Visiting Professor, Conducting and Opera Performance
Daniel Beckwith has conducted in many of the major opera houses throughout North America and Europe. With a repertoire that spans the 17th through the 20th centuries, he has been hailed as one of the most exciting conductors of his generation.
Mr. Beckwith’s conducting career began in 1991 in an all-Mozart concert with Virginia’s Norfolk Symphony. Only a year later, Houston Opera invited him to conduct Gretry’s rarely performed Zémire et Azor. Many important engagements followed, notably Canadian Opera Company (Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea), Glimmerglass Opera Festival (Rossini’s Le Comte Ory), The Lyric Opera of Chicago ( Così fan tutte), Edmonton Opera (Handel’s Guilio Cesare), and The Opera Theatre of St. Louis (Haydn’s Armida).
Mr. Beckwith served as assistant to James Levine for six seasons at the Metropolitan Opera and was given his conducting debut with Mozart’s Don Giovanni in 1995 after Mr. Levine observed his conducting of a stage rehearsal. On the strength of these performances, Daniel Beckwith was engaged for several important debuts conducting the works of George Frideric Handel, both nationally ( Serse, Seattle Opera) and internationally ( Rinaldo, Grand Theâtre du Genève, Theodora, The Glyndebourne Festival).
The operas of Mozart have figured prominently in Mr. Beckwith’s career. His return engagement to the Metropolitan, as well as his San Francisco Opera and Portland Opera debuts was with Don Giovanni; Vancouver, Baltimore, Edmonton and Arizona opera companies have all heard his performances of Le Nozze di Figaro. Daniel Beckwith’s Australian opera debut in 1998 was with another personal favorite, La Clemenza di Tito. Mr. Beckwith’s return engagement to the Seattle Opera and his debut with the Washington Opera was with Die Zauberflöte.
His love of, and affinity for, the baroque, early classical, and the bel canto repertory has given him the opportunity to perform many of the cornerstone operas of these varying periods: Orphée et Euridice (Utah Opera), Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto (Wolftrap Opera Festival); Lucia di Lammermoor (Cincinnati Opera), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (UK’s Opera North, Florida Grand Opera, Wolftrap Opera Festival), La Cenerentola (Kentucky Opera) L’Elisir d’Amore (Fort Worth Opera), L’Italiana in Algeri (Cleveland Opera, Opera Columbus, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey), and Handel’s Oreste (The Juilliard School and Spoleto Festival, Italy). The vehicle of his April 2000 New York City Opera debut was a new production of Rameau’s Platée which featured the Mark Morris Dance Group.
With an increasingly diverse repertory, Mr. Beckwith has had many return engagements with The New York City Opera (Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Handel’s Alcina, revival of Platée), The Washington Opera (Ward’s The Crucible), The Cincinnati Opera (Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette), Calgary Opera ( Floyd’s Susannah, Don Pasquale, Carmen) Canadian Opera Company (Mozart’s Il Re Pastore), Edmonton Opera ( The Rape of Lucretia, Turandot), Wolftrap Opera Festival ( Falstaff, Die Entführung aus dem Serail). From 1999 to 2001, he was Artistic Director of the Lake George Opera Festival, during which time he conducted performances of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Govanni, Così fan tutte, Madama Butterfly, Il Re Pastore and Ariadne auf Naxos. His concert appearances have included performances with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society in a program of Bach, Handel and the world premiere of Dan Welcher’s JFK: the Voice of Peace; an all-Handel concert with the Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall; orchestral and vocal repertory from Mozart to Wagner with Metropolitan Opera soprano YoungOk Shin at the LG Arts Center in Seoul, South Korea. He made his debut with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque in performances of Handel’s Israel in Egypt. A return to Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival featured mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore in a concert of Bel Canto rarities; his first appearance at Spain’s Santander Festival with soprano Renée Fleming included orchestral and vocal repertory drawn from the 17th to 20th centuries.
In celebration of the Mozart year, Mr. Beckwith conducted an all-Mozart orchestral concert for the Princeton Festival. A concert tour with Renée Fleming included debuts with the Hartford Symphony and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall. Recent engagements included a return to Fort Worth Opera for Giulio Cesare; Carmen for the Green Mountain Opera Festival; Les Contes d’Hoffmann, La Bohème, Serse and Le Nozze di Figaro for Michigan State University; L’Incoronazione di Poppea for Florida State University.
In demand as a partner in recital, he has appeared in the United States and Europe accompanying artists such as Renée Fleming, Benita Valente, Carol Vaness, Nancy Gustafson, Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade, Jennifer Larmore, Denyce Graves, Susanne Mentzer, Jerry Hadley, Ben Heppner, Richard Leech, Nathan Gunn and Samuel Ramey. His television credits (with Ms. Fleming) include Good Morning America, The View, Martha Stewart Living.
As a church musician, Mr. Beckwith has served several landmark churches as Assistant Organist: The Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, St. Bartholomew’s Church and the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine; Interim Director of Music/Organist at St. John’s-in–the-Village, NYC; Director of Music/Organist at The Second Congregational Church, Greenwich, CT.; Interim Director of Music/Organist at St. Luke’s Parish, Darien, CT., Director of Music/Organist at The Reformed Church, Bronxville, New York. He returned to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine as a professional staff singer and Assisting Organist. He is presently the Principal Organist at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola and Assistant Organist at Temple Emanu-EL, both in NYC.