Ryan Townsend Strand
Ryan Townsend Strand, tenor, is a Minnesota native whose “beautiful vocalism” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “…attractive nimble tenor” (Chicago Classical Review) have afforded him an expanding career as a concert and oratorio soloist. Highlights of the 2020-2021 season include returning to Haymarket Opera Company to perform Handel’s Acis and Galatea in October, debuting with the Illinois Philharmonic as the tenor soloist for Handel’s Messiah in December, and continuing his performances of Bach’s Cantatas this season with the Bach Cantata Vespers at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, IL.
A passionate performer of Bach, Strand sang the tenor arias in the St. John Passion with the Elmhurst Symphony in March, a highlight of his spring. He also made his debut last season as Endymion in Bach’s secular Hunt Cantata under the baton of Nicholas Kramer with Music of the Baroque alongside mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy.
Strand made his professional Chicago opera debut in Haymarket Opera Theater’s production of Alessandro Scarlatti’s Gli equivoci nel sembiante (Armindo). This fall, he premiered Acis & Galatea in HD (Chorus, Acis Cover) with Haymarket Opera as part of “a sparkling group of singers,” (Hyde Park Herald). 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 last spring 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, and the Grant Park Festival Chorus. Strand is a founding member and executive director of Constellation Men’s Ensemble in Chicago.