Tyson Deaton

Known for his broad range of repertoire and versatility of style, American conductor Tyson Deaton has established a reputation for leading  energetic and inventive performances. With his musical roots firmly planted in the traditions of the standard operatic repertoire from the Baroque Era to Puccini and beyond, his affinity for contemporary works is also acclaimed by audiences and critics.

Deaton is frequently entrusted with the development and premieres of new works as a musical authority, specifically with vocal and orchestral writing.  He led workshops for The Falling and the Rising, by Zach Redler and Jerre Dye, co-commissioned by the United States Army Soldiers’ Chorus and Field Band, and conducted the premiere of this work and subsequent performances in New York City earlier this season.

Additional highlights include Hal Prince’s production of Candide with New York City Opera, American Modern Ensemble’s productions of  Robert Paterson and Mark Campbell’s The Whole Truth, and Stewart Copeland and David Bamberger’s version of The Cask of Amontillado.  Deaton has opened the Anchorage Opera conducting Lucia di Lammermoor, while two other pinnacles of the Bel Canto canon, Norma, and Guillaume Tell, rounded out his season.

He joined San Francisco Opera for their production of Sweeney Todd, soon followed by his debut at Opera Birmingham with L’elisir d’amore.  As guest conductor, he also played continuo for Le Nozze di Figaro at The Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center.

Tyson Deaton made his Fort Worth Opera debut in the inaugural production of the “Opera Unbound” series with Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, and is heard on the premiere recording this work on the Albany label.  Lauded as “Best of 2013” in the Washington Post, it was also rated among the “12 Best Full-Length Opera Recordings of 2014” by OperaNews.  Other digital releases include the Offenbach rarity L’île de Tulipatan (Albany), and with Julia Kogan, “In Jest,” (First Hand Records –  UK) recorded at Champs Hill.

Adept on the concert stage as well as in the orchestra pit, Tyson Deaton has partnered with artists including Denyce Graves, Michael Norsworthy, Talise Trevigne, Linda Wang, Judith Kellock, Julie Landsman, Victoria Livengood, Craig Mumm, Othalie Graham, and Sherrill Milnes, among many others.  Along with Steven LaBrie, he collaborated with the Jessica Lang Dance Company on a staged version of Die Schöne Müllerin at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, “render[ing] the score with compelling artistry,” according to the New York Times.

Deaton has been presented in recital alongside Matthew Grills at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which included Benjamin Britten’s Canticle I, one of the featured events celebrating that composer’s centenary.  He performs regularly with baritone Matthew Worth: their most recent program touches three centuries of the American musical heritage.  A fervent advocate for the music of our time, Deaton has commissioned a number of works including David T. Little’s setting of To a Stranger, co-commissioned by The Walt Whitman Project of New York.

Deaton’s academic appointments have included those at the University of the Pacific and Lawrence Conservatory, and as an Artist-in-Residence at McGill University in Montreal. The singers he has coached occupy the rosters of The Metropolitan Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Houston Grand Opera, Paris Opera, The Barbican, Oper Frankfurt, La Scala and other major opera houses throughout the world.

As a clinician for both pianists and singers, he is often invited to give masterclasses and lectures on collaborative and operatic literature.  For Opera America he has served as a panelist for Making Connections and Career Blueprints workshops, commissioning grants, and is a featured contributor to their ArtistLink publication.  He has adjudicated the ASCAP Plus Composer Awards, and was a primary interviewee for an article centered around post-secondary classical vocal music education for ClassicalSinger magazine in the September 2013 issue.

Deaton’s extensive experience as a pianist, coach, recitalist, chamber musician, and his training and work as a singer, give him a unique perspective in understanding the demands of the whole performance as a conductor: offering advice, compelling, or following as needed and, above all, encouraging individual artistry at the highest level.

Tyson Deaton maintains his primary residence in New York City.

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Current & Upcoming Performances

TCU Opera
Fort Worth
Ed Landreth Hall
The Gondoliers
The Blue Hill Troupe
New York
The Theater at St. Jean's

Past Performances

Zach Redler/Jerre Dye: The Falling and the Rising
Opera America New Works Forum
New York
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's "Farewell, Auschwitz"
Texas Christian University Festival of American Song
Fort Worth
Walsh Center for the Performing Arts
Giulio Cesare
Red River Lyric Opera
Wichita Fall, TX
Opera Birmingham
Birmingham, AL
Samford University Wright Center

Glory Denied by Tom Cipullo (Albany Recorsds)
Another solid component of this first-rate recording is the remarkably full-sounding nine-piece instrumental ensemble, which gives a bravura performance under the effective leadership of conductor Tyson Deaton.”–  Opera News, Joshua Rosenblum,

[Jeff] Myers’s impressive score draws from diverse contemporary styles. There are stretches of hazy, wayward chords spiked with unnerving clusters. During tense episodes, skittish orchestral lines flail wildly. Mr. Myers elicits a wide range of sounds and colors from a [26]-piece orchestra conducted by Tyson Deaton. Sometimes fraught exchanges between singers are prodded along by stubbornly repetitive instrumental riffs. Other times, thick chords cling insistently to every syllable of the sung words.[…] Mr. Soluri’s skillfully scored music was energetically conducted by Mr. Deaton. –  The New York Times, Anthony Tommasini

Cipullo’s score is complex in the extreme. The vocal writing is angular and he changes time signature and pace nearly every measure. Rhythmic patterns are irregular, but notated, making conductor Tyson Deaton’s job positively Herculean. Even worse, he is in the back of the stage, the singers are unable to see him except in tiny monitors up in the corners, and his small chamber orchestra is extruded across the back, just two abreast.

Calm, cool and confident, keeping his constantly changing but precise beat pattern within a reserved two-foot frame, the unflappable Deaton delivers a passionate and virtuoso performance by force of will.  – TheaterJones– Gregory Sullivan Isaacs

Conductor Tyson Deaton does an impressive job of coordinating an awkwardly strung-out ensemble with singers he can see only from behind. –  Dallas Morning News– Scott Cantrell

As a drama, Glory Denied scores on many points. […] The music, both vocal and instrumental (a small orchestra is directed by Tyson Deaton), is another tension-generator. There is not much lyricism here, but the atmosphere is compelling. – Star-Telegram– Olin Chism

[Along with] the considerable musical and dramatic challenges […] Conductor Tyson Deaton skillfully guided the quartet and the small chamber orchestra through this unfailingly energetic, often lyrical score. – FrontRow, Dallas Magazine– Wayne Lee Gay

Conductor Tyson Deaton gets appropriately atonal sounds from his chamber ensemble, particularly when blending flute and strings. – Garden State Journal– Doug Strassler

Paterson’s score […] flowed beautifully under the watchful baton of ensemble conductor Tyson Deaton, who led the group through both productions with keen precision. –  I Care if You Listen Magazine, Christian Kriegeskotte

O’Regan’s clear, mostly atonal setting of the text was shaded by variety of textures from the American Modern Ensemble, helping to delineate the different moods and facets of Rabinowitz’s Mary. Particularly effective were the final moments of the work, when the dissonances resolved into a sonorous and beautiful harmony. – musicvstheater.com  Brian Rosen, April 24, 2014

And with the American Modern Ensemble […] under the baton of Tyson Deaton, a special energy reverberated between singers and musicians. –  Seen and Heard International