With a voice that has been described as “sonorous and lush, ”warm,” “formidable,” and “a voice of molten tar,” German bass Michael Tews is making a name for himself in the international opera scene. Today, his repertoire includes many of the largest and most important operatic bass roles, and he has won acclaim for his performances in such roles as Baron Ochs, Il Gran Inquisitore, Falstaff, Usciere in Salvatore Sciarrino’s La Porta della Legge, and Rocco. Following his appearance as Count Waldner in Arabella, the reviewer for Der Westen enthused: “Michael Tews’ performance of Graf Waldner shows that he is one of the best young basses of his generation.”
Following a series of engagements in the ensembles of a number of German opera houses, Mr. Tews has, for the past several years, been in demand as a guest artist, appearing in opera houses such as the Opéra de Lausanne (Falstaff,) the Teatro La Fenice in Venice (Usciere,) the “Musiktheater im Revier” in Gelsenkirchen (Baron Ochs,) and the Lübeck Theater (Il Gran Inquisitore, Rocco.) Additional guest performances have taken him to the opera houses in Detmold and Dessau.
A versatile performer, Mr. Tews has also enjoyed success in performances of new music. In the world premiere of Philip Glass’ Waiting for the Barbarians, he sang the role of Mandel under the direction of Dennis Russel Davies in performances at the Nederlandse Opera
in Amsterdam, Barbican Hall in London (concertant,) and at the Erfurt Theater. A CD of this production was released by Orange Music in New York. In the world premiere of Salvatore Sciarrino’s La Porta della Legge in Wuppertal, he performed the role of Usciere, which he has subsequently reprised at the Nationaltheater in Mannheim, the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, and at Teatro La Fenice in Venice.
Upcoming opera performances include the role of Daland in Der Fliegende Holländer in a large open-air production in Bottrop, Rocco in Fidelio in a performance series in Amsterdam und Rotterdam with the Orchestra of the 18th Century under the direction of Jonathan Darlington, and van Bett in Zar und Zimmermann at the Schlossfestspielen Sondershausen festival. In Summer 2016, he will make his debut at the Eutin Festival in the role of the Hermit in Der Freischütz, and the 2016-17 season will mark his debut at the Semper Oper in Dresden, in the double role of Pfarrer/Dachs in Janacek’s Das schlaue Füchslein.
Mr. Tews is also an active concert performer. His most recent concert performances have taken him to Luxemburg for performances and a CD recording of Jean-Pierre Kemmer’s Passion selon Saint Jean with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, to Stavanger for Mozart’s Requiem with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, to the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic in Hilversum for Kurt Weill’s cantata, Vom Tod im Wald, to Rotterdam for performances and a CD recording of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Orchestra of the 18th Century under the direction of Frans Brüggen, and back to Amsterdam, again in collaboration with Frans Brüggen, for appearances in a performance series, both as Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and other venues, and singing the part of Jesus in Bach’s St. John’s Passion on a concert tour throughout the Netherlands and Austria.
A native of Hamburg, Mr. Tews first studied acting in his hometown before changing career paths in 1990 and enrolling at the University of Music at Frankfurt am Main to study voice with Professor Antonis Constantino. During this time, he also worked with the renowned bass, Manfred Schenk. Mr. Tews began his performing career while still a student, appearing at such opera houses as the state theaters in Darmstadt and Mainz, the Augsburg Theater and the Berlin Chamber Opera. After completing his studies, Mr. Tew’s first engagement was as a member of the ensemble at the Landestheater Coburg. This was followed by positions at the opera houses in Krefeld/Mönchengladbach, Erfurt, Wuppertal, and at the “Musiktheater im Revier” in Gelsenkirchen, where, at the conclusion of only his first season, he was awarded the City of Gelsenkirchen’s “Theater Award.”