Since making his New York City Opera debut in 1972, Chicagoan William Powers (Scarpia) has performed over 100 operatic roles with the major opera companies in the United States, Europe, and South America.
Mr. Powers has been the creator of many new roles through world-premiers or important revivals…most recently singing the villain “Meyer Wolfsheim” for the premier of Harbison’s THE GREAT GATSBY at the Metropolitan Opera in New York; other new creations have included Penderecki’s PARADISE LOST for Chicago’s Lyric Opera; Herrmann’s WUTHERING HEIGHTS for Portland; Copeland’s HOLY BLOOD AND CRESCENT MOON for Cleveland; and Petrassi’s SESTINA D’AUTUNNO for Italy’s Spoleto Festival. Of re-creations. Powers offered the role of “Celio” for the 50th Anniversary production of Prokofiev’s THE LOVE OF THREE ORANGES for Chicago; the rarely heard BETLY of Donizetti for Strasbourg, and the French version of Donizetti’s LA FAVORITE for the Theatre d’Champs-Elysees and the Opera Comique in Paris; the creation of the Italian version of THE LADY MACBETH OF THE MTZENSK DISTRICT for Spoleto; and the American premier of G. F. Handel’s PORO, RE DI INDIE for Kennedy Center’s Handel Festival in Washington DC.
Recent performances have included the Chicago premier of DER KAISER VON ATLANTIS, and THE TALES OF HOFFMANN ( in the controversial Ratner version ) for the Chicago Opera Theater; WERTHER of Massenet for the Klangbogen Festival of Vienna, as well as the Basque National Opera of Bilbao; DEAD MAN WALKING for Cincinnati; THE DAMNATION OF FAUST for Chicago’s Grant Park Festival, and the Pablo Casal’s Fesdtival of San Juan; the Opera Gala for the Festival of the Aegean in Athens and Styros; FAUST for Trieste; THE BARBER OF SEVILLE for Charlotte and Buenos Aires; THE MAGIC FLUTE for Bozman; FIDELIO for Cedar Rapids; and the national tour of Teatro Lirico d’Europa’s production of Puccini’s TOSCA, in the role of the corrupt Commissioner of Police, the despicable “Baron Scarpia”.