Tenor Roderick George is an associate professor of music and head of the vocal/choral area at the University of Montevallo, where he teaches applied voice, vocal literature, and diction courses. He holds the Doctor of Music degree in voice performance from the College of Music at The Florida State University, the Master of Music degree in Opera and Music Theater from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), and undergraduate degrees in music and English from Stillman College. He received advanced training in opera at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and he was an artist in residence with Amarillo Opera and an apprentice artist with Des Moines Metro Opera. In competition, he was a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and the NATS Artist Awards Competition, and a finalist and recipient of the Puccini Award in the Orpheus National Competition, among others. An active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, he participated in the highly selective NATS Teacher-Internship Program held at Colorado State University in 2004, where he studied vocal pedagogy under the tutelage of Clifton Ware. A native of Mobile, Alabama, Dr. George joined the UM faculty in 2004, having previously taught on the faculty at Stillman College.
In addition to his teaching endeavors, Dr. George maintains an active performance career in opera, concert, and recital. He has performed operatic roles with such organizations as Dayton Opera, Asheville Lyric Opera, Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Amarillo Opera, Southern Illinois Music Festival, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Birmingham, Florida State Opera, and the Jefferson Performing Arts Society in New Orleans. His recent operatic engagements include a company debut with Dayton Opera as Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess, the role of Roméo in Roméo et Juliette for the Southern Illinois Music Festival, and his role debut as Gérald in Lakmé with Union Avenue Opera. His other credits include the roles of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Rodolfo in La Boheme, Alfredo in La Traviata, the title role of Albert Herring, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore, Benedict in Beatrice and Benedict, Camille de Rosillion in The Merry Widow, and David in I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the Sky. Upcoming engagements include his company debut with Pensacola Opera as Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd.
As a concert artist, Dr. George is heard regularly as a soloist in major concert and oratorio works, including recent engagements as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Gounod’s Messe Solennelle with the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, Hailstork’s Done Made My Vow at Indiana University-South Bend, Leslie Adams’ Hymn to Freedom at the University of California-Irvine, Elijah with the Tuscaloosa Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem with the Southeastern Chamber Orchestra, Carmina Burana at Jacksonville State University and the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Prentice Concert Chorale and Orchestra. His concert performances have also included Haydn’s Creation, Bach’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Mass in C Minor, Bruckner’s Te Deum, Schubert’s Stabat Mater and Mass in G, Honegger’s King David, Dubois’ Seven Last Words, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, and numerous performances of Messiah.
Dr. George has recorded and toured extensively as a featured soloist with the acclaimed American Spiritual Ensemble, a professional ensemble whose mission is to keep the American Negro Spiritual alive and vibrant. Recent performances have included appearances at the ACDA Southern Division Conference in Memphis, the Riverside Church in New York City, the Sarasota Opera House, and two concert tours of Spain. He has also been a featured soloist in several orchestral concerts in Austria, including a benefit concert for Doctors without borders and two gala concerts celebrating the operettas of Austrian composer Robert Stolz. Additionally, he has been a featured artist in operatic concerts with Opera Noire of New York for the Vineyard Playhouse African-American Festival of Theater and Music on Martha’s Vineyard.
A champion of the African American art song, Dr. George’s research explores the study and performance of art song literature based on poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes. He recently premiered Adolphus Hailstork’s Four Romantic Love Songs for tenor and piano on poems of Dunbar, with pianist Fred Dade at the 2012 African American Art Song Alliance Conference at the University of California Irvine. His recent recital performances have included varied programs at the University of Montevallo, Jacksonville State University, Tennessee State University, Birmingham Southern College, Fayetteville State University, Shelton State Community College, and Samford University.