Earl Hazell

Biography

Earl Hazell, Basso Cantante and native New Yorker is a performing and creative artist developing a multi-faceted career through the embrace of opera, literature and modern jazz on the world stage. Most recently, he embarked on his third production with Lyric Opera of Chicago when he joined the cast of Verdi’s Nabucco, directed by Matthew Ozawa, under Maestro Carlo Rizzi. Earl also recently performed as Bass soloist for the Grand Canyon University Symphony Orchestra productions of the Verdi Requiem and Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem; as Talpa in Il tabarro for the Utah Festival Opera production of Puccini’s Il Trittico and Booker T. Washington for their production of Ragtime; as Bass soloist for Bach’s Mass in B minor with the Utah Festival Opera Orchestra under Maestro Craig Jessop; as Pilate in Bach’s St. John Passion for MusicaNova of Phoenix under Maestro Warren Cohen; as Bass soloist for the Scottsdale Symphony Orchestra production of the Beethoven Ninth Symphony; and appeared to critical acclaim at the Interlakes Theatre in New Hampshire and at Arizona Broadway Theatre as Joe in their productions of Kern’s Show Boat.

A graduate of the La Guardia High School of the Arts at Lincoln Center, the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and student of Robert White (of the Aaron Copland and Juilliard Schools of Music) and Everett McCorvey (of the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre), Earl has performed with the New York Philharmonic numerous times. This includes their landmark performances of the Britten War Requiem under Kurt Masur in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine; the Beethoven Ninth Symphony under Zubin Mehta in the United Nations; and the nationally televised Beethoven Choral Fantasy with pianist Alfred Brendel in the One Hundredth Anniversary of Carnegie Hall, conducted by James Levine of the Metropolitan Opera.

By way of the mentorship of Maestro John L. Motley (former accompanist to African-American Spirituals composer Hall Johnson and acclaimed Music Director of the New York All-City High School Chorus), Earl was a member of the legendary Max Roach Ensemble for their performances in Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy. He also independently studied jazz composition with icons Jimmy Heath, saxophonist (author of I Walked With Giants) and trumpeter Donald Byrd.

A recurring featured soloist throughout the United States and Spain with the American Spiritual Ensemble founded by Dr. Everett McCorvey, he has also worked with Opera Ebony of New York on several productions. These include the critically acclaimed Faust and the internationally televised production Jessye Norman Sings for the Healing of AIDS with Jessye Norman, Max Roach, authors Maya Angelou & Toni Morrison, choreographer Bill T. Jones, actresses Anna Deveare Smith & host Whoopi Goldberg, and special guest Elton John; directed by George C. Wolfe.

As a member of the Moses Hogan Singers, he had the pleasure of working personally with the composer for “Give Me Jesus”: the CD of his signature Spirituals arrangements for his ensemble and the celebrated soprano Barbara Hendricks, produced and recorded by EMI.

As a Basso Cantante, Earl has worked with San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Tulsa Opera, Arizona Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Townsend Opera of California, and Phoenix Opera among others; performing and covering roles such as Colline in La bohème; Crown in Porgy and Bess; Zuniga in Carmen; Ferrando in Il trovatore; Joe in Show Boat; Booker T. Washington in Ragtime; Sarastro and The Speaker in Die Zauberflöte; and Ramfis and Amonasro in Aida.

It is through his treasured relationship with the quintessentially American opera Porgy and Bess, however, that Earl has become a citizen of the world. Soon after performing in the ensemble of the historic Götz Friedrich production in the Theatre Des Westens, Berlin, he has performed the character roles of Jake, Jim, the Undertaker, Robbins, Nelson and Lawyer Frazier throughout North America (including Canada, the United States & Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean); Western, Central and Eastern Europe; The United Kingdom; Australia & Tasmania, and New Zealand. This includes the Hamburgische Staatsoper; Teatro Regio di Parma; Lyric Theatre of Sydney; the Centro de Belem of Lisbon; Teatro Communale, Bologna; Royal Albert Hall, London; Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City; The Badminton Theatre, Athens; The Semperoper, Dresden; Mikhailovsky Theatre, St. Petersburg; The Festspielhaus of Baden-Baden; Opera-Théâtre d’Avignon; The Teatro dell’ Opera of Rome; and other houses throughout Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Russia, Poland, Switzerland, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Earl debuted with Tulsa Opera as The Speaker in their 2008 production of Die Zauberflöte; with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Nelson in Porgy and Bess in 2008 and with San Francisco Opera as Jim in Porgy and Bess in 2009 (nationally televised on PBS); and with Phoenix Opera as Zuniga in their 2009 production of Carmen. As a featured soloist with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, he alternately performed the roles of Cascada and Kromov in their 2010 production of The Merry Widow in Tucson, before returning to perform the role of Leporello in their concert presentation of Don Giovanni. He debuted with Arizona Opera as Il Contadino in their 2011 production of Pagliacci.

Earl proudly returned to Phoenix Opera as Sarastro for their touring production of Die Zauberflöte; the Speaker for their mainstage Die Zauberflöte production at the Orpheum Theatre; and his critically acclaimed work in the cameo role of Il Commissario in La traviata. He also returned to Arizona Opera as the Old Gypsy in Il trovatore and Bishop Dyer in the original opera workshop of composer Craig Bohmler’s Riders of the Purple Sage; to San Francisco Opera for their landmark production of Show Boat, with conductor and director Francesca Zambello & John de Main, singers Patricia Racette & Morris Robinson and actors Bill Irwin & Harriet Harris; and to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Jim for their second production of Porgy and Bess.

Repertoire

OPERA/THEATER REPERTOIRE
Composer Role Work Company Year
Gershwin Porgy (cover) Porgy and Bess Fort Worth Operae 2019
Kern Joe Show Boat Interlakes Theatre 2018
Kern Joe Show Boat Arizona Broadway Theatre 2018
Bohmler Bishop Dyer (cover) Riders of the Purple Sage (world premiere) Arizona Opera 2017
Gershwin Porgy (cover) Porgy and Bess Utah Festival Opera 2016
Puccini Talpa Il tabarro Utah Festival Opera 2016
Puccini Pinellino Gianni Schicchi Utah Festival Opera 2016
Ahrens/Flaherty Booker T. Washington Ragtime Utah Festival Opera 2016
Gershwin Jim/Lawyer Frazier (cover) Porgy and Bess Lyric Opera of Chicago 2014
Gershwin Crown (cover) Porgy and Bess Palacio de Bellas Artes 2014
Verdi Il Commissario La traviata Arizona Opera 2014
Menotti Balthasar Amahl and the Night Visitors West Valley Symphony 2013
Verdi Old Gypsy Il trovatore Arizona Opera 2013
Verdi Amonasro (cover) Aida Arizona Opera 2012
Leoncavallo Il Contadino Pagliacci Arizona Opera 2011
Verdi Il Commissario La traviata Phoenix Opera 2011
Bizet Zuniga (cover) Carmen Arizona Opera 2010
Mozart Sarastro Die Zauberflöte (tour) Phoenix Opera 2010
Mozart Der Sprecher Die Zauberflöte Phoenix Opera 2010
Mozart Leporello Don Giovanni Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra 2010
Léhar Kromov/Cascada The Merry Widow Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra 2010
Bizet Zuniga Carmen Phoenix Opera 2009
Gershwin Lawyer Frazier Porgy and Bess Semperoper Dresden 2009
Gershwin Jim/Crown (cover) Porgy and Bess San Francisco Opera 2009
Verdi Ramfis (cover) Aida Phoenix Opera 2009
Menotti Balthasar Amahl and the Night Visitors Valley Presbyterian Church 2008
Gershwin Nelson Porgy and Bess Lyric Opera of Chicago 2008
Gershwin Lawyer Frazier Porgy and Bess Hamburgische Staatsoper 2008
Mozart Der Sprecher Die Zauberflöte Tulsa Opera 2008
Puccini Colline (cover) La bohème PHoenix Opera 2007
Verdi Ferrando (cover) Il trovatore Utah Festival Opera 2007
Kern Joe Show Boat Utah Festival Opera 2007
Gershwin Crown (cover) Porgy and Bess Tulsa Opera 2007
SUGGESTED REPERTOIRE
Composer Role Work
Beethoven Rocco Fidelio
Bellini Oroveso Norma
Bizet Nourabad Les pêcheurs de perles
Boito Mefistofele Mefistofele
Britten Claggart Billy Budd
Donizetti Enrico Anna Bolena
Donizetti Dulcamara L’Elisir d’amore
Donizetti Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor
Floyd Olin Blitch Susannah
Gounod Méphistophélès Faust
Gounod Frère Laurent, Capulet Roméo et Juliette
Mozart Osmin Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Mozart Don Alfonso Così fan tutte
Offenbach Lindorf, Coppélius, Dappertutto, Dr. Miracle Les contes d’Hoffmann
Puccini Il Bonzo Madama Butterfly
Puccini Timur Turandot
Rossini Don Bartolo, Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia
Rossini Don Magnifico La cenerentola
Rossini Mustafà, Taddeo L’Italiana in Algeri
Stravinsky Nick Shadow The Rake’s Progress
Verdi Amonasro Aida
Verdi Filippo, Grand Inquisitor Don Carlo
Verdi Falstaff, Pistola Falstaff
Verdi Banco Macbeth
Verdi Zaccaria Nabucco
Verdi Sparafucile Rigoletto
Verdi Fiesco Simon Boccanegra
Verdi Ferrando Il trovatore
Verdi Padre Guardiano, Fra Melitone La forza del destino
von Weber Cuno Der Freischütz
Wagner Wotan, Fasolt, Fafner Das Rheingold
Wagner Daland Der fliegende Holländer
Wagner Pogner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
ORATORIO/CONCERT
Composer Work
Bach Christmas Oratorio
Bach St. John Passion
Bach St. Matthew Passion
Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem
Ellington Sacred Works
Fauré Requiem
Haydn Creation (Raphael)
Hayes Requiem
Hayes Te Deum
Mahler Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Mendelssohn Elijah
Mozart Great Mass in C minor
Mozart Requiem
Rossini Stabat Mater
Verdi Requiem

In The Press

SHOW BOAT

“But the heart of the score, the song that needs to be solid on all fronts, is Ol’ Man River. Without it, the show falls upon itself; it has to be right. Described in the program as a Basso Cantante, a singer possessing a bass voice with a developed upper range, Earl Hazell as Joe delivers the score’s best known song. Lyrically, Ol’ Man River equates the flow of the mighty Mississippi to the never-ending hardships of daily life for the African American worker. It expresses the thoughts and feelings of the black dockworker while giving insight to the toil and trouble of a hardworking, everyday, backbreaking existence. Yet while it furthers character, it also stops the show. When Hazell takes center stage for the final line of the song, he points, reaches out, clutches his fist, then yanks it sharply back, bringing the song to a passionate and affecting close. Going forward, who needs to hear Ol’ Man River sung any other way?” – David Appleford, Valley Screen and Stage

“As Joe, Earl Hazell’s soaring voice ensures that his many reprises of “Ol’ Man River” are highlights…” – Gil Benbrook, Talkin’ Broadway

“Earl Hazell – Joe: Welcome to ABT! Not only was your rendition of “Ol’ Man River” one of the best I have heard, but your unbelievable great characterization was a pleasure to watch. Thank you!” – Jay Horne, In a Director’s Viewpoint

RAGTIME

“The real-life characters depicted (Tuan Malinowski as Houdini, Earl Wellington Hazell as Booker T. Washington, Vanessa Schukis as Emma Goldman, and Nora Graham as Evelyn Nesbit), peppered the story with layers. Hazell and Schukis in particular were memorable and authoritative, with Hazell as the voice of reason, and Schukis as the voice of anarchy.” – Utah Theatre Bloggers

DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE

“As the Speaker, Earl Hazell sang with dark tonal colors that rang true.” – Opera Today

LA TRAVIATA

“Earl Hazell sang the Commissioner with a stentorian voice.” – Opera Today

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