MAX JACOB ZANDER, TENOR
A BIT ABOUT ME...
Hailed as "perfect," the "athletically comic" and "strong-voiced" Max Zander is a tenor who has been noted for "showing off" his "dangerously...voluptuous breasts" and taking review quotes out of context.
Max's 2023-2024 season commences with his role debut as Sellem in The Rake's Progress, as a guest artist with Yale Opera. He began his 2022-2023 season singing the role of Fima Votov in the World Premiere of Arkhipov by Peter Knell and Stephanie Fleischmann at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles. He then made his debut with the Evansville Philharmonic as the Tenor Soloist for Handel’s Messiah and joined the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea as Beppe in Pagliacci. He also appeared as Billington in a workshop of Kennedy Verrett and George M. Kopp’s new opera Madame Theremin at the National Opera Center and reprised Monostatos in The Magic Flute in his debut with the Norwalk Symphony.
He kicked off the 2021-2022 season making his house debut with Berkshire Opera Festival, where he reprised Bardolfo in Verdi's Falstaff. He then returned to Des Moines Metro Opera to cover Monostatos in Barrie Kosky’s production of The Magic Flute, joined Louisiana State University as a guest artist, where he sang Heurtebise in Philip Glass’s Orphée, and returned to Hub City Opera as the title character in Darius Milhaud's Le Pauvre Matelot and Opéra Louisiane as the Four Servants and Nathanael in Les Contes d'Hoffmann.
During the 2020-2021 season, he appeared as the tenor soloist for Cedar Rapids Opera's Songs of Isolation and Connection and sang the Witch in a filmed production of Hansel and Gretel with Bel Cantanti Opera in Maryland.
He spent the 2019-2020 season with Opera Idaho, where he sang Guillot de
Morfontaine in Manon and Parpignol in La Bohème, and was scheduled to cover Father Grenville in Dead Man Walking (Cancelled due to COVID-19). He also made his debut with Opéra Louisiane as King Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors and, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, recorded Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi and Caius in Falstaff for Social Distance Opera and presented a live online recital for Hub City Opera. Max was also scheduled to sing the Witch in Hansel and Gretel for his debut with City Lyric Opera and return to both Hub City Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera as the Tenor Soloist for Un\Rooted and Enoch Snow in Carousel (respectively), but all three productions were cancelled due to COVID-19.
Max began the 2018-19 season as Pygmalion in Franz von Suppé’s The Beautiful Galatea with Bel Cantanti Opera. He then joined OPERA Iowa’s 2019 touring productions as Tamino and Monostatos in The Magic Flute and as Dudley in John Davies’ Little Red’s Most Unusual Day and joined Des Moines Metro Opera for the summer as an Apprentice Artist, covering Cacambo in Candide and Der Narr in Wozzeck, and appearing in scenes as the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Goro in Madama Butterfly, Prunier in La Rondine, Don Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte.
During the 2017-2018 season, Max joined the Center for Contemporary Opera for Scare Pair, a double bill of operas by Gordon Getty, covering the roles of Edgar Allan Poe in Usher House and Cecil in The Canterville Ghost. He then joined theRoyal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Vasily Petrenko as Bardolfo in Falstaff starring Sir Bryn Terfel and returned to Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre as Pong in Turandot. After jumping in as Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro with 24 hours notice at Rutgers University at the end of January, Max returned to Rutgers in April 2018 as the Narrator (Erzähler) in Hub City Opera and Dance Company’s inaugural production of Carl Orff’s Der Mond. Max also made his debut with Bronx Opera in June as Gery Poiret in The Theft of a Smile, a new Rossini pastiche about the 1911 theft of the “Mona Lisa” from the Musée du Louvre.
As a Resident Artist with the Indianapolis Opera, Max appeared as a soloist with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra and the Butler University Orchestra and sang at numerous donor events and outreach performances throughout the state of Indiana. Max was also a Young Artist at Opera Saratoga during the 2017 season, where he was seen as Caius in Verdi’s Falstaff and covered Harry Druggist, Professor Mamie, Gent, and Bugs in Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock.
Other highlights have included Harry in La Fanciulla del West with Apotheosis Opera, Borsa in Rigoletto with the North Shore Music Festival, Le Remendado in Carmen with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Parpignol in La Bohème with Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre. He also covered Beppe in Pagliacci with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre and was seen as Flute in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival in Nova Scotia, Canada. He made his European debut in 2014 as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore with the Montefeltro Festival in Italy.
Holding both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in Vocal Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied with Patricia Stiles, Max appeared in sixteen productions with IU Opera Theater including his performances as Le Remendado in Carmen, Blind in Die Fledermaus, Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro, Bardolfo in Falstaff, Njegus in The Merry Widow, the Rabbi in The Last Savage, Fred in Oklahoma!, and as various characters in Candide. Additionally, Max was seen as Prunier in Carol Vaness’s Graduate Opera Workshop production of La Rondine and as Tolloller in the University Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s premiere production of Iolanthe.
Equally comfortable with musical theater repertoire, Max has performed such roles as Pippin in Pippin, Jack in Into the Woods, and Man (Gangster) #2 in Kiss Me, Kate. As a Festival Artist with Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, Max appeared as Anselmo in Man of La Mancha and covered the roles of Sancho in Man of La Mancha and J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. At IU, he appeared in scenes as Robert in Company, Anthony in Sweeney Todd, and Henrik in A Little Night Music.
When he's not singing, Max can be found working as a support engineer and full-stack software developer (feel free to check out his portfolio here!). He enjoys playing piano, composing music, cooking, and improv comedy. He has given musical improv workshops across the United States and a has been a guest vocal masterclass clinician at Butler University.