Anthony Dean Griffey - Tenor

“But as I think back, it is individual performances by singers that stay with me, none more so than the tenor Anthony Dean Griffey’s portrayal of the title role in the Met’s new production of Britten’s “Peter Grimes.” Singing with exemplary artistry and raw emotion, Mr. Griffey found his own way into the daunting role of Grimes, fully conveying that reclusive fisherman’s instability and violent streak while revealing the wounded child within. This was an overdue personal triumph for a selfless artist who rose through the ranks of the Met and had been underused until now.” - New York Times, May, 2008

Grammy Award Winning American tenor Anthony Dean Griffey has captured critical and popular acclaim on opera, concert and recital stages worldwide. The combination of his beautiful and powerful lyric tenor voice, along with his gift for exceptional communication and excellent musicianship have earned him the highest praise. He has been hailed for possessing both “presence and a tenor that is pure, sweet and clarion” (The Los Angeles Times), and for having a voice that is “both full-bodied and sweet-toned” (The New York Times). In February of 2009, Griffey’s critically acclaimed tenor won him two Grammy Awards, Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording of Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny with James Conlon, Patti LuPone, and Audra McDonald.

In the 2008 - 2009 season Mr. Griffey will perform leading roles with many of America’s premiere opera houses, to include appearances with Opera Philadelphia as Florestan in Fidelio, the Portland Opera as Peter Quint in Turn of the Screw, and the San Diego Opera in the title role of Peter Grimes. His extensive concert schedule includes an appearance with the Rotterdam Philharmonic in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde under the baton of Valery Gergiev, and performances of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl under Maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen, with the New York Philharmonic under Maestro Lorin Maazel, the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, the Zürich Tonhalle Orchester under Maestro David Zinman, as well as with the Milwaukee Symphony. He will return to the Ravinia Festival in July for performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Maestro James Conlon, and he will also re-unite with Maestro Seiji Ozawa with the Berlin Philharmonic in Mendelssohn’s Elias, as well as at the Saito Kinen Festival in Britten’s War Requiem.

In the 2007 – 2008 season he returned to the Metropolitan Opera in the title role of Britten’s Peter Grimes, which was simulcast in movie theaters and recorded for future release on DVD, and he joined the Fort Worth Opera in one of his signature roles, Lennie Small in Floyd’s Of Mice and Men. Newsday raved of his recent performance in that role that his “lithe lyric tenor was tender in its high notes and impassioned in the lower register, all the while possessing the perfect degree of stylistic simplicity for the role.” In addition to his operatic perform-ances, his concert calendar included engagements to sing Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde under Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and also with the Syracuse Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem with the Detroit Symphony, and Handel’s Messiah with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He sang Zemlinsky's Eine florentinische Tragödie with the New York Philharmonic and with the Staatskapelle Dresden, both under James Conlon. He was engaged twice this season with Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo to sing Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius and Zemlinsky's Eine florentinische Tragödie, and performed Elgar’s The Apostles with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms.

The 2006 – 2007 season found Mr. Griffey making his much anticipated Los Angeles Opera debut as Jim Mahoney in Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. The Los Angeles Times praised his perform-ances as “brilliant” and went onto say that he was “the perfect Jimmy,” and Opera News reported that “Griffey was a sensation.” He returned to the Los Angeles Opera later in the season as Guido Bardi in the company’s production of Eine florentinische Tragödie. Concert highlights from the 06-07 season included performances of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas in Lucerne, Switzerland, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah under Seiji Ozawa at both the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan and at the Teatro Comunale di Firenze in Italy. He appeared with the Milwaukee Symphony in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, and with the London Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Miami, Florida. He sang a centenary concert of Elgar’s The Kingdom with the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the Birmingham Festival in England, Britten’s Seranade and War Requiem with the Aspen Music Festival, and the role of Guido Bardi in Zemlinsky's Eine florentinische Tragödie at the Ravinia Festival with Maestro James Conlon. No stranger to performing in more intimate settings, Mr. Griffey gave recitals at the Schubert Club, Aspen Music Festival, Music of Southhampton, and at Northwestern University.

Mr. Griffey most recently released disc is Britten’s War Requiem, which was recorded live with Maestro Kurt Masur and the London Philharmonic at Royal Festival Hall. He can also be heard on disc and DVD in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire (Deutsche Grammophon), in Les Mamelles de Tirésias conducted by Seiji Ozawa (Philips), I Lombardi with James Levine (Decca Records), and in Amy Beach's Cabildo (Delos). He appears on a live recording Of Mice and Men with the Houston Grand Opera (Albany), as well as in the DVD of the 1999 Metropolitan Opera Tristan und Isolde (DG/Universal). Live television broadcasts include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Seiji Ozawa in celebration of the opening of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Das Lied von der Erde with Christoph Eschenbach on the BBC as part of the BBC Proms concerts, and Peter Grimes with Ozawa in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the work’s premiere as part of “A Tale of Tanglewood” which was televised on Ovation. He has also been featured with André Previn on A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts.

In demand around the globe, highlights of Mr. Griffey illustrious career include his performances in leading roles at major opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, Glyndebourne, the Paris Opera and Opera Bastille as well as many others. Orchestra engagements have included appearances with the orchestras of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Saint Louis, Minnesota, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Houston, Detroit, Baltimore and Saint Paul, and internationally he has sung with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Müncher Symphoniker, Orchestre de Paris, Montreal Symphony, the Oslo Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland, the NHK Symphony in Japan, and the Halle Orchestra, among others. He has collaborated with many of today’s most prestigious conductors, including James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Michael Tilson Thomas, Sir Andrew Davis, Esa Pekka Salonen, Kurt Masur, Donald Runnicles, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Edo de Waart, Sir Neville Mariner, James Conlon, Maris Jansons, Naemi Jarvi, Charles Dutoit, Julius Rudel, Robert Spano, Mark Wigglesworth, Alan Gilbert, Andreas Delfs, Gerard Schwarz, Mark Elder, and John Nelson, among others.

Mr. Griffey appears regularly with several popular festivals including Tanglewood, Mostly Mozart, Saito Kinen, Grant Park, Marlboro, Grand Teton, and the Proms in London. At the 2004 Lanaudière Festival in Montreal, Mr. Griffey sang a particularly interesting program, including two major works, Chausson’s Poème de l'Amour et de la Mer, and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, which marked the first time that a tenor had performed the Barber piece. He has performed on many of the country’s leading recital series, including his appearances with David Daniels in Britten’s rarely heard cantata Abraham and Isaac at Carnegie Hall, and at the Ravinia Festival with Christoph Eschenbach accompanying on piano. He frequently collaborates with fellow-North Carolinian pianist Warren Jones, who accompanied him for his 2004 successful New York solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. André Previn composed, and dedicated, a song cycle for Mr. Griffey in celebration of his Carnegie Hall debut, and accompanied him on the piano for the cycle.

Anthony Dean Griffey, a recipient of many awards and honors, was featured in Musical America in 2005 as one of twelve exceptional singers of distinction. He holds degrees from Wingate University, the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School.
This biography was most recently edited by...
BillStensrud - 7 May 2009