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. Highlights of the 2023-2024 season include featured performances with Bella Voce in October, touring New England with Constellation in January, and debuting as tenor soloist for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Illinois Phil in the spring. This fall, Strand will perform a solo recital entitled Letters To Jackie, premiering 15 works by some of the most sought after voices in classical music today, in tandem with the 60th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. Letters To Jackie will tour throughout the 23-24 season.
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) 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. Strand will make his onstage debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago in their upcoming productions of Der fliegende Holländer and Aida next season.
Strand has sung with the Grammy award-winning contemporary vocal ensemble The Crossing in Philadelphia under the direction of Donald Nally. He performs regularly with Music of the Baroque, Stare at the Sun, Bella Voce, William Ferris Chorale, Chicago A Cappella, and the Grant Park Festival Chorus. Strand is a founding member and executive director of Constellation Men’s Ensemble, celebrating its tenth season as Chicago’s premier tenor/bass ensemble.