Luke Sutliff Portrait 1

PC: Jiyang Chen

Luke Sutliff…gifted us with a bright, virile baritone…and his effortless vocal delivery served him exceedingly well.” 

Opera Today

American Baritone Luke Sutliff is a recent alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and is quickly starting to make his mark in the opera world.  Having premiered the title-role in Nico Muhly version’s of Monteverdi’s Orfeo at the Santa Fe Opera, he makes a series of exciting company and/or role debuts this season: Silvio in I Pagliacci with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera North Carolina and the Seattle Opera, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Atlanta Opera.  In the summer Mr. Sutliff will reprise Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore at the Santa Fe Opera.   In concert he debuts in Tokyo with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and Fabio Luisi as the baritone solo in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8.  Future projects include a return to his home company, the Houston Grand Opera, in a leading role.


Last season at HGO, Sutliff sang the roles of Harvey in Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers, Brühlmann (as well as covered Albert) in Werther, Sciarrone in Tosca, and A Cappadocian in Salome. He made his house debut as El Dancaïro in Rob Ashford’s production of Carmen and later performed Thierry and M. Javelinot in Dialogues of the Carmelites and Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette.  In concert he performed Fauré’s Requiem at A&M Methodist Church.  In the summer, Mr. Sutliff returned to the Santa Fe Opera, where he premiered the title-role in the Nico Muhly version of Monteverdi’s Orfeo while covering Pelléas in Pelléas et Mélisande.


Past summers at the Santa Fe Opera Mr. Sutliff sang El Dancaïro in Carmen, Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and covered Figaro in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia as well as Jon Seward in John Corigliano and Mark Adamo’s world premiere of The Lord of Cries.

The previous summers at Chautauqua saw him perform Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, conducted by Julius Abraham and directed by John Giampietro. After winning the Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies Competition, Sutliff was awarded a performance with the Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra under the baton of Timothy Muffitt. Additionally, he sang Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Hucklebee in The Fantasticks, and covered Escamillo in Carmen. In addition to his operatic roles, he performed in masterclasses given by Matthew Rose and Ben Moore. 


In past seasons, Luke Sutliff was seen as the title role in Der Kaiser von Atlantis with Rice Opera Theatre and appeared in their winter gala Spirit of the Seasons. Earlier in his degree, he made his debut as Mr. Johannes Zegner (Pa) in Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up, conducted by Steven Osgood and directed by Alison Moritz. 


While studying at Juilliard, Sutliff made his Alice Tully Hall debut singing L’horizon chimérique with Bronwyn Schuman. He performed in numerous productions including Janáček’s Káta Kabanová and Bellini’s La Sonnambula in collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. He was also cast as the Aeneas cover and ensemble in Juilliard’s touring production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, with Juilliard’s early music ensemble, Juilliard 415 conducted by Avi Stein and directed by Mary Birnbaum. On tour with Juilliard 415, Sutliff performed at the Joye in Aiken Music Festival in South Carolina, Opera Holland Park in London, and the Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles. Previous roles at Juilliard include Jupiter from Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld and The Herald in Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace. In recital, Sutliff has performed in Juilliard’s Liederabend, coached by Dimitri Dover. He also performed Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe. 


Luke Sutliff is a committed supporter of new music and has been fortunate to participate in several premieres. Earlier this spring, he was meant to perform in the world premiere of Jack Frerer’s orchestral piece, Splinter, with the Arapahoe Philharmonic. (The premiere was postponed due to COVID-19.) In the past, he performed a US premiere of Viento, Agua, Piedra by Samuel Zyman and the Four Frost Songs by Jack Frerer at Juilliard. Later in his studies, he premiered Let Them Eat Cake by Trey Makler at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, New York. 


The Denver, Colorado native graduated from The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University with his Master of Music in the studio of Stephen King and received his Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School under the tutelage of the late Sanford Sylvan.  In 2022 he was a recipient of the Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation and the First Place winner from The 7th Annual Saengerbund Awards. In 2021 he was a finalist in the 33rd Annual Eleanor McCollum Competition at HGO, as well as a District Winner in The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.