Dr. Randall Umstead
Associate Professor of Voice
RANDALL UMSTEAD, tenor, holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and the Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, both in voice, where he was as a student of Barbara Honn. He also holds the Bachelor of Music degree in voice from Oklahoma Baptist University.
Dr. Umstead has performed widely in both operatic roles and in concert music. He has performed the title role in Britten's Albert Herring, the Doctor in Dominick Argento's The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe, the Lecturer in Argento's one-man monodrama A Water Bird Talk, as well as Lurcanio in Handel's Ariodante, all at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Umstead has also performed the roles of Charlie Dalrymple in Brigadoon, Pietro in Boccaccio (The Ohio Light Opera) and Gabrielle in Casanova's Homecoming (Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca). He was twice a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. During his first fellowship, he performed the roles of La Therière/Le Petit Viellard/La Rainette in Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges with conductor Robert Spano. He also was selected to participate in Tanglewood's Bach Institute, directed by Craig Smith. During his second fellowship, he returned to Tanglewood to appear as the title character in Stravinsky's Mavra, under the direction of James Levine. Opera News praised this performance, calling him, "impressive as the soldier/Mavra, with exemplary diction and a strong, bright sound." The Hartford Courant said of this performance, “Lyric tenor Randall Umstead, playing the charismatic Vasily…stole the show. His voice has colors beyond his age, and acting enhanced his fit with this character.”
In a concert setting, Dr. Umstead has sung the role of the Evangelist in Bach's St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion, as well as in the Bach/Handel/Kaiser St. Mark Passion (1747) with Bach Society Houston. This past season, he appeared in Handel’s Messiah with the Colorado Bach Ensemble. Other highlights include an appearance with bass-baritone Simon Estes, soprano Bronwen Forbay, the Yale Alumni Chorus, and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra as a soloist in Haydn's Creation at the National Arts Festival of South Africa. Dr. Umstead has an extensive concert repertoire, including Carissimi's Jepthe, Handel's Messiah and Dixit Dominus, Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine, Mozart's Mass in C minor and Requiem, Haydn's Missa in tempora belli, Rossini's Stabat Mater and Vaughan Williams' The Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains. He has performed with the Cincinnati Baroque Orchestra, CCM Philharmonia, Catacoustic Consort, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the Kwazulu-Natal (South Africa) Philharmonic Orchestra, the Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the Bach Society of Dayton. This coming season, he makes his debuts with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Brazos Valley Symphony.
Dr. Umstead was as a quarterfinalist in the 2010 International Vocal Competition 's-Hertogenbosch, a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions, and in 2008 was a finalist in the American Bach Society's 5th Biennial Vocal Competition.
Dr. Umstead is active as a recitalist and has taught masterclasses throughout the United States and in South Africa. His students have been semifinalists, finalists, and winners in both chapter and regional NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) auditions, and in 2009 he was selected for the NATS Intern Program. Dr. Umstead currently serves as treasurer/registrar for the Texoma region and as Vice President of the Dallas Fort Worth Chapter of NATS.
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