Dramatic tenor Issachah Savage is garnering acclaim as a “heldentenor par excellence” with “trumpet-like, clear, open-throated, powerful” singing (San Francisco Examiner). Praised for his “impressive natural instrument” (Opera News), Mr. Savage is the winner of the Seattle International Wagner Competition earning the main prize, audience favorite prize, orchestra favorite prize, and a special honor by Speight Jenkins.
In the 2018/2019 season, Mr. Savage sings the title role in Verdi’s Otello at Austin Lyric Opera as well as Manrico in Il trovatore at Seattle Opera . He makes his European debut as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos at Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse and Siegmund in Die Walküre with Opéra National de Bordeaux conducted by Paul Daniel. In concert, he sings Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Utah Symphony and sing Verdi’s Messa da requiem with the Melbourne Symphony in Australia. He will also make Omaha Symphony debut in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and his Chicago Symphony debut with Riccardo Muti as the Messenger in concert performances of Aida.
Recently, he made his role debut in Verdi’s Otello with Marco Parisotto conducting Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco. He also made his Los Angeles Opera debut as Narraboth in Salome conducted by James Conlon and was heard with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars. On the concert stage, he sang Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl and in New York City at David Geffen Hall, and was heard in recital at Toronto Women’s Musical Club. Additionally, he sang Act 3 of Rossini’s Otello with the American Symphony Orchestra at Bard SummerScape.
Mr. Savage made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Don Riccardo in Verdi’s Ernani. He recently sang Siegmund in Die Walküre at the Canadian Opera Company under Johannes Debus to great critical acclaim and made his mainstage debut as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos at Seattle Opera. He made his role debut in the title role of Rienzi with the National Philharmonic at Strathmore Hall. He also debuted at Austin Lyric Opera as Radames in Aida and with the San Antonio Symphony as Manrico in Il trovatore under Sebastian Lang-Lessing. Issachah Savage made his Houston Grand Opera debut as Radames in Aida opposite Liudmyla Monastyrksa and Dolora Zajick.
He has sung Verdi’s Requiem with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Boston Philharmonic. He also debuted with Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine under Paul Daniel in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and at the Aspen Music Festival as Radames in Aida under conductor Robert Spano, a role he sang with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood under Jacques Lacombe. Other orchestral performances for the dramatic tenor include the world premiere of Wynton Marsalis’s All Rise with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic, the world premiere of Leslie Savoy Burr’s Egypt’s Night with Philadelphia’s Opera North, with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony in Gershwin’s Blue Monday, and with the Opera Orchestra of New York alongside Elina Garanca in Massenet’s La Navarraise.
With a sound that shines in Verdi and Wagner, Mr. Savage participated in San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program for gifted young singers singing the finale to Wagner’s Lohengrin at the Merola Grand Finale concert. Writing of his performances of the last act of Otello in the Schwabacher Summer Concert series, the San Francisco Chronicle stated, “From his opening notes - impeccably shaded and coiled with repressed fury - to the opera's final explosion of grief and shame, Savage sang with a combination of power and finesse that is rare to observe.” Mr. Savage has participated in a number of programs designed for young artists with powerful voices including Evelyn Lear and Thomas Stewart Emerging Singers Program, Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices where he performed scenes from Otello and ACMA’s Wagner Theater program where he performed scenes from Die Walküre, Parsifal and Samson et Dalila.
In addition to his 2012 grand prize with the Marcello Giordani International Competition, Issachah has received a number of prestigious awards, recognition and career grants from institutions such as Wagner Societies of New York, Washington, D. C., and Northern California, Licia Albanese International Puccini Foundation, Olga Forrai Foundation, Gerda Lissner Foundation, Jensen Vocal Competition, Opera Index, and Giulio Gari Foundation. The tenor’s special talents were recognized early on by the Marian Anderson Society of Philadelphia, where he honored as its very first Scholar Artist and then again in 2009 as a prize winner in their Classical Icon competition. He has received two first places prizes in the esteemed Liederkranz Foundation competition, most recently in the 2012 Wagner Division and for General Opera in 2009.
He possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Morgan State University and a Master’s Degree in Opera Voice Performance from The Catholic University of America.