Professional Information

As Marcello (far left) in La Boheme

From Chicago to the Southeastern United States, from Italy to Australia, Bruce Schoonmaker has performed on the recital stage, as guest soloist with orchestras and choruses, and on the operatic stage. His combination of vocalism and dramatic ability has endeared him to audiences of Greenville Chorale, Charlotte Symphony, Greenville Symphony, Brevard Music Center, Opera Carolina, and the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte. A native of Charlotte, Bruce Schoonmaker attended Davidson College, Furman University, and Northwestern University, where he forged a reputation in the Chicago area as one of the region's best singing-actors.

In 1975, he won the Bel Canto Competition and studied technique and interpretation with Tito Gobbi at the Tito Gobbi Opera Workshop, held at the Villa Schifanoia, Florence, Italy. In 1984, he studied with Carlo Bergonzi, and Renata Tebaldi at the Teatro Communale in Giuseppi Verdi's hometown, Busseto, Italy.

Bruce Schoonmaker teaches voice and directs opera at Furman University. Former voice students include Tony Stevenson (Winner, National MONC Auditions, now at the Met), Bob Moody (Assistant Conductor, Phoenix Symphony; Choral Resource person at the Met), Rusty Smith (Scenic Designer, Broadway and Movies{A League of Their Own, The Good Son}),Nat Chandler (National Tours of Broadway shows, most recently Phantom of the Opera), David Holley (Director of Opera, UNC-Greensboro), Anne Allgood (Broadway Singer-Actress; most recently in revival of Carousel),Sandra Truitt (1st Runner-Up, Miss America), Hugh Floyd (Director of Choral Activities, Oberlin College),and Paul Smith (New York City Opera). Bruce served as lead baritone at Brevard Music Festival for thirteen years.

With Margy Hicks Sargent, in the Letter Duet from Madame Butterfly

Playing Gianni Schicchi


"Schoonmaker sang with just the right feeling, a restrained joy that caught the work's folklike simplicity. He has a superb voice." Five Mystical Songs--Vaughan-Williams--Charlotte Observer


"Bruce Schoonmaker's Don was vibrant of voice and energetic in motion." Don Giovanni--Asheville Citizen-Times

"Baritone Bruce Schoonmaker's bright, easy top notes and his vocal acting made him a vibrant Rigoletto."
Asheville Citizen-Times

"Bruce Schoonmaker as Giorgio Germont displayed a beautifully trained baritone that earned him fine applause. His role was handled with polish and assurance."
La Traviata--Charleston News and Courier


"...the evening was Bruce Schoonmaker's. A poetic baritone soloist in the "Don Quichotte," he returned in the "Soldier's Tale" to astonish the audience with his narration and histrionics. The man is a veritable orchestra in one voice..."
Greenville News


In Opera:

Marcello--------La Boheme-----------Puccini
Germont--------La Traviata----------Verdi
Schicchi--------Gianni Schicchi------Puccini
Don Giovanni--Don Giovanni-------Mozart
Almaviva-------Marriage of Figaro--Mozart

In Oratorio:

Baritone-----Camina Burana------Orff
Baritone-----Five Mystical Songs--Vaughan-Williams

In Musicals:

Tevye-------Fiddler on the Roof
El Gallo-----The Fantastiks!
Old Actor---The Fantastiks!

Narration in:

The Soldier's Tale--------Stravinsky
Carnival of the Animals--Saint-Saens
The Raven-----------------Slatkin
Peter and the Wolf-------Prokofieff

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