Opera News praises tenor Chad Shelton for one of his trademark roles, claiming that his “Don José was the dramatic heart of this production; this was a performance that grew in complexity as he struggled to reconcile the forces of loyalty, lust and fate. Shelton owned the final scene, as his character descended into despair fueled by psychotic obsession. His bright tone amplified the intensity of the last gripping moments.” In the 2014-15 season, he sings his first performances of Mao Tse-tung in Adams’ Nixon in China with San Diego Opera and Lechmere and the Narrator in Owen Wingrave in a return to Opéra National de Lorraine. He also joins Lyric Opera Baltimore for Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly in addition to returning to the Utah Symphony for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and joining the Metropolitan Opera roster for its production of A Rake’s Progress. Last season, he returned to Houston Grand Opera for both Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music and Froh in Das Rheingold. And Opéra National de Lorraine for the title role in Candide and sang Ferrando in Così fan tutte at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center in Japan and Don Jose in Carmen with Pensacola Opera.
He joined Opéra National de Lorraine on numerous previous occasions including for the title role of Idomeneo, Giasone in Cherubini’s Medea, Don Jose in Carmen, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Guido Bardi in Eine florentinische Tragödie, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. He is a frequent leading presence with Houston Grand Opera and has joined the company previously for Alfredo in La traviata, for Don Jose in Carmen, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Camille in Die lustige Witwe, Janek in The Makropolous Case, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Captain Vere in Billy Budd, and Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore. Acclaimed for his performances of contemporary works, he also created the roles of Nico in Lysistrata and Laurie in Little Women (released on the Ondine label and broadcast on PBS), both by Mark Adamo, and Ulises in Catan’s Salsipuedes in addition to Arcadio in the composer’s Florencia en el Amazonas with Houston Grand Opera.
He has also sung Prince in The Love of Three Oranges with Grand Théâtre de Genève, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Théâtre de Caen; Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opera Pacific; further performances of the title role of Idomeneo with Théâtre de Caen and Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Opéra National de Bordeaux; Don Jose in Carmen with Opéra-Théâtre de Metz, Utah Opera, Festival Classique at the Hague, and Opera Pacific; and Alfredo in La traviata with Austin Lyric Opera, Arizona Opera, Utah Opera, Nevada Opera, Opera Pacific, and Central City Opera. He has also joined Central City Opera for a host of other roles including further performances of Laurie in Little Women, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Fernando in Granados’ Goyescas, Cavaradossi in Tosca, and Reverend Paris in The Crucible.
Other career highlights include Pilade in Ermione and further performances of Nico in Lysistrata and Laurie in Little Woman with New York City Opera; E. Porter Alexander in the world premiere of Glass’ Appamattox with San Francisco Opera; Duca in Rigoletto and Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Austin Lyric Opera; Roméo in Roméo et Juliette with Madison Opera; Alfred in Die Fledermaus and Jacquino in Fidelio with Dallas Opera; Leo in Blitzstein’s Regina with Lyric Opera of Chicago and Florida Grand Opera. He has also sung Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera Australia and Portland Opera; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Opera Colorado; and Ferrando in Così fan tutte with Arizona Opera and Kentucky Opera. His contemporary repertoire also includes further performances of Little Woman with Central City Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and Opera Omaha; Tom Rakewell in A Rake’s Progress with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Sam in Floyd’s Susannah with Chautauqua Opera; and George in Danielpour’s Margaret Garner with Cincinnati Opera and the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
Mr. Shelton is equally in demand as a concert soloist and has joined the Minnesota Orchestra for Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Janácek’s The Diary of One Who Vanished, as well as the title role in concert performances of Candide. His performances of Respighi’s Belkis, Queen of Sheba Suite and Argento’s Le tombeau d’Edgar Poe, also with the Minnesota Orchestra, have been released on the Reference label. He has sung Siegel’s Kaddish with the Houston Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Pacific Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, and Colorado Music Festival and Mozart’s Requiem with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Handel’s Messiah with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and a gala concert of opera favorites with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra.
He is the recipient of a Richard Tucker Foundation Career Grant and the Richard F. Gold Career Grand from the Shoshana Foundation. He holds a Master of Music degree and Artist diploma from the Yale University School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from Louisiana State University.