Ryan Townsend Strand, tenor, is a Minnesota native whose “beautiful vocalism” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “expressive poise” (Chicago Classical Review) have afforded him an expanding career as a concert and oratorio soloist.
Strand most recently was a featured soloist performing Bach’s Magnificat and Handel’s Dixit Dominus with the Chicago Master Singers. Highlights of the 2023-2024 season include featured performances with Bella Voce in October, touring New England with Constellation Men’s Ensemble in January and debuting as tenor soloist for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Illinois Philharmonic in the spring. Especially notable this fall, Strand will perform a solo recital titled Letters to Jackie, premiering 15 works by some of the most sought-after voices in classical music today, on the 60th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. Letters to Jackie will tour throughout the 23-24 season.
Strand made his professional Chicago opera debut in Haymarket Opera Company’s production of Alessandro Scarlatti’s Gli equivoci nel sembiante as Armindo. In fall 2020, he premiered Acis & Galatea in HD (chorus, Acis cover) as part of “a sparkling group of singers” (Hyde Park Herald). He returned to Haymarket for its production of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea in September 2022 as Primo Soldato.
Other operatic productions include Handel’s Beauty’s Truth (Pleasure) and Così fan tutte (Ferrando) with Transgressive Theater-Opera and Elmhurst Symphony; Mark Adamo’s Little Women (Laurie), Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (Nero) and Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath (Al Joad) with Northwestern Opera Theater. With Chicago Opera Theater, Strand most recently performed Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick and has sung other chorus roles in productions of Philip Glass’ The Perfect American, Mozart’s Lucio Silla and Bloch’s Macbeth. Strand will make his onstage debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago in its season productions of Der fliegende Holländer and Aida.
Strand has sung with the Grammy Award-winning contemporary vocal ensemble The Crossing in Philadelphia under Donald Nally. He performs regularly with Music of the Baroque, Stare at the Sun, Bella Voce, William Ferris Chorale, Chicago a Cappella and the Grant Park Festival Chorus. Strand is a founding member and executive director of Constellation Men’s Ensemble, celebrating its 10th season as Chicago’s premier tenor/bass ensemble.
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