Lucas Meachem

GRAMMY Award-winning baritone Lucas Meachem, dubbed the “rock star of opera” by Opera Pulse, continues to captivate audiences worldwide with his “earnest, appealing baritone” (The New York Times). Known for his mastery of many of the leading operatic roles, Meachem is a consummate artist with a unique warmth and passion for both audiences and his colleagues.

After a summer at San Francisco Opera performing Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Meachem begins his 2023/24 season in the title role in Don Giovanni with the Los Angeles Opera. He then premieres the lead role of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the brilliant French journalist who shares his surreal yet incisive view of the world after suffering a totally paralyzing stroke, in the world premiere production of composer Joby Talbot’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly at The Dallas Opera. The season then takes him to Staatsoper Hamburg for the dual roles of Michele and Gianni Schicci in Il Trittico and to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where he sings the lead role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah. After performing as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony, he closes his season with two more appearances as Sharpless: first with the Metropolitan Opera, and then with Teatro Real in Madrid.

Celebrated by Opera News as a “masterful musician” with an “instrument of striking finish, smooth and solid throughout its range,” Meachem has previously sung career-highlight roles including Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House, the title role in Nabucco at Oper im Steinbruch, and several roles with the Metropolitan Opera: Marcello in La Bohème, De Siriex in Fedora, General Rayevsky in Prokofiev’s War & Peace, Silvio in Pagliacci, and Mercutio in Roméo and Juliette. His Teatro alla Scala debut in Massenet’s Thaïs was praised as the “most impressive performance of the evening” (Opera Online), with his portrayal of Athanaël, alongside Marina Rebeka’s Thaïs, described as “possibly one of the great duos experienced at La Scala in recent decades” (Beckmesser).

When Covid struck and performances were canceled abruptly, Meachem was one of the first classical musicians to livestream a recital from the opera stage, just days after lockdown on March 23, 2020. With debut performances as Rodrigo in Don Carlos at Dallas Opera indefinitely postponed, he and his wife, pianist Irina Meachem, arranged a live-streamed program from the Winspear Opera House. The concert, recorded on smartphones with just two other people in the room, amassed more than 25,000 views on Instagram and Facebook, setting the standard for digital performances during the pandemic. While theaters were dark, Meachem continued to perform on the physical and digital stages, singing his “signature role for good reason” (Opera News) as Figaro in San Francisco Opera’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia for an innovative “drive-in” experience. Meachem then filmed a movie version of Pagliacci as the romantic lead Silvio with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Named the winner of San Francisco Opera’s inaugural “Emerging Star of the Year” Award in 2016, Meachem has gone on to prolific careers in both the U.S. and Europe. He marked his 50th role debut as Athanaël in Thaïs (Minnesota Opera). Other U.S. highlights include the roles of Chorèbe in Les Troyens, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Valentin in Faust at Chicago Lyric Opera; Don Giovanni with Chicago Lyric Opera, Santa Fe Opera, New Orleans Opera, and Cincinnati Opera; Germont in La traviata at Washington National Opera; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte at Dallas Opera; Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with Los Angeles Opera; and the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia at San Diego Opera, Opera Colorado, Houston Grand Opera, and Los Angeles Opera – where he also gave his GRAMMY Award-winning performance as Figaro in The Ghosts of Versailles.

In Europe, Meachem has performed the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Vienna Staatsoper, Royal Opera House, and Den Norske Opera; the title role in Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne Festival and Semperoper Dresden; and the title role in Britten’s Billy Budd at Opéra national de Paris. He has also appeared as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and Royal Opera House; Wolfram von Eschenbach in Tannhäuser at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan under the baton of Seiji Ozawa; the title role in Eugene Onegin with Komische Oper Berlin and Opéra national de Montpellier; Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles at Bilbao Opera; and Escamillo in Carmen with Teatro Regio di Torino and Opéra national de Paris. He has performed with Teatro Real de Madrid in the world premiere of El Viaje a Simorgh, as Frank/Fritz in Die Tote Stadt, and as Oreste in Iphigénie en Tauride.

Meachem’s first solo album, Shall We Gather, was released in September 2021 under Rubicon Records. Featuring his wife, Irina Meachem, at the piano, the album was praised by BBC Music Magazine for “vibrant and committed performances,” with Meachem delivering “a heartbreakingly beautiful performance.” The New Yorker called this album of American songs “a plea for togetherness in a divided country. Meachem’s voice—a substantial and propulsive lyric baritone with pillowy edges—records beautifully.”

In July 2020, the Meachems founded the Perfect Day Music Foundation (PDMF), a foundation built to promote inclusivity and diversity by using classical music as a relevant medium to address current issues through a traditional art form. The foundation’s annual competition, using social media in its application process to raise awareness for new compositions, centers around a yearly theme highlighting a key demographic of classical music.

Born in North Carolina, Lucas Meachem studied music at Appalachian State University, the Eastman School of Music, and Yale University before becoming an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera. He and wife Irina Meachem travel the world with their son, Cash. 

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.