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Peter Lightfoot

Peter Lightfoot has captivated critics and audiences alike with what Opera News has called his “vocal brilliance” and what Opera called his “beautifully placed and clearly focused voice."

In 2014 Mr. Lightfoot was one of the winners of The American Prize, Chicago Oratorio Prize and sang with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra.  His CD of Sea Chanties, Folksongs, Ballads, Spirituals and Cherokee Songs entitled "An American Tapestry", which he recorded with pianist Dr. Deborah Moriarty, was released in 2014 and can be heard on Blue Griffin Records.  He has been awarded Finalist status in the Art Song category by The American Prize for this recording.  This CD is also being reviewed by Fanfare Magazine and will be highlighted in their Fall 2014 editions.  In the Fall of 2013 he traveled to Beijing, China to perform and conducted a Master Class at the Peking Conservatory of Music.

Lightfoot has performed Falstaff in Verdi’s Falstaff in Cagli and Mercatello, Italy and his performance of Marbuel at the Wexford Festival in the opera The Devil and Kate can be seen on DVD.  He has sung Britten’s War Requiem with the Thornton Chamber Orchestra and the combined University of Southern California choirs.  Mr. Lightfoot has also performed the Mozart Requiem under the baton of Sir John Rutter at Carnegie Hall.

He has sung the title role in Macbeth with the Shreveport Opera; Tonio in Il Pagliacci with the Spier Festival in Cape Town, South Africa;  and the title role in the world premiere of Ethan Frome by John Beall at West Virginia University and for PBS. He returned to the Shreveport Opera as Crown in Porgy and Bess and appeared with the Mississippi Opera as Scarpia in Tosca.

He has sung the roles of Crown in Porgy and Bess with the Colorado Symphony with Marin Alsop conducting and returned there to sing Gershwin’s New Moon under her direction; he also performed Porgy and Bess with the Columbus Symphony and appeared with the North Carolina Symphony, where he sang the Verdi Requiem.  He performed the role of Sun in the world premiere of The Shattered Mirror by Michael Udow in Ann Arbor with subsequent performances in Orlando, Florida.  He has also sung Porgy and Bess with the Detroit Symphony, the Nashville Symphony, and the Augusta Symphony. 

Mr. Lightfoot has also been heard with the New York City Opera as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly; with the Greater Miami Opera as Michele in Il Tabarro ; as Scarpia in Tosca with L’Opéra de Nice; as the High Priest in Samson et Dalila with Hawaii Opera Theater; in Philip Glass's Ahknaten with Houston Grand Opera and with the New York City Opera; with the New York City Opera National Touring Company as Scarpia and also as the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, and in the American premiere of Marc Neikrug’s Los Alamos at the Aspen Festival; he sung with the Opera Orchestra of New York, Wolf Trap Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Piedmont Opera Theatre, Mexico City Opera, Kentucky Opera, Knoxville Opera, Virginia Opera, American Opera Center, Pennsylvania Opera Theater, Opera Delaware, and Arkansas Opera Theater. He has also been heard on National Public Radio performing Lee Hoiby’s I Have a Dream, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and on PBS as Leonce in William Grant Still’s A Bayou Legend.

His orchestral engagements have included performances of Walton's Belshazzar’s Feast with the West Virginia Symphony and the Greensboro Symphony in North Carolina; a concert performance of Porgy and Bess in Caracas, Venezuela, under the direction of Carl St. Clair.  He has also appeared in various works with the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Amsterdam Radio Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Sacramento Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, and the Tucson, Long Beach, Fresno, Pacific, and Kalamazoo Symphonies.

He was an Artist-in-Residence with the Bay View Music Festival for eleven seasons in Michigan where he performed Ravel’s Don Quichotte and Brahms' Vier Ernste Gesange.  He has also performed a group of Schubert lieder with the Thornton Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Carl St. Clair.  Mr. Lightfoot performed Mahler’s Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen for NPR and a full solo recital and benefit duet recital as part of the Bay View Music Festival. 

Mr. Lightfoot was born in New York and holds degrees from the Juilliard School and Tufts University. He is a winner of a National Opera Institute Grant and the institute's Bronze Medal for performance, a Sullivan Foundation grant, a Harp Grant, the Boston Opera Competition first place prize, and was a finalist in the Luciano Pavarotti Competition. He has served as an associate professor of voice at West Virginia University and was named a Benedum Distinguished Scholar at WVU for the year 2000-2001. From 2003-2008 he was an associate professor at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California.  Presently he is  associate professor of voice at the College of Music at Michigan State University.