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Friday | Mar 16, 2012

Meet the Artist–Nanki-Poo, William Ferguson

Photo by Jim Scholz: William Ferguson as Frederic with Patrick Ryan Sullivan

Opera Omaha is thrilled to welcome William Ferguson back to our stage in the role of Nanki-Poo in The Mikado. You may remember Mr. Ferguson from his appearance as Frederic in our most recent prior Gilbert & Sullivan production, The Pirates of Penzance.

In an Omaha World Herald review of Mr. Ferguson’s Frederic he was praised. The reviewer wrote, “Tenor William Ferguson, as the reluctant pirate Frederic, sang with a powerful and transparent lyric tenor voice–and seemed to be channeling the sweet silliness of Michael Palin.”

We are certain that you will enjoy Ferguson’s interpretation and magnificent voice in his performance as Nanki-Poo in The Mikado. Join us on April 13 or 15 to see tenor William Ferguson bring that “transparent lyric tenor” and “sweet silliness” to a different role. Buy your tickets today! Ticket Omaha or 402-345-0606 or 402-346-4398

Mr. Ferguson’s biography and photos are found here: www.WilliamFerguson.com

WILLIAM FERGUSON, TENOR
BIOGRAPHY

Acclaimed for his versatility in both opera and concert, William Ferguson made his debut with the Santa Fe Opera in 2006 as Caliban in the North American premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Tempest, and in 2005, he bowed in Sydney with Opera Australia singing Truffaldino in a new production of The Love for Three Oranges directed by Francesca Zambello and conducted by Richard Hickox (subsequently released on compact disc under the Chandos label). The same year, Ferguson joined the roster of The Metropolitan Opera where he has performed Beppe in I Pagliacci as well as roles in Le Nozze di Figaro and The Magic Flute (under the baton of James Levine). A regular artist at The New York City Opera, his performances have included the title role in Candide, Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, the Funeral Director in A Quiet Place, and twice as Hérisson de Porc-Épic in L’Étoile–among many others.

Additional credits include Andres in Wozzeck with Opera Festival of New Jersey, Ferrando in Così fan tutte at The Aspen Music Festival, Carl in Bitter Sweet for the Bard SummerScape Festival, Pang in Turandot with Opera Company of Philadelphia, Frederic in Pirates of Penzance with both Virginia Opera and Opera Omaha, the Sailor in Dido and Aeneas with Gotham Chamber Opera, the title role in Albert Herring directed by Lotfi Mansouri at The Music Academy of the West, Gonzalve in L’Heure Espagnole and Fenton in Falstaff at the Tanglewood Music Center (both with Seiji Ozawa), and Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw at the Chautauqua Institution. Ferguson has also performed with Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall on several occasions, including as Nick in La Fanciulla del West and as Laërte in Mignon.

A compelling interpreter of new music, Mr. Ferguson sang Bentley Drummle in Dominick Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Fire at Opera Theatre of St. Louis and performed in the world premiere productions of Anthony Davis’ Wakonda’s Dream with Opera Omaha, Robert Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry with Peak Performances at Montclair, and operas by Lee Hoiby and Harold Farberman. While in St. Louis, Ferguson sang the role of Hippolyte in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie as a last minute replacement earning a review in Opera News stating that he sang “with grace, and striking self-possession.” He holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music degree from The Juilliard School and is a native of Richmond, Virginia.

A passionate concert and recital performer, Mr. Ferguson has appeared with The American Symphony Orchestra, BBC Orchestra (London), Boston Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (England), Handel and Haydn Society, Houston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Musica Sacra New York, National Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Oratorio Society of New York, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Radio Filharmonisch Orkest (Netherlands); as well as the local symphony orchestras of Bellingham, New Haven, Omaha, Richmond, Santa Barbara, Wheeling, and Winston-Salem.

Ferguson appears as Brian on the recording and DVD of Not The Messiah, a comic oratorio based on Monty Python’s film Life of Brian, recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall in London. His repertoire ranges from that of the baroque masters to the difficult cycles of Schubert, Schumann, Janá•ek, and Rorem—showcasing him across the United States in chamber programs and recitals for the 92nd Street Y, Bard Music Festival, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Marlboro Music Festival, and Young Concert Artists among others. Ferguson has performed extensively with The Marilyn Horne Foundation, Five Borough Music Festival, as well as The New York Festival of Song.

Mr. Ferguson has been the recipient of several awards and honors including First Place in the Oratorio Society of New York Solo Competition, The Elihu Hyndman Career Grant from Opera Theatre of St. Louis, The Judges’ Award in the Opera Index Competition, a Bagby Foundation Career Grant, and The Alan Weiler Award for Excellence presented by Opera Orchestra of New York. In 2003 he was awarded the Alice Tully Vocal Arts Debut Recital Award granting him a New York recital debut in Alice Tully Hall.

Upcoming performances include a staged production of Handel’s Messiah with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, appearances with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Richmond Symphony, The Waterbury Symphony, a world premiere song cycle by Chester Biscardi with the new music ensemble Sequitur, recitals with guitarist David Leisner in New York and Nebraska, a concert with cellist Yahuda Hanani at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, and Nanki-Poo in The Mikado with Opera Omaha.

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