Matthew Sprizzo

Artists 2023-2024

Regarded for nearly three decades as one of the world’s finest countertenors, Drew Minter grew up as a boy treble in the Washington Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys.  He continued his education at Indiana University and the Musik Hochschule of Vienna.  He has appeared in leading roles with the opera companies of Brussels, Toulouse, Boston, Washington, Santa Fe, Wolf Trap, Glimmerglass and Nice, among others.  A recognized specialist in the works of Händel, he performed frequently at the Händel festivals of Göttingen, Halle, Karlsruhe, and Maryland, and has sung with many of the world's leading baroque orchestras, including Les Arts Florissants, the Händel and Haydn Society, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Freiburger Barockorchester, and at festivals such as Tanglewood, Ravinia, Regensburg, BAM's Next Wave, Edinburgh, Spoleto, and Boston Early Music.  Other orchestra credits include Philadelphia, San Francisco and St. Paul.  Mr. Minter was a founding member of the Newberry Consort TREFOIL and My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort, and sings frequently with ARTEK and the Folger Consort.  He has made over sixty recordings on Harmonia Mundi, Decca/London, Newport Classics, Hungaroton and other labels.   His newest recording, A Wind Blows from the East, on which he accompanies himself on harp, is receiving critical praise for its rapturous presentation of German medieval poets. In addition, he appears in two films: as Tolomeo in Peter Sellars’s Giulio Cesare, and as the Devil in In the Symphony of the World: a Portrait of Hildegard of Bingen.  

Drew Minter is also a lauded stage director. He began in the 1990s as director of the operas at the Göttingen Händel Festival, directing baroque productions.  Since then he has directed productions in many styles for the Opéra de Marseilles, Caramoor, the Boston Early Music Festival, Lake George Opera, The Cloisters Museum, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Händel and Haydn, Boston’s Opera Aperta, the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes School of Music, Boston University’s Opera Institute, Amherst Early Music, the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, the Five Colleges in Northampton, Tempesta di Mare and Cleveland’s Apollo’s Fire.   He was the artistic director of Boston Midsummer Opera from 2006 to 2011, directing his own pastiches of scenes (The Marriages of Mozart and Tales of Offenbach, as well as Peter Brook’s Tragedy of Carmen, Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Rossini's Italian Girl in Algiers.

In addition to numerous workshops in the vocal and dramatic performance of baroque music, since 1999 Mr. Minter has voice at Vassar College, where he also directs the Vassar Opera Workshop and conducts the Vassar Madrigal Singers, a group specializing in early and contemporary music, with which he has conducted  Händel's Messiah and Israel in Egypt, and Bach's St. John Passion, as well as other cantatas of Bach.    He has taught since 1989 at the Amherst Early Music Institute, where he has directed a baroque opera yearly since 2003.  He writes regularly for Opera News.

drew minter Photos

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Mr. Minter sings Bach's Widerstehe der Sünde 

Available upon request ( is Mr. Minter's recital recording Love Letters from Italy.

2015 Performances of the title role of Händel’s Orlando:
"Mr. Minter, a star countertenor in the 1980's, remains an astonishing artist.  The smaller venue and lowish tessitura of Orlando's music brought out the best in the current state of his voice, its crinkly timbre suggestive of the hero's fragility of mind.  For his spectacular mad scene at the end of the second act, Mr. Minter cowered in a darkened corner of the set, his singing oscillating between searing power and a childlike delicacy."
                                                                                                                                                                               -The New York Observer

"first-class singing…Recitatives couldn’t have had more vitality.   Drew Minter gave the most penetrating Händel performance I’ve seen since Lorraine Hunt Lieberson...Minter has built a career around Händel for more than 30 years – which was apparent in the way that he found such rich fodder for characterizattion within the music."

"The first time I ever heard a note-complete Orlando played on original-instruments was on a tape recording—which I still have—of a performance at George Washington University in St. Louis from 1983. The conductor was Nicholas McGegan, the Orlando… Drew Minter.   How astonishing to witness Minter taking on the role again more than 32 years later!...the musical sensibility has continued to deepen so that his brave Orlando was frighteningly vivid, particularly in the extraordinary mad scene which concludes the second act.   Minter gave up leading operatic roles years ago to concentrate on teaching, stage directing and smaller-scale music, but his impressive return to Händel last year in Teseo was no fluke."

"Minter plumbed the depths of passion, anger and pathos as the dissolute Orlando."
                                                                                                                                                                                            -Opera News 

Egeo in Händel’s Teseo with Nic McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall:
"The countertenor Drew Minter has further fleshed out the part of Egeo, the king who conspires to wed the virtuous Agilea but has to concede her to Teseo when he reveals himself to be Egeo’s long-hidden son.  Oleaginous and vain, Mr. Minter’s Egeo nevertheless reveals the nobility of his birth through a warm and vibrant tone that remained even across his dazzling runs."
                                                                                                                                                                                  -The New York Times

 Aegeus in Händel’s  Teseo with Nic McGegan and the Philharmonia:
"Completing the cast in fine form were countertenor Drew Minter as Aegeus-sounding as powerful and elegant as he did decades ago."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -The San Francisco Chronicle

A Wind Blows from the East, Bridge Records:
"Minter, who has performed with the world's leading opera companies and baroque orchestras for nearly three decades, bring his A-game to this selection of songs, breathing fresh life into the aged melodies.  Minter's accomplished performances of these songs are gifts to hear, since through his efforts, the past is made to live again.  Top notch."
                                                                                                                                                                                            -Scene Magazine

"…Drew Minter on this seductively imaginative CD excels in every facet of the singer and harpist’s art…Minter’s extraordinary self-accompanied performances, as either countertenor or baritone, reveal just how potent and vital the art form itself was and can still be to modern listeners, and how effective the use of the harp was, both as accompaniment and in an occasional telling riff.”



“One of the finest of modern countertenors and liveliest of performers.  For at least one CD, he has made it his mission to make the German medieval ballad as attractive as possible to the modern listener, and he achieved this by singing these ballads with impressive inflections and vocal acting that sometimes includes his leaving the countertenor range for the baritone, with no apparent damage to his vocal equipment.  He also accompanies himself on medieval harps, the way the old balladeers used to do, which (again) is quite an accomplishment in a world where whole groups of performers usually congregate to present this music.  And he surely achieves his goal.  This is without question the liveliest reading of medieval ballads of any type I’ve ever heard.”


As Egeo in Händel’s Teseo at the 2011 Göttingen Händel Festival:
“Drew Minter sang the King Egeo with great sovereignty.”  
                                                                                                                                                                                   -Hessische Nachrichten

“The alto Drew Minter is a phenomenon…his coloratura facility remains undiminished, and he brings copious charm and infectious hilarity to his sharply etched characterization of Egeo.”

                                                                                                                                                                                     -Göttinger Tageblatt

Händel’s Messiah at Duke University 2010:
“Wynkoop  always  fields a group of fine vocal soloists and this year’s quartet was a royal flush!..All four singers could give master classes in perfect diction!...Internationally renowned counter-tenor Drew Minter was masterful in dramatizing the words and in extensively ornamenting the repeated lines.  His clear, warm tone was welcome."
                                                                                                                                                                    -Classical Voice of North Carolina

“This production features a pair of excellent countertenors.  Drew Minter was a fabulous Cesare. His voice fits Cesare's music perfectly and his acting is great.  He carries off the Bush-like persona flawlessly but makes him very human as well."

“Countertenor Drew Minter, the best known of the group’s members, is famous for his roles in Baroque opera, in which his dramatic intensity in projecting a character’s emotional state makes him a vivid presence.  He was no different in his singing of Dowland:  in each of his solos, the listener was made aware not only of the melody but of a person uttering the melody, a person in whom the feelings the words and tune expressed (usually, in Dowland, the pains of love) rose not from a graceful conceit of language or a well-shaped musical line but from the core of that person’s being.  Minter’s is surely a suitable style for Händel, who composed more than a century later, but is it right for Dowland?  The proof of the pudding is in the eating—how gripping the songs become when Minter gives his all to them!"
                                                                                                                                                                               -San Diego Weekly Reader

 “…extraordinary singing…Minter had to cope with a range of more than two octaves.  He had to shift from falsetto into his ‘chest’ voice for low notes, and his skill in that was impressive…Minter handled all of the challenges easily.  He communicated well the depths of despair in the words and his own joy at singing this music.”
                                                                                                                                                                                  -The Houston Chronicle

“As sung by countertenor Drew Minter, the music melted in the throat and emerged in crisp, clear diction that was itself a pleasure to hear. Vocally, Minter’s characteristic sound is light, pure, almost conversational, though with cream in the lower register. He has none of the wearisome artifice that affects all too many countertenors and he can move notes in florid passages without losing intimate touch with the words or sacrificing ease of delivery.” 
                                                                                                                                                                                    -The Washington Post 

Händel’s Agrippina: 
“The Mannes production, directed by Drew Minter, gets to the heart of the opera’s newfound appeal.” 
                                                                                                                                                                                       -The New York Times 

Drew appears as Tolomeo in the London video of the Peter Sellars production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare.  Other film performances include the role of the Devil in “In the Symphony of the World: A Portrait of Hildegard von Bingen” and the roles of the Queen and the Angel in “The Play of Daniel” for West German Television.  

Drew directs and teaches interpretation and acting at several opera institutes in the summers:  La Lingua della Lirica, Queens College Baroque Opera workshop, Amherst Early Music Baroque Institute.  Drew has also directed for a number of colleges and universities.  

DREW MINTER, countertenor, stage director


(“direction “refers in all cases to being the stage director) some of the conductors collaborated with on the operas below:

Nicholas McGegan, Gary Wedow, Andrew Lawrence King, Craig Smith, Jane Glover, Susan Davenny Wyner


Boston Midsummer Opera (ARTISTIC DIRECTOR)                      2006, The Marriages of Mozart (also translator)

                  (stage director in all cases)                                      2007, Tales of Offenbach (a pastiche of  La Périchole, The Tales of Hoffmann, and Les Brigands)

                                                                                              2008, La Tregédie de Carmen  by Peter Brook, based on the Bizet opera

                                                                                              2009, Così fan tutte (also translator)

                                                                                              2011, The Italian Girl in Algiers

The Cloisters Museum                                                              2009, The Play of Daniel (direction)

                                                                                              2013, The Play of Daniel (direction)

Goettingen Handel Festival                                                       2011, Teseo (role:  Egeo)

                                                                                             1998, Tolomeo (direction)

                                                                                             1997, Xerxes (direction)

                                                                                             1995, Ariodante (direction)

                                                                                             1994, Giustino (Amanzio, and stage direction)

                                                                                             1993, Radamisto (direction)

                                                                                             1992, Ottone (title role)

                                                                                             1991, Agrippina (role of Ottone)

                                                                                             1990, Floridante (title role)

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra                                                2013, Teseo by Handel (Egeo)

Orchestra London                                                                    2010, Giulio Cesare (title role)

Symphony Space – Vassar Faculty Opera                                   2011, Aethelred the Unready by Wilson (direction)

Tanglewood, Ravinia, Marlboro Festival                                      2007, Chansons de Bilitis, (stage director and performer) with Lorraine Hunt and Peter Serkin

Handel and Haydn Society (Boston)                                           1998, Giulio Cesare by Handel (Tolomeo, and stage direction)

Music of the Baroque (Chicago)                                                 1997, La Calisto by Cavalli (Endimione)

Orchestra of St. Luke’s                                                            1997, Lo Speziale by Haydn (direction)

Glimmerglass Opera                                                                1996, La Calisto by Cavalli (Endimione),

                      Director:  SIMON CALLOW                                 1996, L’Incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi (Ottone)

                      Director:  JONATHAN MILLER

Lake George Opera                                                                  2001, Il Re Pastore by Mozart (direction)

Opera Aperta                                                                           2002, Don Giovanni by Mozart (direction and translation)

                                                                                             2001, The Barber of Seville by Rossini (direction)

                                                                                             2000, Cosi fan tutte by Mozart (direction & translation)

Boston Early Music Festival                                                       2003, Ariadne by Conradi (direction and supertitle translation)

                                                                                             1985, Teseo by Handel (Arsace)

                     Director:  NIC MCGEGAN

American Symphony Orchestra                                                   2004, Der Nusch-Nuschi by Hindeminth (Süsülü) 

                                                                                              2001, Aethelred the Unready by Wilson (Clio the Muse) (both operas in concert staging)

Tempesta di Mare                                                                    2005, Clori, Tirsi e Fileno, (Fileno, and stage direction)

Apollo’s Fire                                                                            2002, La Serva Padrona by Pergolesi (direction)

Folger Consort                                                                        1997, Ordo Virtutum by Hildegard von Bingen (The Devil, and

                         Stage direction                                               1995, Dido and Aeneas by Purcell (Court Singer, and direction)

Amherst Early Music Festival                                                     2004, Almira by Handel (direction)

                                                                                             2005, Dido and Aeneas by Purcell (direction)

                                                                                             2006, L’Europe Galante by Campra (direction)

                                                                                             2007, La Calisto by Cavalli (direction)

                                                                                             2008, Die Schöne und getreue Ariadne by Conradi (direction)

                                                                                             2009, Dioclesian by Purcell (direction)

                                                                                             2011 La Principessa Fedele by A. Scarlatti (direction)

                                                                                             2012, Der geduldige Socrates by Telemann (direction)

                                                                                             2013, The Fairy Queen by Purcell (direction)

Berkshire Opera                                                                      1997, Semele by Handel (Athamas)

Opéra de Marseilles                                                                 1996, Radamisto by Handel (direction)

Caramoor                                                                               1995, L’Italiana in Algieri by Rossini (direction)

Opéra de Toulouse/Opéra de Nice                                            1995, Poro by Handel (title role)

                     Direction:  ERIC VEGIER

Santa Rosa Summer Festival                                                    1995, The Fairy Queen by Purcell (Mopsa, Night, and direction)

Badisches Stadtstheater, Karlsruhe                                           1994-1995, Tamerlano by Handel (title role)

                       Director: JEAN LOUIS MARTINOTY

Mabou Mines Theatre Company                                                1990, Suenos by Garfein (Papal Nunzio)

                        Director: RUTH MALACZEK

Théatre des Amandiers (Paris)/Opera Company of Boston/           1987, 1989, 1990, Giulio Cesare by Handel (Tolomeo)

Théatre de la Monnaie, Brussels

                        Director:  PETER SELLARS

Santa Fe Opera                                                                      1989, A Night at the Chinese Opera (Military Governor)

                        Director:  ROBERT CARSEN

                                                                                             1989, La Calisto by Cavalli (Endimione)

                        Director:   JOHN COX

Opera Omaha                                                                         1988, Partenope by Handel (Arsace)

                        Director:   STEPHEN WADSWORTH

Skylight Opera (Milwaukee)                                                       1988  THE MONTEVERDI TRILOGY:

                                                                                             L’Incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi (Ottone)

                                                                                             Orfeo by Monteverdi (Pastore, Speranza)

                                                                                             Il Ritorno di Ulisse by Monteverdi (Anfinomo)

                     Director of all three:  STEPHEN WADSWORTH

                                                                                             1988, L’Orontea by Cesti (Arsace)

                      Director:  FRANCESCA ZAMBELLO

Wolf Trap Opera                                                                     1987, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Britten (Oberon)

                      Director:  LEON MAJOR

Concert Royal                                                                         1984, Orfeo by Gluck (title role)

                      Director: CATHERINE TUROCY

                                                                                             1985, 1984, 1983 Il Pastor Fido (Apollo, Silvio)

                      Director:  CATHERINE TUROCY

Edison Theatre, St. Louis                                                         1983, Orlando by Handel (title role)

                        Director:  NIC MCGEGAN

The Washington Opera                                                            1980, Semele by Handel (Athamas)

                        Director:  JOHN COPLEY