Bass-baritone Robert Samels had recently appeared as Mr. Gibbs in the world-premiere of Our Town by Ned Roram, as Marco in the collegiate premiere of William Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge, as well as Joseph and Herod in the collegiate premiere of El Nino by John Adams. In September, 2005, he conducted the premiere of his own opera Pilatvs.
As a member of the Wolf Trap Opera Company for 2006, Samels would have added three roles this summer, including Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, Friar Laurence in Roméo et Juliette, and Pluto in Telemann’s Orpheus. Other opera credits included the title roles of Don Pasquale and Il Turco in Italia, as well as Leporello in Don Giovanni, Falstaff in Merry Wives of Windsor, and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In the summer of 2004, Samels performed Creon in the New York premiere of John Eaton’s Antigone.
He also frequently performed in the oratorio repertoire. In the spring of 2005, he was selected as a semi-finalist in the annual competition of the Oratorio Society of New York. Samels began his vocal studies with Alfred Anderson at the University of Akron and Andreas Poulimenos at Bowling Green State University. He was a doctoral student in choral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and had studied voice with Giorgio Tozzi and Costanza Cuccaro.
Robert taught as an AI in the Jacobs School of Music Music Theory Department with the same zeal with which he approached his other professional acitvities. He was in charge of T231 and was loved and admired by his students.
Robert was born on June 2, 1981.