Summer Vocal Institute 2023
Monday, June 19, 2023
The Phipps Center for the Arts
Obed Floan (SVI 2023)
It is rare for someone in the 21st century to possess the natural qualities of the Heldentenor voice that is reminiscent of the golden age of opera. Obed Floan has been hailed as having a voice “with unforced power, purity of tone, and all the vocal bloom of youth” and possessing a “genuine helden sound” (Wagner Society of Ohio) and sang “Nothung! Nothung! from Wagner’s Siegfried in a voice of spun gold” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle).
Floan began his operatic career singing the roles of First Armored Man in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Basilio in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Mr. Upfold in Britten’s Albert Herring, King Kaspar in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Judge Gray in Burrs’ Vanqui, Lord Arturo Bucklaw and Normanno in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Arrigo in Verdi’s La battaglia di Legnano, and Tito in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito.
Floan has experience performing as the tenor soloist in oratorio masterpieces that include Handel’s Messiah, Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël, Schubert’s Mass in G and Mass in A-flat, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s The Creation, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Dubois’ The Seven Last Words of Christ, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
As a genuine Heldentenor, Floan has taken time to truly understand his voice. While studying, Floan has had the opportunity to perform Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio, Laça in Janáček’s Jenůfa, Second Nazarene in Strauss’ Salome with Minnesota Opera, Parpignol from Puccini’s La Bohème and The Chaplin in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites both with Des Moines Metro Opera.
Floan has had training specifically for Wagnerian voices which include selected role performances of Siegfried, Tannhäuser, and Tristan at the Wagner Intensive in Berea, Ohio.
Recent successes include being chosen from an international pool of contestants as one of 16 singers considered to be the world’s greatest up-and-coming Wagnerian singers selected to participate in the 2010 Lauritz Melchior International Singing Competition under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II held in Aalborg, Denmark. The competition was the largest in the world of its kind, whose goal was to find and profile the best young Wagnerian singers. In 2012 and 2013, Floan was a winner of The Wagner Society of New York Encouragement Grant. Floan is also a 2015 finalist of the Classical Singer Magazine International Vocal Competition Emerging Professional Division and the 2015 winner of The Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition – Wagner Division which resulted in Floan’s Carnegie Hall Debut in April 2015.