Acclaimed by the New York Times as “…vocally robust, with ample charisma and self-possession,” Bass-Baritone Richard Cassell created the role of the Magician in Francis Thorne’s Mario and the Magician for the Center for Contemporary Opera, where “…the audience was caught under the spell of Mann’s musical magician” (Headline, May 2, 2005). The award-winning recording was released on Albany Records.
Known as a superb character actor, the Juilliard-trained baritone has a repertoire of over 100 roles, from Amonasro to Baron Zeta. He has appeared with many major US companies, including New York City Opera, Cleveland Opera, San Antonio Opera, Los Angeles Lyric Opera, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Opera Memphis, Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Association, Metropolitan Opera Studio, Aspen Opera Theatre and the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood.
Frequently compared to the great Basso-Buffo Fernando Corena as Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro and Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore, Benoit in La Boheme, the Sacristan in Tosca, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Osmin in Abduction from the Seraglio, Falstaff and Gianni Schicchi, he has also distinguished himself in such dramatic roles as Rigoletto and Iago with his “rich, impressive baritone.”
His Italian debut in 2001 with the New Opera Festival of Rome was broadcast on RAI-TV. “Il Giornale d’Italia” praised his “…first-class Falstaff” in Rome in 2002. In Opava, Czech Republic he sang Dr. Falke and Don Alfonso with the Silesian State Opera. A yearly guest at the Albert Roussel Festival in France, he recently completed a recording of Roussel songs with legendary Belgian pianist Diane Andersen for the Albert Roussel Foundation.
Richard Cassell has also performed extensively in Asia, as Alberich in the first Asian production of the Ring Cycle (under the sponsorship of Wolfgang Wagner and the International Wagner Society), as Leporello, Germont and Iago with Bangkok Opera, Scarpia with Macao Opera, and Rigoletto with Singapore Opera.
A protégé of renowned Cantors Paul Kwartin and David Kusevitsky, he has served as Cantor at Union Temple in Brooklyn, NY, and Temple Beth Or in Westwood, NJ. His settings of traditional Hebrew melodies have been widely published, and he now tours the US and Europe in programs of Jewish music. Under the auspices of the Albert Roussel Foundation, he has presented newly-discovered works of Raymond Berner and other composers who perished in the Holocaust.
In the musical theatre field, he has performed Emil De Becque in South Pacific, Tony in The Most Happy Fella, Higgins in My Fair Lady, Todd and the Judge in Sweeney Todd, and Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. A noted Gilbert & Sullivan specialist, he has performed the Mikado, Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore, and many other comic roles.
He has also put his rich bass-baritone to use as a voiceover artist, recording hundreds of local, regional and national commercials for Chevron, Kraft, AT&T and many other Fortune 500 companies. In addition he has recorded dozens of audiobooks for the Library of Congress.
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS
PRESS RELEASE (PDF)