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Carroll Freeman


CARROLL FREEMAN was recently named the first Valerie Adams Distinguished Professor of Opera Studies at Atlanta’s Georgia State University. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, he came to GSU after serving as director of opera at the University of Tennessee and artistic director of the Knoxville Opera Studio for fourteen years. He currently serves as artistic director of the Harrower Summer Opera Workshop, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary with a guest appearance by Frederica von Stade during its 2013 summer season.

Though chosen in his early 30s by Opera News as one of America’s most exciting young talents, Mr. Freeman actually began his professional singing career as a soloist with the Columbus Boychoir touring the US, Canada, and Japan. As a boy he also soloed with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic; New York City Opera; and The Bell Telephone Hour on NBC-TV. He starred as Peter in “Peter, the Chorister” on the CBS-TV series Look Up and Live.

Mr. Freeman made his adult New York City Opera debut as Alfredo in La traviata and his European debut at the Edinburgh Festival in The Postman Always Rings Twice, repeating the success he enjoyed in its world premiere with Opera Theatre of St. Louis. His performance of Don Ottavio in Peter Sellars’ IMZ OperaFilm award-winning production of Don Giovanni was seen worldwide on ORF and BBC television and on PBS-TV’s Great Performances; live in New York, Vienna, and Paris; and on Deutsche-Grammophon DVD, released by Polygram. Among his many successful appearances in Asia, Mr. Freeman performed at the Nissei Theater in Tokyo in the Japanese premiere of Miki’s Joruri. He is featured on the Pro Arte CD, HMS Gilbert & Sullivan, chosen by CD Review as one of the best classical CDs of 1990. Mr. Freeman performed with Houston Grand Opera, Baltimore Opera, San Diego Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera/Omaha, New Orleans Opera, Portland Opera, Minnesota Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Kentucky Opera, and Opera Pacific, to name a few, and appeared with the festivals of Wolf Trap Farm Park, Pepsico Summerfare, Saratoga Springs, Lake George Opera, Chautauqua, Central City Opera, ArtPark, and Des Moines Metro Opera (where he was featured in two broadcasts on Iowa Public Television).

In concert, he has soloed with Eduardo Mata and the Dallas Symphony; Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony; Sergiù Comissiona and the Houston Symphony; Philadelphia Orchestra; Minnesota Symphony; National Symphony; Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; and made several appearances at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. He has also performed recitals and masterclasses from Hong Kong to Minneapolis, from Pesaro, Italy, to Houston. Mr. Freeman was a two-time winner of the illustrious National Opera Institute Award given at the Kennedy Center by Beverly Sills and Harold Prince.

Mr. Freeman received his BM in vocal performance from the University of Southern Mississippi and his MPA in opera performance from Oklahoma City University. He is the past artistic director of Mississippi Opera and Opera in the Ozarks and a past co-director of the Des Moines Metro Opera apprentice program. Mr. Freeman has stage-directed for Knoxville Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Nashville Opera, El Paso Opera, Mobile Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Company of Mid-Michigan, Mississippi Opera, Phoenix Metropolitan Opera, Opera Festival of Oklahoma, Birmingham Opera, and Lyric Opera of Dallas, not to mention, Opera Aegean (Athens, Greece) and Voci nel Montefeltro (Novafeltria, Italy). His directing has also taken him to Cleveland Institute of Music; Rising Star Vocal Works; University of Missouri/Kansas City Conservatory of Music; Lyric Opera of Oklahoma City University, and countless other universities and training programs. Mr. Freeman also worked as an assistant to Francesca Zambello at Theater des Westens, Berlin, Germany, and Theater im Pfalzbau, Ludwigshafen, Germany, on the well-known and loved HGO production of Street Scene in its Berlin premiere.

A member of the Wall of Fame at Oklahoma City University and the Knoxville Opera Hall of Fame, Mr. Freeman has also been honored by the National Federation of Music Clubs with a Presidential Citation and by Classical Singer magazine as their 2010 Stage Director of the Year.