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BIOGRAPHY

Through his innate sense of style, command of languages and superior acting abilities, tenor Dennis Petersen has distinguished himself in a variety of operatic roles, in addition to his appearances in concerts, recitals and oratorio performances.

A partial list of conductors Mr. Petersen has sung with include Seiji Ozawa, James Levine, Edo de Waart, Zubin Mehta, James Conlon, George Manahan, Andrew Davis, David Zinman, Mario Bernardi, John de Main, Fabio Luisi, Donald Runnicles, Valery Gergiev and Marco Armiliato.

His debut with the Seattle Opera as Mime in both Das Rheingold and Siegfried in August 2009 brought the highest accolades from Ring fans and critics alike. Previously Dennis had toured Japan singing the School Master in The Cunning Little Vixen under Seiji Ozawa at the Saito Kinen Festival and performed in the New York premiere of Dead Man Walking at New York City Opera, Turandot and Madama Butterfly for San Francisco Opera, Salome for Opera Pacific, the U.S.premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale with Minnesota Opera and Dead Man Walking for Michigan Opera Theatre

At the Lyric Opera of Chicago he has sung in VixenDas Rheingold, Zauberflöte, Die Fledermaus and Dialogues of the Carmelites, and with Spoleto Festival USA he appeared in the new productions of Mahagonny and 2008’s Amistad.  Dennis' performance as Herod in Minnesota Opera's production of Salome in April 2010 brought rave reviews.

Since making his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1995 as The Drunken Lout in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, he has been seen there on a regular basis in such roles as Bob Boles in Peter Grimes, Monastatos in Die Zauberflöte, Mime in Das Rheingold and Siegfried, The Merry Widow, The Gambler, War and Peace, and Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa. His recent work at the Met included Boris Godunov and Tosca in 2010-2011, the same season he appeared in The Magic Flute at the Israeli Opera.

In his three-decades-plus career, Mr. Petersen has sung with San Francisco Opera nearly every year since 1985 in a variety of operas including Pique Dame, Der Rosenkavalier, Salome, Tosca, Turandot, Madama Butterfly, Andrea Chenier, Die Fledermaus, Il Ritorno di Ulisse, Don Quichotte, Capriccio, Der Ring des Nibelungen, Pagliacci, Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Meistersinger, Romeo et Juliette, Boris Godunov, Lulu, L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Prince Igor, Anna Bolena, Wozzeck, War and Peace, The Cunning Little Vixen, Doktor Faust and the new production of La Forza del Destino. With the New York City Opera he has sung Lizzie Borden, Intermezzo, and Roberto Devereux.

Orchestral appearances have included Bach’s Magnificat with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, the Beethoven Ninth Symphony with the symphonies of Eugene and Columbus, the Messiah, Magnificat and Mozart Mass in C and Requiem with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra under High Wolff, the Verdi Requiem with Cedar Rapids Symphony and St. Cloud Symphony, Haydn’s Theresienmesse at both Spoleto Festivals, Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Times with New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall, and performances with the New Jersey Symphony, Baltimore Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic.

A native of West Branch, Iowa, he received his bachelor and master degrees from the University of Iowa before joining San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program in 1984 where he was awarded the Karl Kritz Memorial Scholarship.  Dennis currently resides in the countryside outside Northfield, Minnesota, with his wife Denise and their two dogs.  They have two wonderful sons, Nicholas and Noah.

 

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