from the website of Purchase College, State University of New York
Winning accolades for both his outstanding vocal gifts and his compelling interpretations, American tenor Jacque Trussel has performed with the foremost opera companies and orchestras throughout North America and Europe. In 1998, Mr. Trussel became the head of the voice area of study in the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College.
Among the roles for which he is particularly renowned is Peter Grimes, which he has sung at the Maggio Musicale in Florence in a production by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, as well as at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in Elijah Moshinsky’s staging. He has also performed Sergei in Shostakovich’s “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” to great success with the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Grand Theatre de Nante, and English National Opera (televised by the BBC); at the Spoleto festivals of both the United States and Italy; and for his debuts at La Scala and the Bastille Opera. As Hermann in Tchaikovsky’s “Queen of Spades,” Mr. Trussel has performed for the inaugural season of the Spoleto Festival USA, as well as at the Spoleto in Italy, the Houston Grand Opera, and the National Arts Center in Ottawa.
An acclaimed Don Jose in Bizet’s “Carmen,” he has performed that role with the Canadian Opera Company, Montreal Opera, and Cincinnati Opera, as well as in a telecast from New York City Opera for “Live from Lincoln Center” and in a CBC national broadcast from the Vancouver Opera. In Great Britain, he has sung Don Jose in the celebrated Stephen Pimlott production at Earl’s Court in London with Maria Ewing (later repeated in Zurich) and in productions at the Welsh National Opera and the English National Opera.
Mr. Trussel has performed with the Metropolitan Opera as Shuisky in “Boris Gudonov,” with the Vancouver Opera as Herod in “Salome,” with the Opera de Nante as Sergei, as the Drum Major in Opera North’s production of “Wozzeck,” as Eumete in Los Angeles Opera’s “Ulysses,” and as Caliban in Dallas Opera’s production of Lee Hoiby’s “The Tempest.” Mr. Trussel’s recent work includes performances of Don José with the Los Angeles Music Center Opera, performances of Herod with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Cincinnati Summer Opera. and the role of Nicholas in the New York City Opera’s composer series production of “Nicholas and Alexandra.”
His other engagements have included appearances at the Metropolitan Opera as Stéva in Janacek’s “Jenufa” (his debut there), Herod in “Salome” at both the Metropolitan Opera and at Brussels’s Theater Royal de la Monnaie, as well as a return to the Monnaie as Golitsin in “Khovanchina”; the San Francisco Opera as Loge in “Das Rheingold”; and the Chicago Lyric Opera in Barber’s “Anthony and Cleopatra,” in Philip Glass’s “Fall of the House of Usher,” and as Alva in “Lulu.” He has also sung “Lulu” in Munich and Florence, and appeared as the Drum Major in a production of “Wozzeck” in Madrid. Singing the title role of Profokiev’s “The Gambler,” he has appeared at the Teatro Communale in Florence and in a concert performance with the Dallas Symphony.
Mr. Trussel has also appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Concertgebouw Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Boston Symphony, with which he performed Mendelssohn’s “Lobgesang” and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
Jacque Trussel has championed both contemporary works and rarely performed masterpieces throughout the United States, singing such roles as Edmund in Albert Reimann’s “Lear” with the San Francisco Opera; Caliban (at the composer’s request) in the world premiere of Lee Hoiby’s “The Tempest” with the Des Moines Opera; and Henry VIII with the San Diego Opera and the Houston Grand Opera. He performed the world premieres of Carlisle Floyd’s “Bilby’s Doll” and Thomas Pasatieri’s “The Seagull,” and the American premieres of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s “Hugh the Dover” and Kurt Weill’s “The Protagonist,” all to critical acclaim.
He made his debut directing “The Tales of Hoffmann” for the Sarasota Opera in 1996, and returned there the following year to produce the opera “Königskinder” by Humperdinck. Meanwhile, he sang in and directed “The Merry Widow,” which won a national prize for best amateur production in the U.S. Mr Trussel was then invited to produce the show in Russia at the International Amateur Theater Competition. He made his European directorial debut in France doing a new production of “Salome,” a production that achieved great critical acclaim. In the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, he has directed the two one-act operas, “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi,” Mozart’s “Magic Flute,” and three sold-out performances of Strauss’ “Die Fledemaus.”
Mr. Trussel is also the featured tenor soloist on “Le Livre de la Jungle” by Charles Koechlin, awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or for 2000, and “Macbeth of Ernst Bloch,” awarded le Prix de l’Académie of Charles Cros. Mr. Trussel also appears on a recent DVD release of “Carmen” (Image Entertainment).
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This interview was recorded at his hotel in Chicago
on December 2, 1987. It was published in the Massenet Newsletter in January,
It was slightly re-edited, bio and photos were added, and it was posted
website in 2012.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been
transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.