Bruce Fowler (tenor)
Bruce Fowler (born 1965) is an American classical tenor who has had a major international performance career in operas and concerts since the early 1990s. He is particularly known for his appearances in bel canto operas. His first recording, as the tenor soloist for Handel's Messiah with Telarc, was nominated for a Grammy Award. He has also recorded Gioachino Rossini's Stabat Mater for Harmonia Mundi, Rossini's Armida for Sony, Jacques Ibert's Angelique for Cetra, Georg Philipp Telemann's Der Tag des Gerichts and Hugo Weisgall's Six Characters in Search of an Author on New World Records.
Born in West Monroe, Louisiana, where he graduated from West Monroe High School, Fowler studied at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma, where he earned bachelor's degrees in both voice and church music and graduated cum laude. He did post-baccalaureate studies at the University of Houston and earned a master's degree in vocal performance (opera) from the University of North Texas in Denton, before becoming a member of the young artist program at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He made his stage debut with that company as Évandre in Christoph Willibald Gluck's Alceste in 1990. He appeared in several more roles with the Lyric Opera through 1992, including Joe in La fanciulla del West, Erster Priester in The Magic Flute, Wagner in Mefistofele, Prince Nilsky in The Gambler, Emperor Altoum of China in Turandot, and Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore.
In the 1993-1994 season Fowler appeared as Carlo in Gioachino Rossini's Armida at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy with Renée Fleming in the title role, Ferrando in Così fan tutte at the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Lindoro in L'italiana in Algeri at the Cleveland Opera, and performed the role of Tonio in La fille du régiment with Opéra de Montréal.
In 1994 Fowler drew the attention of the international opera scene when he won first prize at the Plácido Domingo International Operalia Competition. He went on to win several other competitions, including the Baltimore Opera International Vocal Competition, the Liederkranz Awards, the Maguerite McCammon Award, and grants from the Sullivan Foundation. These competition wins significantly raised his profile as an opera singer and led to engagements with important opera houses internationally.
In 1995-1996, Fowler sang Edward Milfort in La cambiale di matrimonio at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy, Don Narciso in Il turco in Italia at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and portrayed both Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville and Prunier in La rondine with the Bonn Opera. Over the next several years he made debuts at the New York City Opera (as Fenton in Falstaff), the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville (as Count Almaviva), Teatro dell'Opera di Roma (as Count Almaviva), Opéra de Nice (as Ramiro in La Cenerentola), the Semperoper (as Ramiro), the Teatro Carlo Felice (as Lindoro), and La Scala (under the baton of Riccardo Chailly).
In 1999 Fowler had a major triumph at the Finnish National Opera as Sir Riccardo Percy in Anna Bolena. In 2000 he made his exciting debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Lindoro in L'italiana in Algeri. Since then he has made appearances at the Opéra National de Paris, Berlin State Opera, the Salzburg Festival, Hamburg State Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Minnesota Opera, Opéra du Québec, Palm Beach Opera, the San Diego Opera and West Australian Opera, among many others.
He has performed concerts and recitals worldwide including appearances with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Akademie für Alte Musik in Berlin, the Opera Orchestra of New York, the Houston Symphony, Les musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble in Paris, the Mittel-Deutsche Rundfunks Orchester in Leipzig, Orchestra of Saint Luke's and the Mozarteum Orchestra in venues that include Carnegie Hall, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Caramoor Festival, Orchestra Hall Chicago and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels.
His current roles include Rodolfo in La bohème, Gualtiero in Vincenzo Bellini's Il pirata, Tom Rakewell in Igor Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, the Duke in Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto, Edgardo in Lucia di Lamermoor by Gaetano Donizetti as well as a number of roles from the operas of Benjamin Britten.
He is committed to the development of young singers and has become a voice professor of note, with a number of students having entered into the professional operatic scene. Formerly teaching at the University of Oklahoma and continuing to spend part of his summers as Voice Professor and Stage Director with the Franco American Vocal Academy in Salzburg, Austria, in 2013 he established a private studio for teaching. He gives frequent master classes, serves as adjudicator for competitions and takes part in benefit concerts whenever possible. He maintains a busy schedule in opera, concerts, recitals and recordings.