Grammy® Award-winning baritone Lucas Meachem is one of the most accomplished, in-demand singers of the moment, captivating audiences around the world with his “earnest appealing baritone” (The New York Times) and “commanding presence” San Francisco Chronicle. “A rock star of opera” (Opera Pulse), Meachem was named the winner of San Francisco Opera’s inaugural “Emerging Star of the Year” Award in 2016.
Notable performances in Meachem’s American career include marking his 50th role debut as Athanaël in Thaïs (Minnesota Opera), Silvio in Pagliacci, Chorèbe in Les Troyens, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Valentin in Faust at Chicago Lyric Opera; Eugene Onegin, Don Giovanni, and Il barbiere di Siviglia, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, and Fritz/Frank in Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt at San Francisco Opera; General Rayevsky in Prokofiev’s War & Peace, Robert in Iolanta, Marcello in La bohéme, Silvio in Pagliacci, and Mercutio in Roméo and Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera; Don Giovanni with Chicago Lyric Opera, Santa Fe Opera, New Orleans Opera, and Opera Cincinnati Opera; Eugene Onegin with Santa Fe Opera; Gianni Schicchi with Festival Napa Valley; Germont in La traviata at Washington National Opera; Il barbiere di Siviglia at The Dallas Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Colorado, Houston Grand Opera, and Los Angeles Opera where he also gave his Grammy® Award-winning performance of Figaro in The Ghosts of Versailles.
A regular performer across Europe, Meachem has performed the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Vienna Staatsoper, Royal Opera House, Den Norske Opera; the title role in Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne Festival and Semperoper Dresden; the title role in Britten’s Billy Budd at Opéra national de Paris; as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and Royal Opera House; Wolfram von Eschenbach in Tannhäuser at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan under the baton of Seiji Ozawa; the title role in Eugene Onegin with Komische Oper Berlin and Opéra national de Montpellier; Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles at Bilbao Opera; Escamillo in Carmen with Teatro Regio di Torino; with the Teatro Real de Madrid in the world premiere of El Viaje a Simorgh, Frank/Fritz in Die Tote Stadt, as well as Oreste in Iphigénie en Tauride; and a European tour with Anna Netrebko as Robert in Iolanta with 11 performances at Europe’s most important musical centers and venues including Vienna, Munich, Paris, Berlin, and Amsterdam.
In 2018, Meachem performed with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under the baton of Kent Nagano as the opening concert for the Salzburg Festival of Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion. Additionally, Meachem was part of the opening concert for the Grafenegg Music Festival of the Britten War Requiem and performed the Mahler Kindertotenlieder with Emmanuel Villaume and the Prague Philharmonia. Other notable concert performances in Europe include the Fauré Requiem with the Maggio Musical Fiorentino under Seiji Ozawa and Carmina Burana in Rome with the Accademia Nazionale de Santa Cecilia. Meachem made his Hollywood Bowl debut in 2014 as Silvio in Pagliacci with Gustavo Dudamel. He has sung with the New York Philharmonic in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion under Kurt Masur; the San Francisco Symphony in concert performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe; the American Symphony Orchestra in the United States premiere of Ferdinand Hiller’s oratorio The Destruction of Jerusalem at Avery Fisher Hall.
Born in North Carolina, Lucas Meachem studied music at Appalachian State University, the Eastman School of Music, and Yale University before becoming an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera.
Shall We Gather responds to the darkness of the pandemic and social distancing with the simple question of its title. Through fifteen art songs by and about a broad swath of people from the United States, Lucas and Irina Meachem offer a vision of Americanness centred around the things that call on us to gather and that we gather to call upon. Those things, they say, are rooted in an act of hope in the promise of resilience that underlies our national character. By channelling the feelings of those gatherings we are missing, we can, perhaps, conjure a greater sense of togetherness, of commonality.
Shall we Gather is an emotional and heartfelt plea for a better, more tolerant world, a world that one hopes will emerge a better place after the trauma of the pandemic.