A recent recipient of the Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, Theo Hoffman is quickly becoming a sought-after talent. Original engagements for his COVID-19 shortened 2019-2020 season begin with his debut with Opera Philadelphia in the O19 Festival as Denis in the world premiere of Denis & Katya by Philip Venables, followed by his return to Los Angeles Opera in his first professional performances of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, marking his eighth production with the company. In the spring of 2020, he debuts at Seattle Opera as Schaunard in La bohème. On the concert stage, he returns to New York Festival of Song, performs with Southern Oregon Repertory Singers as a soloist in Joby Talbot’s Sheen of Dew, tours with Apollo’s Fire as a soloist in the St. Matthew Passion, and debuts with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Hoffman’s 2018-2019 season included a role debut as Count Almaviva at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Mr. Kallenbach in Satyagraha with Los Angeles Opera, Paul in Les Enfants Terribles with Opera Omaha, as well as debut performances with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the prestigious Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg Mozartwoche, where he performed Colas/Buff in Bastien und Bastienne/Der Schauspieldirektor.
In the 2017 season, Mr. Hoffman essayed the role of Josef K. in the American Premiere of The Trial by Philip Glass at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to critical acclaim. He was also presented in recital at The Kennedy Center in the 2017-18 season by Vocal Arts DC as the Gerald Perman Emerging Artist.
The Manhattan-born baritone trained at Los Angeles Opera as a Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist. While a young artist, he performed Maximilian in Francesca Zambello’s acclaimed production of Candide under the baton of James Conlon, as well as Le Dancaïre in Carmen. He debuted with the company in 2016 as Il medico in Macbeth opposite Placido Domingo, and performed Second Nazarene in Salome, Hermann in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, First Editor in Wonderful Town, and covered Horemhab in Akhnaten. Mr. Hoffman joined forces with composer/conductor Matthew Aucoin in a series of after-hours concerts at LA Opera entitled The Song: From Schubert to Springsteen as well as a chamber concert in conjunction with The Colburn School.
A fast-rising recitalist, Mr. Hoffman made his debut with the New York Festival of Song in 2013 in its Ports of Call program at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and later performed at Carnegie Hall with the organization in its 2014 spring gala commemorating Leonard Bernstein. Since then, he has joined NYFOS for their After Hours and NYFOS Next series, as well as Craigslistlieder and Other Love Songs, and Great American Songwriting Teams at Juilliard. In 2016, he was named a member of their Artists Council after his curatorial involvement in Schubert/Beatles, which makes future appearances with Moab Music Festival and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. In 2014, he made his Alice Tully Hall debut in Juilliard Songfest, at which he performed Britten’s Songs and Proverbs of William Blake with Brian Zeger. A former SongFest Stern Fellow, his performances included joining Martin Katz for Ravel’s Don Quichotte a Dulcinée and a recital curated by John Musto that included the composer’s The Brief Light at The Colburn School in Los Angeles. His other recital and chamber music credits include Barber’s Dover Beach with Juilliard ChamberFest as well as works on Juilliard’s Songbook and Liederabend series and performances at the Chautauqua Institution and the Eastman School of Music.
In the 2015-16 season, Mr. Hoffman made his debut with Atlanta Opera as Schaunard in La bohème and returned to The Juilliard School as a Master of Music candidate under the mentorship of Sanford Sylvan. There he sang his first performances of Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Le Directeur in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, and covered the title role in Der Kaiser von Atlantis. Additionally, he joined Arizona Musicfest as the baritone soloist in Carmina Burana, as well as the New York Philharmonic for a chamber concert of Wolf and Mahler.
In the 2014-15 season, Mr. Hoffman joined the Cecilia Chorus of New York for Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, marking his Carnegie Hall debut and sang Orff’s Carmina Burana as a guest artist at Vassar College. He performed Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas with New York Lyric Opera and debuted with the Portland Symphony Orchestra as Jailer, First Officer, and Second Commissioner in Dialogues des carmélites. Mr. Hoffman spent summer 2015 at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in the company’s Mozart Residency.
Mr. Hoffman completed his Bachelor of Music degree at The Juilliard School, where he was the winner of the 2015 Juilliard Vocal Arts Honors Recital and was presented in recital at Alice Tully Hall. Additionally at Juilliard, he performed Bob in Menotti’s Old Maid and the Thief, the Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Lunardo in Le donne curiose, and covered Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia. He made his professional debut with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Thierry in Dialogues des carmélites, where he has also covered Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Tomeš in Smetana’s The Kiss, and Major-General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance while a Gerdine Young Artist.
Mr. Hoffman made his first public appearance on the Metropolitan Opera stage as a Grand Finalist in the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after winning in the Eastern Region. Mr. Hoffman is a 2015 third prize-winner in the Gerda Lissner Foundation’s International Vocal Competition, and the recipient of a Richard Gaddes Career Grant from Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
Opera Theatre of St. Louis – The Trial
The anchor of the production is the physically slight, vocally towering performance of Theo Hoffman as Josef K. Seldom off stage, Mr. Hoffman deployed his ringing baritone to tremendous effect, mining every nuance out of a wide-ranging, emotionally draining characterization. His beautifully internalized acting made K a wholly engaging personality, a sympathetic patsy whose victimization was first cruelly comical, then horrifyingly tragic. His beautifully modulated singing was even throughout all registers, and was as notable for its powerful bursts of indignation as for its introspective, whimpering cries of disbelief. Theo has created as thrillingly definitive a rendition of this central character as is likely possible.”
James Sohre, Opera Today
“And what a premiere! Sunday’s flawless performance came with one of those endings where the audience was holding its breath and didn’t even realize it until that startling closing line (no spoilers here, though it’s in the book). You could almost hear the collective gasp — and then everyone jumped to their feet. Theo Hoffman, who stars as the hapless Josef K., came in for the most applause, and rightly so: He was on stage for every minute of the show, and he was simply incredible.”
Sarah Fenske, Riverfront Times
“As Josef K., Theo Hoffman appears and sings in every scene, displaying remarkable endurance and a gorgeous, wide-ranging baritone. By turns bewildered, defiant and lusting, he seems to shrink into himself at the inevitability of the final scene, in a memorable image.”
Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Los Angeles Opera – After Hours: A Musical Nocturne
With easy control, Hoffman’s strong, warm voice filled the space…the entire room sat mesmerized. Hoffman transfixed audience members, several of whom had moved to the floor in front of the piano by the end of the set. In the final chorus, he closed his eyes, spread his arms out like wings and released his powerful voice full-throttle. This was a performance so visceral, so equally raw and refined, it felt completely fresh.”
Catherine Womack, LA Times
Metropolitan Opera – National Council Audition Grand Finals
If I could have awarded one more prize, it would have gone to the baritone Theo Hoffman, who sang scenes from Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, and Gluck’sIphigénie en Tauride with refined intensity and – especially in the Korngold – a seemingly intuitive understanding of how to integrate a voice into a plush orchestral texture.”
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times
Juilliard Opera – Die Zauberflöte
From his first entrance chasing after flying puppets, Theo Hoffman’s geeky birder Papageno was a crowd-pleaser, with a solid, burnished baritone and a handy way with a self-deprecating retort.”
Joanne Sydney Lessner, Opera News
New York Festival of Song – Schubert and the Beatles
“Waldesnacht” (In the forest) was followed by “Norwegian Wood;” “Der Wanderer an den Mond” (The wanderer and the moon) was paired with a duet version of “She’s Leaving Home.” Blier noted that the idea for the pairing was spearheaded in part by performer Theo Hoffman, who not only lent his lush baritone to an expert rendition of “Du bist die Ruh,” but also accompanied himself—on the guitar—while he did so. As unconventional as this was, it’s hard to imagine, after Hoffman’s rendering, that Schubert could have willed it any other way. Hoffman played guitar for most of the Beatles selections, and also lent a cool falsetto to high harmonies. He was a star of the evening…”
Maria Mazzaro, Opera News
New York Lyric Opera – Dido and Aeneas
Theo Hoffman, the Aeneas, sang with persuasive commitment and displayed a roaring baritone that seemed like it should have emerged from a body much beefier than his compact frame.”
Fred Cohn, Opera News