Artist Profile

Gary Briggle

GARY BRIGGLE is a nationally renowned singer-actor, stage director and teacher, with over 40 years of experience in the full range of musical and theatrical genres. He graduated from St. Olaf College in 1975 and began his professional career with The Minnesota Opera Company, with whom he sang comprimario roles for over a decade. Simultaneously, he was a member of the adult acting company at The Children’s Theater Company and School. In 1982, Gary embarked on the peripatetic life of the freelance artist, working from coast to coast with regional companies in plays, musicals, opera, operetta and oratorio, as well as gaining experience as a stage director.

For 25 years he was an artistic associate with Seaside Music Theater in Florida, and for 15 years he sang principal roles with Lyric Opera Cleveland, most notably the Britten chamber operas and the premiere of Libby Larsen’s MRS DALLOWAY, and where he eventually served as Artistic Director. Gary starred in several Gilbert and Sullivan operas at The Skylight Opera Theater in Milwaukee, including his acclaimed Koko in THE MIKADO, which aired on PBS-TV.

Favorite roles include Mac the Knife and J.J. Peachum in the Brecht/Weill THREEPENNY OPERA, The Beadle in SWEENEY TODD, The Baker and Narrator/Mysterious Man in INTO THE WOODS, Buddy Plummer in FOLLIES, The Witch in Humperdinck’s HANSEL AND GRETEL, Monostatos in THE MAGIC FLUTE, Goro in MADAMA BUTTERFLY, both Mozart and Salieri in AMADEUS, The Fool in KING LEAR, Bottom and Quince/Egeus in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, and most recently in the premiere of Nautilus Music-Theater’s TWISTED APPLES: Stories from WINESBURG OHIO by Robert Elhai and Robert Payne. Gary has worked with The Arizona Theatre Company, Sacramento Opera, Kansas City Rep, Florida Rep, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Anchorage Opera, Opera Carolina, Nevada Opera, Virginia Opera, The Artist Series of Sarasota, and locally with The Ordway Theater (directing THE SOUND OF MUSIC, performing THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, A CHRISTMAS STORY, DAMN YANKEES, WHITE CHRISTMAS, YANKEE DOODLE, CINDERELLA, and several in The BROADWAY SONGBOOK series),  La Theatre de la Jeune Lune/Berkeley Rep (DON JUAN GIOVANNI), History Theater (GLENSHEEN, BABY CASE),  Park Square Theater (KING LEAR), Frank Theater (THE CRADLE WILL ROCK), The Jungle Theater (URINETOWN, HAMLET, DIAL M FOR MURDER), Skylark Opera (CANDIDE, etc), The Theatrical Music Company (Elvis Costello’s JULIET LETTERS),  Minnesota Pops Orchestra,  Minnesota Dance Theater (THE NUTCRACKER), Vocal Essence ( Libby Larsen’s BARNUM’S BIRD, The Gershwin’s OF THEE I SING) and The Minnesota Orchestra (ENIGMA VARIATIONS, CAROUSEL), among others. He is the recipient of a Carbonell Award for Excellence and was honored to direct Sondheim’s A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC at the Nationaltheater of Hungary in Miskolc.

Gary annually directs for the Dayton Opera (Ohio), where he has staged such varied productions as Jake Hegge’s DEAD MAN WALKING, Peter Brook’s CARMEN, PORGY AND BESS, PAGLIACCI, the premiere of Stella Sung’s THE BOOK COLLECTOR on a double-bill with CARMINA BURANA, and most recently Menotti’s THE CONSUL. He has taught at The University of Iowa, St. Olaf College, Boston University’s Opera Institute, Valparaiso University, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, The University of Ohio/Miami, The Colleges of St. Catherine and St. Thomas, Macalaster College, Concordia College (St. Paul), The University of Minnesota, NDSU, and served as Co-Chairman of the Music-Theater Department of The St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, founded by his wife, actress Wendy Lehr.

Upcoming engagements include Bernstein’s CANDIDE at Artistry and the premiere of LORD GORDON GORDON at The History Theater.

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