Anthony Dean Griffey
Four-time Grammy Award-winning American tenor Anthony Dean Griffey has captured critical and popular acclaim on opera, concert and recital stages around the world. The combination of his beautiful and powerful lyric tenor voice, gift of dramatic interpretation and superb musicianship have earned him the highest praise from critics and audiences alike.
In a career spanning 20 years, Griffey has performed leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Bastille, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, San Diego Opera, Canadian Opera Company and Opera Australia; as well as made operatic appearances at the Glyndebourne, Bregenz, Glimmerglass, Mostly Mozart, Saito Kinen and Aspen festivals.
With an operatic repertoire ranging from Beethoven to Britten, Griffey is best known for his interpretation of the title role in Peter Grimes, which he has sung all over the world. Of his first performance of the role at the Tanglewood Festival in 1996, Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe observed that “Griffey…boasts a lyric tenor voice of uncommon beauty of timbre, resourceful technique, genuine musical and dramatic imagination and superb English diction.” The New York Times proclaimed that in his most recent performance of the role at Carnegie Hall with the St. Louis Symphony under David Robertson, Griffey “again proved himself one of the most courageous actors in opera today.” His 2008 performance at the Met was broadcast in HD and has been released on DVD (a recording from his performance at Glyndebourne in 2001 has also been released on CD).
Another role in which Griffey has drawn singular acclaim is Lennie in Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men, which he has sung at the Glimmerglass Festival, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera (a performance of which was recorded for Albany Records- to date the only extant commercial recording of Floyd’s 1969 opera), San Diego Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Australia and the Bregenz Festival. Of his 1998 performances at New York City Opera, Newsday noted that “Griffey’s singing is as lordly as his character is dispossessed… Lennie’s curse is heavy-handedness – he crushes everything he loves – but Griffey touches soft, high notes with the gentlest caress.” For his 2011 performances in Australia (during which he performed in both Sydney and Melbourne) Griffey was presented with the Helpmann Award for Best Male Operatic Performance.
Other notable roles in Griffey’s repertoire are Jimmy in Kurt Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Los Angeles Opera (for which he won two Grammy Awards following the release of the recording in 2009) and the Edinburgh Festival; Mitch in Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire (which was composed specifically for him) at San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Washington National Opera; Sam Polk in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (at the Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago) and Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio at Opera Philadelphia and Florentine Opera.
A celebrated concert performer, Griffey sings a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Bach and Mozart to Schoenberg, Janáček, Mahler and Stravinsky. He appears regularly with many distinguished international orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra in London, Halle Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Orquesta Nacional de España in Madrid, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland at the Concertgebouw, and the NJK Symphony Orchestra and Saito Kinen Orchestra in Japan. He has also appeared in the world’s most prominent festivals including the BBC Proms and the Tanglewood, Ravinia, Aspen Music, Edinburgh, Lanaudière, and Saito Kinen festivals. The list of acclaimed conductors he has worked with includes James Conlon, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Donald Runnicles, Valery Gergiev, Alan Gilbert, Bernard Haitink, Manfred Honeck, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Andre Previn, Robert Spano, Patrick Summers, Michael Tilson Thomas, Edo de Waart, Mark Wigglesworth, Jaap van Zweden, and David Zinman.
An avid recitalist, Griffey made his Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall recital debut in 2004, where André Previn composed and dedicated a song cycle for him and accompanied him on the piano. Griffey has also been presented with his long-time pianist and collaborator Warren Jones by many prestigious recital series throughout the U.S. including San Francisco Performances, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Schubert Club in Saint Paul, North Carolina School of the Arts, Music Academy of the West, Music for a Great Space in Greensboro, the George London Foundation, Old Dominion University and at the Cleveland Art Song, Ravinia and Marlboro festivals. In the spring of 2006 he had the distinction of being invited to perform a recital at the Supreme Court of the United States by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
A four time Grammy-winning recording artist, Mr. Griffey’s extensive DVD and compact disc recordings include the Metropolitan Opera’s Peter Grimes (EMI Classics) the Los Angeles Opera’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny(Euroarts), the Metropolitan Opera’s Tristan und Isolde (DG/Universal); the San Francisco Opera’s A Streetcar Named Desire (video on Image Entertainment and audio on DG), Taylor’s Peter Ibbetson with the Seattle Symphony (Naxos), Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony (SFS Media), Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic (New York Philharmonic), and the Tonhalle Orchestra (RCA); Britten’s War Requiem with Kurt Masur and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO); Les Mamelles de Tirésias with Seiji Ozawa (Philips); I Lombardi with James Levine (Decca/London); Amy Beach’s Cabildo (Delos); and Of Mice and Men with the Houston Grand Opera (Albany). He has also been featured as an Artist of the Week on A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts. Mr. Griffey’s most recently collaborated with classical guitarist Joseph Pecoraro on a solo Christmas album entitled This Little Light that was released in October 2012 (Cgs Enterprises).
From 2009 to 2012 Griffey served as Professor of The Practice at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill and from 2012 to 2014 he held the position of Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at the University of North Carolina – School of the Arts. He has given masterclasses all over the United States, including at Music Academy of the West and the Aspen Festival, where Griffey has also served on the voice faculty.
Griffey is a regular judge at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has also appeared on the judging panel for the Kneisel competition, Eleanor McCollum competition and the NATS National Students competition.
In addition to his degree from the Eastman School of Music, Griffey holds degrees from Wingate University and the Juilliard School, where he received the Advanced Certificate, and was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Program.
Active in many charitable efforts, Griffey serves on the boards of the Open Door Shelter for the homeless and the Mental Health Associates of the Triad in his hometown of High Point, N.C., raising money and giving benefit concerts for those causes. He is also on the advisory board for Glimmerglass Opera.