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 2011-12 season, he returns to Alfredo in La traviata with Houston Grand Opera, the title role of Idomeneo in a return to Théâtre de Caen and with Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Opéra National de Bordeaux in addition to singing his first performances of Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in a return to Austin Lyric Opera. He also returns to the Pacific Symphony for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and the Puerto Rico Symphony for a concert of operatic duets and arias. In coming seasons, he returns to Houston Grand Opera and the Opéra National de Lorraine in addition to singing his first performances with Boston Lyric Opera. Last season, he sang Don Jose in Carmen with Opéra National de Lorraine and Opéra-Théâtre de Metz, the Prince in The Love of Three Oranges with Grand Théâtre de Genève, Alfredo in La traviata with Austin Lyric Opera, in addition to singing performances of Siegel’s Kaddish with the Houston Symphony.
He joined Opéra National de Lorraine on numerous previous occasions including for the title role of Idomeneo, Giasone in Cherubini’s Medea, 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 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 Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Théâtre de Caen; Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opera Pacific; Don Jose in Carmen with Utah Opera and Opera Pacific; and Alfredo in La traviata with 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 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 further performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Pacific Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, and Colorado Music Festival and Mozart’s Requiem with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as well as Handel’s Messiah with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
He is the receipient 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.