OPERA COMPANY OF PHILADELPHIA, VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL and the MILWAUKEE FLORENTINE OPERA. In 1990, he inaugurated the Valhalla Wagnerfest in New York State, conducting performances of Wagner’s SIEGFRIED. At the MET, he conducted Strauss’s ELEKTRA in January 1994. In his career, he has conducted over 800 performances of 88 different operas, 23 of these works at the METROPOLITAN OPERA. His repertoire also includes over 200 orchestral works. In the Spring of 1992, in Buffalo and Detroit, Maestro Woitach conducted the first complete performances in the Western Hemisphere of Karol Szymanowski’s operatic masterpiece KROL ROGER in the original Polish. After retiring from the METROPOLITAN OPERA staff at the end of July 1997, Richard Woitach embarked on a varied series of piano recitals (3 in New York City including 6 World Premieres), is conducting symphony dates and is performing orchestral solo engagements which began with the Beethoven "Triple Concerto" with the Syracuse Symphony (Syracuse, NY) November 9, 1997. He was the Music Director of the Merrick Symphony in Long Island, NY with whom he conducted a concert performance of Puccini’s LA BOHEME on November 14, 1998. His schedule also includes lectures, composing, musical coaching, accompanying, and guest teaching. He has appeared on Texaco’s intermission features to the Saturday METROPOLITAN OPERA radio broadcasts over 100 times in the last 36 years. Maestro Woitach is no stranger to musical theater. In 1968, he made his Pittsburgh debut with the Civic Light Opera’s SWEET CHARITY starring Chita Rivera and has conducted TOVARICH with Ginger Rogers, SOUTH PACIFIC with Giorgio Tozzi, TOP BANANA with Phil Silvers, SHOWBOAT and MY FAIR LADY. Maestro Woitach has given Master Classes at San Francisco State College, Indiana University, Academy of Vocal Arts (Philadelphia), University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada), Bel Canto Institute @ SUNY NEW PALTZ, The Pittsburgh Opera, University of Alabama, Glimmerglass Opera (New York), National Association of the Teachers of Singing (Toronto, Canada) and others. He is also a popular lecturer on music and opera. Recently, Richard Woitach participated in 2 separate programs with his fellow members of IPTAR (Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research). These programs are part of a continuing series analyzing Richard Strauss, his personality and his music; in particular, his female protagonists. He has recently lectured for The Bel Canto Institute at SUNY NEW PALTZ and The Verismo Opera (New Jersey). He has given 4 piano recitals in the last few years in St Croix, US Virgin Islands, the most recent on May 12 & 13, 2000. His most recent performance was of Richard Strauss’ melodrama, ENOCH ARDEN which featured Jon Vickers reading the Alfred Lord Tennyson poem, accompanied by Mo. Woitach, on October 24, 2000 in New York City. Currently, he has turned his musical talents to composition and is in the process of co-writing a large piece with his nephew, guitarist-composer Christopher Woitach.

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