American baritone Troy Cook made notable debuts in past seasons as Ford in Hamburgische Staatsoper’s Falstaff, following his debut with the company as Marcello in La bohème, and with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte.
The baritone begins the 2016-2017 season with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Peter in Hansel und Gretel, and subsequently appears with Atlanta Opera, to reprise the role of Father Palmer in Silent Night, San Diego Opera as Ford in Falstaff, the title role in Eugene Onegin with Syracuse Opera, and a debut with Washington National Opera as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly. He also appears with the Portland Symphony for Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem. During the summer of 2017, he sings performances of Carmina Burana with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, and returns to Des Moines Metro Opera for Frederik in A Little Night Music.
Last season, Mr. Cook performed the role of Jupiter in Virginia Opera’s production of Orpheus in the Underworld, followed by debuts with the Dallas Opera as de Bretigny in Manon, Austin Lyric Opera as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and the Macau Festival as Valentin in Faust. On the concert stage, he sang the Messiah with the Pacific Symphony, and Mozart’s Requiem with the Indianapolis Symphony. He joined Des Moines Metro Opera for their 2016 Festival, singing de Bretigny in Manon and Young Galileo in Galileo Galilei.
The 2014-2015 season brought important role debuts for the baritone, including Germont in La Traviata with Central City Opera and a critically acclaimed Rodrigo in Don Carlo with Opera Philadelphia. He appeared in Lady Be Good at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, made his company debut with Utah Opera as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, and returned to the role of the Marquis de la Force in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites with both the Portland and Winston-Salem Symphonies. Additionally, he debuted with the San Francisco Symphony for Handel’s Messiah, and appeared in concert with both the Portland Symphony and AZ Music Fest.
The 2013-2014 season brought performances as Paolo in Simon Boccanegra with Kentucky Opera, Riccardo in Boston Lyric Opera’s I puritani, Marcello in La bohème with Pittsburgh Opera and North Carolina Opera, and the Marquis de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites with Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Mr. Cook also appeared in concert with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and Winston Salem Symphony. He closed the season as Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music with Central City Opera.
During the 2012-2013 season, Troy Cook appeared as Marcello in La bohème and Father Palmer in Silent Night with Opera Philadelphia, in Handel’s Messiah with the Boise Philharmonic, and Lord Cecil in Maria Stuarda with Washington Concert Opera. He concluded the season with a debut as Silvio in Pagliacci with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and in a return to Central City Opera as Gaylord Ravenal in Show Boat.
Previous highlights include creating the role of Father Palmer in the world premiere of Silent Night with Minnesota Opera; Marcello in La bohèeme with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Florida Grand Opera, Berkshire Opera, Semperoper Dresden, and Opera Philadelphia; Lescaut in Manon Lescaut with Opera Philadelphia; the Count in Le nozze di Figaro with Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Escamillo in Carmen with the Green Mountain Opera Festival; Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Opera Philadelphia and Berkshire Opera; Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Las Palmas Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Santa Fe Opera and Toledo Opera; Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles with Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Opera Carolina; Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Omaha, San Francisco Opera and Fort Worth Opera; Mr. Flint in Billy Budd with San Francisco Opera; Albert in Werther with Kentucky Opera; and Giacomo in Beatrix Cenci with Grand Théâtre de Genève. He has also appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Bilbao, Opera Pacific, and La Monnaie, Brussels.
Equally in demand on the concert stage, Mr. Cook has appeared with the Pacific Symphony, Arizona Musicfest, Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Winstom-Salem Symphony, the American Ballet Theater, the LA Philharmonic, San Antonio Symphony, and the Marilyn Horne Foundation.
Headshot by Arielle Doneson.
Central City Opera- La Traviata
“The production’s other standout was Troy Cook, a veteran baritone with a pleasing, pliable voice. In a stirring debut as Giorgio Germont, he delivered a technically flawless performance as he burrowed in and conveyed the emotional core of the conflicted father. One hopes to see more of him in this role.”
– Central City Opera, La traviata, Kyle MacMillan, Opera News
Opera Philadelphia – Don Carlo
One performance truly stands out in my mind—even in the shadow of Owens, Troy Cook’s noble portrayal of Rodrigo was a thrill to behold. It can be a thankless task, representing the loyal sidekick of a troubled Infante, but Cook was fully invested in his character, and his voice is ideal for the role. He has a beautiful, robust, woolen baritone, the sort that flows effortlessly in its middle range, and gathers energy as it climbs higher, never showing the faintest hint of a blemish. His interpretations of the two arias in his death scene could stand next to just about anyone’s—that glorious, full tone never faltered, even as he peppered his final lines with twinges of agony. To this point, Cook has appeared mostly with regional American companies, such as Kentucky, the Boston Lyric, and Opera North Carolina. It’s rarely worth speculating as to why this or that singer is not engaged at this or that house, and I won’t attempt that here. But I will say that if Cook should make an appearance in New York, I will make a point of going to hear him.”
Eric Simpson, The New Criterion
“The evening’s most elegant singing came from Cook’s nobly enacted Posa, consistently well-limned and attentive to bel canto phrasing. In this part his compact baritone suits a midsize venue like the Academy of Music better than it might a huge house; but his beautifully done two-part farewell to Carlo (and life) capped the evening and roused deserved cheers.”
David Shengold, Opera News
As Rodrigo, Troy Cook was a commanding, stagewise presence, moving with grace, and wielding an elegant light baritone.
Eric Myers, Opera
Boston Lyric Opera – I puritani
“…Troy Cook’s Riccardo (firm yet agile of voice, neglecting none of the needed passagework, giving words full value) really approached the ideal.”
David Shengold, Opera Magazine
“…it’s Troy Cook’s Richard, heartbreaking in his cavatina “Ah! per sempre io ti perdei,” who seems the more passionate lover, and there’s an excruciating moment when Elvira, thinking he’s Arthur, snuggles up to him.”
Jeffrey Gantz, The Boston Globe
Pittsburgh Opera – La bohème
For his part, Mr. Cook showed off the multiple sides of Marcello. He played an equally comic counterpart to Musetta but still lent vigor to his character with powerful vocals, particularly at the end of the festive second act.
Elizabeth Bloom, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Central City Opera – Show Boat
The vocal star of the evening was baritone Troy Cook as the slick gambler Gaylord Ravenal. In his second principal role for the company, he just kept ringing out beautiful sounds, making it easy to believe that the show’s young ingenue, Magnolia, could easily fall for him.
David Sckolnik, The Gazette
Cook is a commanding presence as the flawed romantic lead, gambler Gaylord Ravenal, capable of switching quickly from high comedy to heartrending pathos and again to suave romance. Gorgeously presenting several signature songs, including “Make Believe,” Cook is always the center when onstage.
Kelly Dean Hansen, The Daily Camera
Opera Philadelphia – Silent Night
On the Scottish side, Troy Cook, as the chaplain, sang Puts’ setting of the Prayer of St. Francis so effectively that it was the emotional center of Act II.
David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer
Opera Philadelphia – La bohème
Her boyfriend Marcello is sung by Troy Cook with the sort of baritone that could promise a great future in Verdi…
David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer
Central City Opera – La bohème
Baritone Troy Cook offered a strong, well-rounded portrayal of Marcello…
Kyle MacMillan, Opera News
In strong supporting performances, baritone Troy Cook shone as the gullible but good-hearted Marcello…
Sabine Kortals, Denver Post
Best of the men was Troy Cook, whose Marcello ripped through the house with a manly baritone and a maniacal presence.
David Sckolnik, ColoradoSprings.com
Opera Philadelphia – Manon Lescaut
Baritone Troy Cook was first-rate as Manon’s venal brother, Lescaut…
Craig Smith, SantaFe.com
Minnesota Opera – Silent Night
The many male voices are well-differentiated: Troy Cook’s Palmer, Andrew Wilkowske’s Ponchel and the trio of lieutenants (Liam Bonner, Craig Irvin, Gabriel Preisser) merit special praise.
Larry Fuchsberg, Star Tribune
Other notable singers were…Troy Cook as a Scottish priest.
Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden – Così fan tutte
Troy Cook’s excellent baritone was in fine fettle from the off.
Colin Clarke, The Opera Critic
As a heavy metal aficionado, Guglielmo (Troy Cook) was suitably cock-sure, and petulant in his comeuppance, angrily muttering uncharitable thought during the Ab canon at the wedding.
Claire Seymor, Operatoday.com
Troy Cook, also American-half the cast is- made for a fine Guglielmo, with an extremely well-schooled lyric baritone of ideal Mozartian weight, evenness, flexibility and colour, all of which is a fine irony given that of all the principals, he gets both the least, and the worst music to sing (“non siate ritrosi” and “Donne miei” are both pretty weak specimens).
Stephen Jay-Taylor, Opera Britannia
Opera Philadelphia – Madama Butterfly
…a vocally secure and theatrically poised Sharpless.
David Patrick Steams, Philadelphia Inquirer
Florida Grand Opera – La bohème
Troy Cook is the cast’s ringleader, an animated Marcello the painter, always engaging.
Jack Zink, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Lyric Opera of Kansas City – Les pêcheurs de perles
But the opera belonged to Cook, whose Zurga seemed like the only human being onstage. His resplendent baritone is always a pleasure, but beyond that you really believed in the complexity of his character. Most of all, his simple act of sacrifice becomes the agent of sanity in this insane but oddly rewarding piece of musical theater, and in his bracing final aria you realized that “Pearl Fishers” is really just a love triangle in which somebody had to give in for sake of friendship.
Paul Horsley, The Kansas City Star
Opera Philadelphia – La bohème
It was Troy Cook (Marcello) and Ermonela Jaho (Mimi), however, who really stole the stage. Cook’s rich inflections and Jaho’s delicate spin to each phrase reinforced Puccini’s wonderful sweeping melodies. Their voices meshed perfectly together in their duet at the beginning of act III, perhaps the highlight of the entire production.
Sydney de Lapeyrouse, Phllyist Goes to the Opera
Berkshire Opera Company – L’elisir d’amore
Baritone Troy Cook came close to stealing the show as the fatuous Sergeant Belcore, who’s as much in love with himself in uniform as he is with Adina, and he lobbed a string of high notes into the auditiorium.
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe
Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Troy Cook as Enrico was every bit Wilson’s equal as Enrico, the manipulative brother whose remorse comes too late to save his sister. His bronze baritone was verile and controlled, his acting exceptional.
Paul Horsley, The Kansas City Star
|Bizet||Zurga||Les pêcheurs de perles|
|Britten||Billy Budd||Billy Budd|
|Debussy||Pelléas||Pelléas et Mélisande|
|Donizetti||Enrico||Lucia di Lammermoor|
|Lehar||Danilo||The Merry Widow|
|Mozart||Guglielmo||Così fan tutte|
|Mozart||Il Conte||Le nozze di Figaro|
|Poulenc||Husband||Les Mamelles de Tirésias|
|Rossini||Figaro||Il barbiere di Siviglia|
|Rossini||Germano||La Scala di Seta|
|J. Strauss||Eisenstein||Die Fledermaus|