Richard Zeller

Richard Zeller is the Director of Opera and Associate Professor of Voice at Biola University Conservatory of Music.  One of America’s leading baritones, Richard Zeller is internationally acclaimed for his dramatic voice, his consummate musicianship and he is equally celebrated for both his concert performances and opera roles. 

Mr. Zeller made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1989 and has appeared there for 11 seasons; in 2002/03 Mr. Zeller appeared at the Met in lead roles in three new productions; as Ernesto in Bellini’s Il Pirata with Renée Fleming; Eddie in William Bolcom's opera, A View from the Bridge, based on Arthur Miller's play; and as Chorebe opposite Deborah Voigt in Berlioz's Les Troyens, conducted by Maestro James Levine.

His other assignments at the Met have included the title role in Verdi’s Macbeth, the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin , Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème, Barak in R. Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Don Carlo in Verdi’s Ernani, Rangoni and Schelkalov in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov in two different productions, Thoas in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride, Kothner in Wagners’s Die Meistersinger, Sprecher in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, as well as performances of Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, Gounod’s Faust, and Verdi’s Rigoletto.

He also appeared with the Chicago Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, Berlin Staatsoper, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Deutsche Opera am Rhein, English National Opera at the Barbican in London, the Edinburgh Festival and Vienna Festival as well as many other international and regional opera houses throughout the world which include the Philadelphia, Minnesota, Cincinnati, San Diego, Portland, New Orleans, and New Jersey Opera companies.

Mr. Zeller was featured in 2001 in an Emmy nominated nationwide TV Broadcast of Live from Lincoln Center singing the Mozart Requiem with the Mostly Mozart Festival, conducted by Gerard Schwarz.

Mr. Zeller is highly regarded in the concert field and has sung with virtually all the major orchestras in the US, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, and the National Symphony at Kennedy Center.  Highlights of past seasons include appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of James Levine in Berlioz’s Les Troyens, and the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with both the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia and in a nationwide radio broadcast over 500 stations with the Cleveland Orchestra as well as Handel’s Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Zeller was also featured in 2001 in an Emmy nominated nationwide TV Broadcast of Live from Lincoln Center singing the Mozart Requiem with the Mostly Mozart Festival, conducted by Gerard Schwarz. His performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall include Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Bloch’s Sacred Service, Catalani’s La Wally, and many others. 

On the concert stage, his appearances include performances with the Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Minnesota, San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit, St. Louis, Oregon, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Colorado, San Antonio, Nashville, Tulsa, Toledo, Buffalo, Columbus, Richmond, Tampa, Huntsville, Florida, New World, Grant Park, Indianapolis, Johnstown, Rochester, Akron, Wichita, Kalamazoo, Baton Rouge, Grand Rapids, Jacksonville, Charleston, Memphis, Phoenix, and San Diego Symphonies.


His international orchestra credits include appearances with the Toronto Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Winnipeg, Ottowa, the Nord Deutscher Rundfunk (Hanover), MDR Symphony Orchester (Leipzig), Dresden Staatskapelle, Czech Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Korea Philharmonic, Rotterdam, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Norway), , Orquesta Sinfonia de Mineria, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo among many others.


Richard Zeller’s recordings include the critically acclaimed Merry Mount by Howard Hanson and Deems Taylor’s Peter Ibbettson with Naxos; and the world premiere of Henri Lazarof’s Fifth Symphony on Centaur Records – all recorded with Gerard Schwartz and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. He has also recorded Dvorak’s Te Deum with Zdenec Macal and the New Jersey Symphony for Delos; David Schiff’s Gimpel the Fool for Naxos; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for Centaur Records; and Virgil Thompson’s Lord Byron and Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land for Koch International. He has recorded Luigi Dallapiccola’s opera Volo di notte with American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein and his most recent release is Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Martingale Ensemble on MSR classics.