Born in Cork, Ireland, in 1970, Sam McElroy gained an Honours Degree at the University of London in French (with Italian, German and Russian). His education in music began at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and continued under David Pollard and at the Bastille’s Centre de Formation in Paris, for which he was awarded a scholarship by the Ian Flemming Charitable trust in 1996. In 1999, Sam McElroy represented the Republic of Ireland at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.
Sam McElroy Irish baritone
Sam made his debut at Opera Ireland the same year as Figaro Barbiere di Siviglia, and has since returned as Sharpless Madama Butterfly, Yeletsky Queen of Spades, the title role in Don Giovanni, as hero Harry Heegan in the Irish premiere of Mark Anthony Turnage’s The Silver Tassie, a performance which won him international critical acclaim, and the Irish Times/ESB Award for Opera, Dandini La Cenerentola, and as Stan Kowalski in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire. At Opera Theatre Company in Dublin he has appeared as Blazes in The Lighthouse by Peter Maxwell-Davies, Lockit Beggar’s Opera, and Nick Shadow The Rake’s Progress.
In the UK Sam has appeared as Dandini with Opera Northern Ireland, English Touring Opera, and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in an education-project adaptation for children, and asMalatesta Don Pasquale for Scottish Opera Go-Round.
His european debut came as Lescaut Manon at Opera Monte-Carlo under Mark Minkowski in a co-production with the Teatro alla Scala. At the Bastille, Opera National de Paris, he has appeared asKuligin Kat’a Kabanova, Vierte Knappe Parsifal and Le Mari in Offenbach’s Le Mari a La Porte . At the Gothenburg Opera Tomsky Queen of Spades, at the Teatro Cagliari in Sardinia Primo Barcolo A Village Romeo and Juliet by Delius, at the Danish National Opera, Marcello La Boheme, Silvio I Pagliaci and Prince Otokar Der Freischutz, and at the Stadtstheater WiesbadenDandini La Cenerentola.
In festival operas he has sung Dandini Cenerentola and the title role in Don Giovanni in Gattières, Nice and on the Île de la Réunion, as well as Ford Falstaff at the Montepulciano Festival in Tuscany under Enrique Mazzola. In 2003, Sam was invited by Sir Harrison Birtwistle to sing the principal baritone role, Man 1, in a world premiere of his new opera Io Passion,at both the Aldeburgh and Bregenz festivals.
Elsewhere, Sam has appeared at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, in recital programs of music by Schubert and Brahms, and has toured the USA from coast to coast with a Columbia Artists’ production of Die Lustige Witwe, in the role of Danilo.
Sam is an acclaimed recitalist, winning the highest praise from the distinguished mezzo-soprano Brigitte Fassbaender, at the 1999 BBC Cardiff Singer of The World for his interpretation of Schubert, and recently earning critical acclaim in Denmark for his performances of Schubert’s Winterreise in Copenhagen and Aarhus, and Finzi’s Earth, Air and Rain with the Randers Kammerorkester. This season he can be heard in recital in Los Angeles, California, and will record the role of Ford in W.H. Balfe’s Falstaff with Opera Ireland, to commemorate the composer’s bicentenary.