Richard Marshall is a talented photographer, his photo of Budapest was used on the cover of Fodor’s Travel Guide for Budapest and his photographs are used regularly in the publication Opera Today. He is also an exhibiting member of the Vermont Center for Photography where many of his photos have been shown.
He has mounted exhibits of his photographs in Bennington and Brattleboro, Vermont.
Dr. Marshall lives in Whitingham, Vermont.
Richard Marshall has conducted operas in Tokyo, Boston, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Charlotte, and in most of New England’s major cities. He studied conducting at the Metropolitan Opera and was one of two participants from the U.S. in the Toscanini International Opera Conducting Contest in Rome. He holds a degree of Doctor of Music in Opera Conducting from Indiana University.
From 1976–1982, Marshall was General Director of the Charlotte Opera. Prior to Charlotte, he was Head of Opera at the Boston Conservatory; founder and Director of the New England Regional Opera in Boston, where he produced, staged, and conducted the East Coast première of Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men; Head of Opera and Choral Music at the University of Buffalo; prepared choruses for the Buffalo Philharmonic’s performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, at the request of conductor Joseph Kripps; and was organizer and conductor of musical shows in Tokyo, using mixed American and Japanese casts, while in the U.S. Army. In his home town of Schenectady (NY), he conducted operas and operettas for the Schenectady Light Opera Company.
While in Charlotte, he commissioned Robert Ward to compose Abelard and Heloise for Charlotte Opera, which he produced and conducted – the first commission the company had awarded and the first contemporary American opera it had performed. The performances were videotaped by South Carolina Educational Television for consideration for use on the Great Performance series on national television.
In 1982, he moved to New York City to found the Center for Contemporary Opera (CCO), a company dedicated to producing the works of American composers. For 25 years he has devoted himself to building this organization. With the CCO, he has produced 51 operas including 17 premières in a company that has been called “the established modern opera company in New York.” Barry Cohen, writing in New Music Connoisseur following the 2002 production of Stephen Paulus and Joan Vail Thorne’s Summer, said:
“This production shows what a remarkable institution the CCO has become after but a score of years.” Besides panel discussions, special tributes and other programs, it has produced 40 operatic events, including 14 premières; all on a budget that is minor league compared to the world class mega forces. But how many American operas has the Met staged in ten years? This was the crux of Richard Marshall’s initial mission – to develop an operatic counterpart to the American Composers Orchestra, no mean task. And to fulfill that mission he attracted meaningful support and counsel so that the finest composers for the stage could see their works produced on a commendable professional level. They have. BRAVO!
He has produced, conducted, and recorded performances of The Bald Soprano by Martin Kalmanoff, Mario and the Magician by Francis Thorne and J.D. McClatchy, and a double bill of Sorry, Wrong Number and Practice in the Art of Elocution by Jack Beeson for commercial release. Following his performances of Martin Kalmanoff and Lewis Allen’s Insect Comedy in New York, he was invited by the Martinu Filharmonia to come to Zlin in the Czech Republic to conduct and record highlights of the opera, based on the Czech play by Karel and Josef Čapek. The recording was to be used to acquaint Eastern European opera houses with this work.
Marshall was instrumental in establishing a national consortium of three companies to commission and perform new works: Center for Contemporary Opera in New York, Long Leaf Opera in Chapel Hill (NC), and San Antonio Opera. The first commission was given to Michael Dellaira and J.D. McClatchy for The Secret Agent, an opera based on the 1903 novel by Joseph Conrad about urban terrorism in London. The première is scheduled for the 2009-2010 season in all three venues.
Critics have acclaimed his work throughout his career:
Dido and Aeneas: A striking triumph. — Buffalo Evening News
Of Mice and Men: Brilliant performance. — Christian Science Monitor
Hansel and Gretel: The orchestra under Richard Marshall played beautifully. – Boston Herald
The Burning Fiery Furnace: The performance was in every superior way equal to its task. – Providence Sunday Journal
Curlew River: This was one of the best readings I have heard, gripping and involving.– New York Daily News
Tales of Malamud: The first-rate orchestra responded sensitively to Richard Marshall’s skilled direction.– Opera News
Christopher Sly: The Center’s production was first-rate…Richard Marshall conducted an expert band of musicians. – New York Magazine
KAFKA: Letter to my Father: Richard Marshall conducted with his customary vigor and sense of commitment. –American Record Review
The Postman Always Rings Twice: Gave an outstanding performance. – The Westsider