The tenor Donald Litaker studied with Daniel Ferro (Juilliard School, New York) and Giorgio Favaretto (Accademia Musicale Chigiana, Siena, Italy).
His career began in Germany with Rheingold in Cologne, and with Salome and The flying Dutchman in Bonn. International success soon came with Tannhäuser at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, with Salome in Teatro Bellini in Catania, with the Magic Flute in Pretoria, and with Rheingold in Santiago di Chile. The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam invited him for Strawinski’s Oedipus Rex, Enesco’s Oedipe, Cherubini’s Lodoïska, Gluck’s Alceste, and Hindemith’s Cardillac. Verdi’s Inno delle Nazione and 8 Romances by Verdi/Berio followed for Radio Hilverson and for the Orchestra Giuseppe Verdi in Miland. In Rotterdam he sang Gounod’s Faust and Un Ballo in Maschera.
In France he has sung Mozart’s La Betulia liberata and Idomeneo at the Opéra de Paris (Garnier), Alceste, Il Re Pastore, and Oedipe at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris as well as in Barcelona (Gran Teatro del Liceu), Verdi’s Aïda in Metz, Die drei Pintos by Weber/Mahler at the Théâtre Musical de Paris (Châtelet). At the Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg he sang La finta giardiniera, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni and Abduction from the Seraglio, at the Opéra de Nice The flying Dutchman and Elektra, at the Opéra de Marseille Peter Grimes, at the Grand Théâtre de Tours and Théâtre de Rennes the Magic Flute and the title role in Massenet’s Werther and Die Walküre. In Toulouse he sang Haydn’s Le Pescatrici and Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, in Rouen Der Freischütz in the Weber/Berlioz version, in Montpellier Roméo et Juliette, in Metz Aïda, and for the Festival International de Radio France et de Montpellier the title role of Don Giovanni by G.Gazzaniga. In the Kennedy Center in Washington, in Lyon and in Lisbon he sang Herodes in Salome by Strauss.
Concerts and oratorios have included: Mozart’s c-minor Mass at the Salzburg Festival, Mahler’s 8th Symphony in the Kennedy Center in Washington, Verdi’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo as well as in Bordeaux, Vichy, Strasbourg, Nice, Paris, Toulouse, Marseille, Dresden, Halle, Tel Aviv, Sarajewo, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Paris, Toulouse, Lausanne, Philadelphia, Washington, Madrid, Sevilla, Bilbao, Valencia, Barcelona, Lisbon, Porto and Stuttgart, Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust in Sevilla, Luxembourg and Strasbourg, Berlioz’ Requiem in Orange and Valencia, Berlioz’ Te Deum in Salle Pleyel in Paris, Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher in Paris, Toulouse, and Montpellier, Mahler’s Das klagende Lied in Salle Pleyel in Paris and in Lyon, Liszt’s Faust-Symphony in Strasbourg and Monte Carlo, Britten’s Serenade in Tel Aviv and with Orchestre de Bretagne, Britten’s Les Illuminations with Orchestre d’Auvergne, Die erste Walpurgisnacht in Paris,Toulouse, and Rotterdam, Bach’s b-minor Mass and St. Matthew-Passion in Munich’s Herkules concert hall, Händel’s Cecilian Ode in the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio, Bruckner’s Te Deum, Liszt’s Missa solemnis and Wolf’s Der Corregidor in Stuttgart’s Liederhalle, Elias in Paris (Festival de St. Denis) with the London Symphony Orchestra, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Carmina Burana, Schumann’s Faust-Szenen and Das Paradies und die Peri in Lisbon for the Fondaçao Gulbenkian, Mendelssohn’s Paulus in the Cologne Philharmonic, Gossec’s Requiem at the Festival de la Chaise-Dieu, Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount of Olives, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in Málaga, São Paulo, and Strasbourg, Haydn’s Creation in Paris (Festival de St. Denis) at Mont Saint Michel and in Lourdes, Rossini’s Petite Messe solennelle at the Svjatoslav Richter Festival, Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn, Dvorak’s Requiem in Santiago, Chile and in Madrid (Teatro Reale). With J.-C. Malgoire he recorded Carmen Saeculare by Philidor for ERATO, Tannhäuser with B. Haitink for EMI, Lidarti’s Ester (in Hebrew) with F. Layer for ACCORD, Das Lied von der Erde with A. Jordan for ACCORD and also with M.Sieghart for EXTON, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with J. Nelson for AMBROISIE.
He has collaborated with important conductors such as Rudolf Barshai, Serge Baudo, Gary Bertini, Michael Boder, Franz Brüggen, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Aldo Ceccato, Riccardo Chailly, Sergiu Comissiona, Teodor Currentzis, Jonathan Darlington, Ivan Fischer,Lawrence Foster, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Hans Graf, Theodor Guschelbauer, Bernard Haitink, Pedro Halffter, Philippe Herreweghe, Eliahu Imbal, Paavo Järvi, Marek Janowski, Armin Jordan, Emmanuel Krivine, Gustav Kuhn, Jan Latham Koenig, Alain Lombard, Jean-Claude Malgoire, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano, Garcia Navarro, John Nelson, Eiji Oue, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Michel Plasson, David Shallon, Leonard Slatkin, Marc Soustrot, Evgeny Svetlanov, Emil Tchakarov, Michelangelo Veltri and Edo de Waart.
Numerous radio and television productions document his extensive accomplishments. He enjoys an international reputation not only as an engaged opera singer and concert performer but also as a distinguished pedagogue. He has given master classes at the Rubin Academy in Tel Aviv, at the Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Jaffa, at the Grieg Academy (Unisiversity of Bergen), and at the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program in Greve, Italy. He is tenured professor of voice at the University of Music in Karlsruhe, Germany. His students have come from over 25 countries. They have won numerous prizes in international voice competitions (e.g. Belvedere in Vienna, Viñas in Barcelona, ARD in Munich, Mendelssohn in Berlin, Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, Bertelsmann “New Voices “, and the International Wagner Competition in Bayreuth). They appear on major stages wordwide (Bavarian State Opera, Berliner Philharmonic, Deutsche Oper Berlin, La Fenice, Glyndebourne, Göteborg Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Opera Lincoln Center, La Monnaie, Opéra de Monte Carlo, Norwegian National Opera, Opéra de Paris, Zurich Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Salzburg Festival, San Francisco Opera, Semper Opera Dresden, State Opera Hamburg, Berlin State Opera “Unter der Linden”, Theater an der Wien, Théâtre de Champs-Elysées, Théâtre de Châtelet, Theatro Colón Buenos Aires, Teatro di San Carlo Napoli and the Vienna State Opera).
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Biography – Donald Litaker (long)
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Biography – Donald Litaker (short)