Ryan Townsend Strand
Ryan Townsend Strand, tenor, is a Minnesota native whose “beautiful vocalism” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “pliant tenor” (Chicago Classical Review) have afforded him an expanding career as a concert and oratorio soloist. Strand most recently was a featured soloist performing BWV 48, Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen. Along with being thrilled to return to Bach Cantata Vespers in River Forest, highlights of the 2022-2023 season include solo performances with Nicholas Kramer & Music of the Baroque in November, performances of Handel’s Messiah with Apollo Chorus and the Illinois Philharmonic in December, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Chicago Choral Artists in March, and performances with Constellation Men’s Ensemble throughout the year.
Strand made his professional Chicago opera debut in Haymarket Opera Company’s production of Alessandro Scarlatti’s Gli equivoci nel sembiante (Armindo). In the fall of 2020, he premiered Acis & Galatea in HD (Chorus, Acis Cover) with HOC as part of “a sparkling group of singers,” (Hyde Park Herald). He returned to Haymarket for their production of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea in September 2022 as Primo Soldato. Other operatic productions include Handel’s Beauty’s Truth (Pleasure) & Così fan tutte (Ferrando) with Transgressive Theater-Opera & Elmhurst Symphony; Mark Adamo’s Little Women (Laurie), Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (Nero), and Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath (Al Joad) with Northwestern Opera Theater. With Chicago Opera Theater, Strand most recently performed Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick and has sung other chorus roles in productions of Philip Glass’ The Perfect American, Mozart’s Lucio Silla, and Bloch’s Macbeth. He would have made his onstage debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago in Richard Wagner’s Götterdämmerung prior to COVID-19.
Strand has sung with the Grammy award-winning contemporary vocal ensemble The Crossing in Philadelphia under the direction of Donald Nally. Locally, he performs with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Music of the Baroque, Stare at the Sun, Bella Voce, William Ferris Chorale, and the Grant Park Festival Chorus. Strand is a founding member and executive director of Constellation Men’s Ensemble in Chicago.