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American baritone ROBERT PRESLEY, a native of Alabama, moved to the UK from San Francisco, California, where for a number of years he was a member of the San Francisco Opera.
Trained at the University of Southern Mississippi and at Kent State University in Ohio, he made his professional opera debut at the age of nineteen with the Mississippi Opera as Betto di Signa in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.
He has appeared with several companies in the USA in many roles including Rigoletto, Germont La traviata, di Luna Il trovatore, Miller Luisa Miller, Iago Otello, Figaro and Bartolo The Barber of Seville, Magnifico La Cenerentola, Enrico Lucia di Lammermoor, Alfonso Lucrezia Borgia, Ko-ko The Mikado, Ezio Attila, Silvio Pagliacci, the title role in John Phillip Sousa’s El Capitan, and he created the role of the Grandfather in American composer Carla Lucero’s opera Wuarnos.
He worked with San Francisco Opera’s education/outreach programme and initiated a similar programme with the Nevada Opera in Reno.
He has performed concerts in England, Italy, Lebanon, the USA, and the Larnaca International Music Festival in Cyprus. He covered the role of Rigoletto for Castleward Opera, Belfast, in 2004, and that year made an acclaimed UK opera debut as Ford Falstaff with New Sussex Opera. He toured England and Wales with Garden Opera in 2005 as Magnifico La Cenerentola, and sang with that company on its third annual tour to Kenya in March 2006.
Later that year he made his debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as soloist in Beethoven’s 9th, and sang the role of Ashmodeus in New Sussex Opera’s production of Jonathan Dove’s Tobias and the Angel. Robert returned to Castleward Opera in June 2007 for several operatic concerts, one of which was recorded for broadcast by BBC Radio Ulster.
He sang Germont last summer (2008) for the Longborough Festival Opera, Sharpless Madama Butterfly for Opera Brava, and Ford for Opera Project. He recently sang the role of Beckmesser in a concert performance Die Meistersinger, Act III, for London’s Wagner Society, the Beethoven 9th for Liverpool’s Cornerstone Music Festival, the Voice of Neptune Idomeneo for New Sussex Opera, and Germont La traviata for Riverside Opera, a role he will repeat for France’s Opera de Bauge in July/August 2009.