Lee Poulis has been praised for his “commanding presence” (South Florida Classical Review) and for his “dark baritone, rich in colors” (Minneapolis Star Tribune), calling it a voice “of power and beauty” (Pioneer Press). Twice named Best Young Singer by Die Welt, Lee Poulis has already performed at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden of Berlin, Teatro Real of Madrid, the Opera of Bilbao, Teatro Municipal of Santiago, and with the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn. He performed the title role in the national premieres of Doctor Atomic in Germany and at the Finnish National Opera, a production which was nominated for one of Europe’s top theater prizes, Der Faust.
In the 2015-16 season Lee Poulis joins the roster of the illustrious San Francisco Opera for its production of Lucia di Lammermoor. His 2014-15 season included his return to Europe to reprise the role of Oppenheimer in Adams’ Doctor Atomic with Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, his debut in the title role of Eugene Onegin with Teatre Principal de Palma, Mallorca, and reprising the role of Heathcliff in Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights with Staatstheater Braunschweig. He also sang the role of Leporello in Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s production of Don Giovanni; was soloist with Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra in Avner Dorman’s “Dialogues of Love;” and in Hindemith’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” with Choral Society of Durham, also with New York Choral Society, which marked his Carnegie Hall debut. His 2013-14 engagements included Ford in Falstaff with Opera Santa Barbara, Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de perles in his debut with Fort Worth Opera, joining the roster of Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of Die Fledermaus, and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Belleayre Festival Opera. In season 2012-13 he sang Marcello in La bohème in his debut with Toledo Opera, Enrico with Dayton Opera, Zurga with Sarasota Opera, and made his debut with the Berkshire Choral Festival in selections from Les Pêcheurs de perles, La Rondine, and Aida.
In his trans-Atlantic career he has sung the title role in Doctor Atomic with the Finnish National Opera, also with Saarländisches Staatstheater; Valentin in Faust with Lyric Opera Baltimore; Enrico with Sarasota Opera; made his debut with both Minnesota Opera as Heathcliff in Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights; and with Sarasota Opera in the title role of Don Giovanni. He returned to Theater Bonn as a member of the ensemble to perform the roles of Escamillo in Carmen, Ping in Turandot, Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Father in Hänsel und Gretel, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, and Pantalon in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges. Other international opera credits include Marcello in La bohème with Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Starveling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Teatro Real in Madrid, Masetto in Don Giovanni with both Opera Bilbao and Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, and Wanderer in a scene with Erda from Siegfried for La Fura dels Baus at the British Museum.
Past successes include the role of Valentin in Faust with Theater Chemnitz; soloist in Hanns Eissler’s Deutsche Sinfonie with Beethovenfest Bonn in Germany; and Germont in La traviata, Yeletsky in Pique Dame, Renato in Un ballo in maschera, Michonnet in Adriana Lecouvreur, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, all as a member of the ensemble at Theater Bonn. His frequent appearances at Washington National Opera include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Senator Raitcliffe in the world premiere of Scott Wheeler’s Democracy, Masetto in Don Giovanni, and De Siriex in Fedora for the company’s Trilogy Gala. As a member of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Program he performed the roles of Charlot in Ibert’s Angelique and Mr. Gobineau in The Medium,and added the roles of Count in Le nozze di Figaro and Germont in La traviata to his repertoire while at Los Angeles Opera. Mr. Poulis also performed four roles in Shostakovich’s The Nose at the Bard Summerscape Festival, and Marcello in La bohème in a concert performance with the Newton Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Poulis’ concert engagements include baritone soloist in Messiah with the Kansas City Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the American Youth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem with the Masterworks Chorale, Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem with the Waltham Philharmonic and the Masterworks Chorale, Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis with the Reston Chorale, Lord Nelson Mass at the Beijing Concert Hall, Fauré’s Requiem with both the Atlantic Union College and the Gemini Youth Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with Commonwealth Opera. Mr. Poulis has also appeared in recital with the Marilyn Horne Foundation at Carnegie’s Weill Hall as well as in Washington D.C. with the Washington Vocal Arts Society.
Lee Poulis is the first prize winner in the 2008 Liederkranz Foundation Vocal Competition, top prize winner in the 2008 Francisco Viñas International Voice Competition, and first prize winner in the 2007 Chester Ludgin International Verdi Baritone Competition, as well as an Encouragement Award recipient in the 2008 George London Foundation Awards competition. In addition to San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, he is an alumnus of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, as well as Music Academy of the West. Mr. Poulis is a graduate of Harvard University.
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