Dramatic tenor Issachah Savage is garnering acclaim as a “heldentenor par excellence” with “trumpet-like, clear, open-throated, powerful” singing (San Francisco Examiner). He is the winner of the Seattle International Wagner Competition, earning the main prize, audience favorite prize, orchestra favorite prize and a special honor by opera icon Speight Jenkins.
Recent debuts include St. Louis Symphony and Handel & Haydn Society for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Colorado Symphony for the Verdi Requiem, Stravinsky's Pulcinella/Beethoven Mass in C with the Jacksonville (Florida) Symphony, Act 1 of Die Walküre with Ose! Symphonic Orchestra in Evian, France, and Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra. Additional engagements include a recital with Opera Naples in Florida and the title role in Verdi’s Otello at Austin Lyric Opera in Texas.
He made his European debut in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos (Bacchus) at Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse and sang in Wagner’s Die Walküre (Siegmund) with Opéra National de Bordeaux, conducted by Paul Daniel. In concert, he sang Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Utah Symphony, and Verdi’s Requiem with the Melbourne Symphony in Australia. He also made his Omaha Symphony debut in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and his Chicago Symphony debut with Riccardo Muti in concert performances of Verdi’s Aida (Messenger).
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 in Strauss’ Salome (Narraboth), conducted by James Conlon, and was heard with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in Weill’s Lost in the Stars. On the concert stage, he sang Verdi’s 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. Additionally, he sang Act 3 of Rossini’s Otello with the American Symphony Orchestra at Bard SummerScape.
Savage made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as in Verdi’s Ernani (Don Riccardo). He sang in Die Walküre (Siegmund) at the Canadian Opera Company under Johannes Debus and made his mainstage debut as in Ariadne auf Naxos (Bacchus) at Seattle Opera. He made his role debut as the title role in Wagner’s Rienzi with the National Philharmonic at Strathmore Hall, debuted at Houston Grand Opera and Austin Lyric Opera in Aida (Radames) and performed Il trovatore (Manrico) with the San Antonio Symphony, under Sebastian Lang-Lessing.
In addition to his 2012 grand prize with the Marcello Giordani International Competition, Savage has received several 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 was honored as its first Scholar Artist and then again in 2009 as a prize winner in its Classical Icon competition. He has received two first-place prizes in the Liederkranz Foundation competition, most recently in the 2012 Wagner Division and General Opera in 2009.
He holds 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.
Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.