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  • Lee University

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    Faculty

  • James Frost

    B.B.A, Southern Methodist University
    B.M., M.M., University of Tennessee at Knoxville
    Email: jfrost@leeuniversity.edu

    Assistant Professor of Music

    James Frost, tenor, was born in Dallas, Texas and received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Frost teaches applied voice and directs the Opera Theatre at Lee University. After his professional debut as Goro in the Knoxville Civic Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly, he soon was in demand to portray other character roles at various opera companies in the United States, in particular the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Boston Lyric Opera, the Kennedy Center’s Washington Opera Company and the Central City Opera House Association in Colorado, in part because of his acting skills and clear vocal tone. During this period, he continued his vocal studies with Edward Zambara and coachings with John Wustman, accompanist for Luciano Pavarotti and other renowned singers. Not only was Frost interested in the operatic repertoire, but he was also, and still is, particularly interested in the German Lied. At this time, he and Wustman collaborated in a presentation of Franz Schubert’s song-cycle Die schöne Müllerin, which he later performed with Stephen Dubberly at the University of Tennessee, Werner Seitzer in Hildesheim, Germany, and Cliff Jackson during the Central City Opera’s 1997 season.

    In 1987, Frost received an offer to become a member of the Stadttheater Hildesheim ensemble in Hildesheim, Germany. With over 120 roles to his credit, he has also performed in other European opera houses and festivals (Oper Leipzig, Oper der Stadt Bonn, Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck, Berliner Kammeroper and the Edinburgh Festival, among others), singing a wide range of roles from the lyric and Spieltenor opera/operetta repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi to Wagner and into the 20th century with works by such composers as Bernstein, Britten, Floyd, Stravinsky, Hindemith and Paulus, among others. A very versatile performer, Frost is also comfortable on the musical theater stage, performing such roles as the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret, Charlie in Brigadoon, Osgood in Sugar, and the Professor and Chagal in Roman Polanski’s Dance of the Vampires, among others. On the concert stage, he has sung many works composed by Bach, Händel, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Rossini, Britten and Weill, among others.

    After working with such renowned directors as Colin Graham and Frank Corsaro, it was Frost’s wish, while continuing to perform, to find a position at a university or conservatory of music which combines the teaching of vocal technique in the studio with the teaching of acting skills in the form of an opera workshop. In order to accomplish this goal, he enrolled as a graduate student in the Masters of Music program at the University of Tennessee, where, studying voice with George Bitzas, he assisted the director of the Opera Workshop, Michael Ehrman, in the teaching of the “Fundamentals of Acting for Singers” classes and in the directing of an annual Operatic Scenes Program, where he had the opportunity to direct Ravel’s one-act opera, L’enfant et les sortiléges.

    Since coming to Lee University, he has had the opportunity to continue performing in Germany, working with many excellent directors and adding to his performing experience, which he will in turn share with his students. In 2009-2010 he had the honor of performing the roles of Kunz Vogelgesang and David in Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” at the Theater für Niedersachsen (formerly Stadttheater Hildesheim) in Hildesheim, Germany, in celebration of the theater’s 100th birthday.

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