Robert Honeysucker, Baritone
Baritone Robert Honeysucker (1943-2017)
In Loving Memory
With the news of Robert passing, in October of 2017, we lovingly remember his life and work. Our musicians have had the honor of working with Bob since the early 1990's, and we cherished sharing his talent and company. Bob had true courage, a big heart and shared all that through music.
Honored as 1995 “Musician of the Year” by the Boston Globe, and winner of the National Opera Association Artists Award, ROBERT HONEYSUCKER is recognized internationally for his brilliant opera, concert and recital performances. His voice has inspired critical acclaim: "...powerful, passionate and plaintive....a voice that possesses great richness and warmth." Mr. Honeysucker has also been a recipient of the New England Opera Club Jacopo Peri Award, the first recipient of the Distinguished Artist Alumni Award in Music from Miami University (Ohio) in 2012, and was selected as the first Member of Tougaloo College National Alumni Association Hall of Fame in Music in 1992.
Robert Honeysucker has delighted audiences in performances of over 40 opera roles, which include the legendary roles of Amonasro, Escamilio, Ezio, Figaro (Barber of Seville), Germont, Iago, Jake, Porgy, Renato, Rigoletto and Sharpless with such companies as Boston Lyric Opera, Connecticut Opera, Delaware Opera, Eugene Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Knoxville Opera, Lake George Opera, Opera Boston, Sacramento Opera, Tulsa Opera, Tacoma Opera, Syracuse Opera and Utah Opera. Overseas, Mr. Honeysucker has performed at Theatre des Westens in Berlin, Mercury Theater in Auckland, New Zealand and Brucknerfest in Linz, Austria.
Over the course ofhis long and distinguished concert career, Mr. Honeysucker has performedin the Persian Gulf, under the direction of Cesare Alfieri (Assistant Conductor at La Scala, Milan), as well as in numerous concerts in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He made his London recital debut in 2009 at Wigmore Hall, performing songs of Charles Griffes, and his Tokyo recital debut in Tokyo Opera City Recital Hall, singing works by American composers. Mr. Honeysucker was soloist inMeechem’s Song of the Slave and Ellington’s Sacred Service with the University of Missouri Chorus and Jazz Orchestra; Elijah with Handel and Haydn Society, directed by Christopher Hogwood; the world premiere of Howard Frazin’s The Voice of Isaac; Missa Solemnis with the Northwest Bach Festival Orchestra (Spokane, WA), directed by Gunther Schuller; Charles Ives' General William Booth Enters into Heaven with the Pittsburgh Symphony, directed by Michael Tilson Thomas at Great Woods Performing Arts Center; Aaron Copland's Old American Songs with Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, Harold Weller, conductor; Carmina Burana with Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of David Wiley; Omaha Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bruce Hangen; and Hodie (Vaughn Williams) with the Utah Symphony and Mormon Tabernacle Choir, directed by Keith Lockhart, which was televised on PBS. He has also performed with Detroit Symphony, conducted by Raymond Harvey, St. Louis Symphony, Long Island Philharmonic, Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine), and Sacramento Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Engagements in Japan have featured him as soloist with Sapporo Symphony, Osaka Philharmonic, and Tokyo Philharmonic in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; soloist with the Tokyo Symphony in Handel's Messiah; The Telemann Chamber Orchestra (Osaka) in Bach's Christmas Oratorio, with Jeffrey Rink, conductor; and the Kansai Chamber Orchestra in Kobe and Kyoto in performance of Handel’s Messiah and Bach cantatas.
Robert Honeysucker has enjoyed many performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, including Frazier in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, with Bramwell Tovey; Capadocian in Salome, with Andris Nelsons; Second Prisoner, in Beethoven’s Fidelio, conducted by James Levine; Keeper of the Madhouse in Rake’s Progress, with Seiji Ozawa. He has appeared as bass soloist in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, in celebration of Seiji Ozawa’s twenty-fifth season as Music Director. Mr. Honeysucker was the baritone soloist in All Rise (Winton Marsalis), conducted by Kurt Masur at Symphony Hall, with a repeat performance at Tanglewood; and he has sung Copland’s Old American Songs, conducted by Marin Alsop. Among his many appearances with the Boston Pops, he has sung at the Fourth of July concerts on the Esplanade, conducted by John Williams and Keith Lockhart. He has also performed under the directions of Harry Ellis Dickson and Grant Llewellyn.
Discography includes performances on five Videmus discs: "Music of William Grant Still" (New World), "Watch and Pray" (Koch International), "More Still" (Cambria), Highway 1, USA (Wm. Grant Still), (Albany Records), and “Good News” (Videmus Records). “Let’s Have a Union,” with The Jubilee Trio, has recently been released by Brave Records. Mr. Honeysucker is also featured on the Centaur, Ongaku and Titanic labels.
Mr. Honeysucker is a member of Videmus, as well as a member and co-founder of the Jubilee Trio, which presents American art songs, including those of under-performed African American composers. He is also a member of the voice faculties at The Boston Conservatory and The Longy School of Music of Bard College.