Robert Norman, tenor

Having been praised for his comedic skills with “impeccable timing to match an equally admirable tenor,” Mr. Norman is making a name for himself as a character tenor on the rise. In the 2016 season, he placed fifth in the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, making him the first character tenor to make the finals since 2009. His performance of Toby in Sweeney Todd with Fresno Grand Opera and Townsend Opera was hailed as having taken the audience to “emotional places that I don’t think a non-opera-singer could match.” He sang the roles of Second Sage and Counselor in Los Angeles Opera’s community production of Festival Play of Daniel under the baton of Maestro James Conlon, and made role debuts as Little Bat in Susannah with Pasadena Opera and Howard Boucher in Dead Man Walking with Fresno Grand Opera and Townsend Opera.

2016-17 performances include returns to Dayton Opera as Beppe in Pagliacci and Pedrillo in Abduction from the Seraglio, and Pacific Opera Project as Sellem in The Rake’s Progress. Mr. Norman will also reprise the role he originated, Pedrillo in Josh Shaw’s Star-Trek adapted production of Abduction from the Seraglio at Festival Opera, Salt Marsh Opera, and Pacific Opera Project.

In 2015, Mr. Norman made company debuts with Dayton Opera and Salt Marsh Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly. He performed as Steve Hubbell in A Streetcar Named Desire first in a joint production with Fresno Grand Opera and Townsend Grand Opera, and then at Opera Santa Barbara,

where he additionally covered the role of Mitch. He made a company debut with Long Beach Opera as one of the two Tritones in the U.S. Premiere of Gavin Bryars’ Marilyn Forever. With Pacific Opera Project his performances Pedrillo in Abduction from the Seraglio and Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos

received rave reviews, describing his performances respectively as “one of the highlights of the evening,” and “so engaging that it’s hard to stop watching him.”

In the 2013-14 seasons, he appeared as Goro in Madama Butterfly, Caius in Falstaff, and Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi with Opera San José, and as Remendado in Carmen with Opera San Luis Obispo. He also made role debuts as Steve Hubbell in A Streetcar Named Desire with Union Avenue

Opera in St. Louis, and Pedrillo in Abduction from the Seraglio and Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Southern Illinois Music Festival.


He received his Master’s degree from CSU Northridge in 2010, and is an alumnus of the Opera Santa Barbara Studio Artist Program. Mr. Norman is an L.A. District Winner for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and winner of Center Stage Opera’s David W. Scott Memorial Vocal Competition.  As a concert soloist, he has performed Mozart’s Requiem, Händel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. John’s Passion, Magnificat, Weinachtsoratorium, Britten’s Cantata Misericordium, and Haydn’s Missa in Tempore Belli.