(Born June 2, 1949)
Neil Shicoff is an American opera singer famous for his lyric tenor voice and his dramatic, emotional acting.
In 1976, Shicoff made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi conducted by James Levine.
He was then engaged to sing the tenor leads in Rigoletto, La Bohème, Der Rosenkavalier, and Werther, which was later to become one of his signature roles.
Engagements in the major opera houses of the USA and europe followed with Neil Shicoff receiving great notices while he recorded some of his major roles
He frequently suffered from severe stage fright even well into his career and it forced him to cancel a number of performances. Known as being a perfectionist he studied each role thoroughly both dramatically and vocally.
Following the death of his mother and the break down of his marriage he had a nervous breakdown during a performance of Werther at the Metropolitan in 1989.
In 1991 he went to Europe and slowly worked on rebuilding his career and reputation.
He appeared at the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, Paris Opera, Covent Garden, Berlin's Deutsche Oper, Bavarian State Opera, Zurich Opera House and numerous other opera houses and concert halls throughout Europe.
He returned to the Met in 1997 as Lensky in Eugene Onegin and recieved good reviews. Since then he has played nearly 200 performances in 20 different roles there.
Besides Werther, some of his most famous roles include the title roles in Tales of Hoffman, Peter Grimes and Lensky in Eugene Onegin.
More recent additions to his repertoire include Cavaradossi in Tosca, Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut, Don José in Carmen, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Idomeneo, Rodolfo in La Bohème,
Rodolfo in Luisa Miller, Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra, Hermann in Pique Dame, Manrico in Il Trovatore, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Captain Vere in Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd.
Neil Shicoff is well recorded.