Victor Khodadad, tenor
Victor Khodadad was born in Shiraz, Iran of an Iranian father and a Cuban mother, and shortly after his birth the entire family moved to the U.S. His mother, a classically trained pianist and conductor, provided a childhood full of music and performing opportunities.
In college he pursued a classical theatre training and in 1992 received a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater. Following several years of work in Los Angeles, including membership with the Improv group Los Angeles Theatresports, he moved to New York to pursue his career in theatre. By 2000, Mr. Khodadad had worked at Boston Center for the Arts, Hartford Stage Company, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Theatreworks/USA and Yale Repertory Theater. He was also in the original New York International Fringe Festival production of “Urinetown! (the musical)”. While the majority of his efforts had been placed on getting work as an actor, he would occasionally be cast in musicals.
After playing the role of Jesus in a production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” at Swine Palace Productions, directed by Barry Kyle, former Associate Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the fusion of music and drama prompted Mr. Khodadad to shift his focus and begin formal vocal study with Jerome Pruett, Associate Professor of Voice at The Hartt School, in April of 2001.
In the summer of 2001, he was cast as Ferrando and Don Ottavio in concert readings in Italian for New York Opera Productions. After a turn as a super in the Met’s “War & Peace” he found himself, in the summer of 2002, in the Resident Artist Program at Natchez Opera Festival and then traveling to Italy, via a talent scholarship, to take part in the Spoleto Vocal Arts Symposium where he studied Italian and voice with Master Teachers Enza Ferrari and Bruno Rigacci. Recitals performed in New York and New Haven helped raise money for that trip. Singing in the chorus of Connecticut Opera in the fall of 2002 brought him his first contact with a larger regional house and encouraged him to continue his studies. This paid off when, in the summer of 2003, he returned to Natchez Opera Festival, alternately performing the roles of Benvolio and Romèo in “Romèo et Juliette”, and then to Hot Springs Music Festival, where he continued to gain experience singing with orchestra by performing in their production of “The Magic Flute”. The culmination of these efforts was enough to get him accepted into the Graduate Professional Diploma Program at The Hartt School of Music where he could gain leading role operatic experience and continue studying with Mr. Pruett.
In February of 2004, playing the role of The Male Chorus in Benjamin Britten’s “The Rape of Lucretia” at The Hartt School, conducted by Kyle Swann, Assistant Conductor for Connecticut Opera, proved to be another turning point for Mr. Khodadad. This was the beginning of a string of performances including Testo in “Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda”, Tamino in “The Magic Flute” sung in German and conducted by the Met’s Steven Crawford, Don Ottavio in “Don Giovanni” and his professional operatic debut singing the role of Lensky in “Eugene Onegin” at Opera Theater of Connecticut which was the opera’s premiere in that state. This production was presented in English with full orchestra conducted by Doris Lang-Kosloff.
Subsequent performances included Alfredo in “La Traviata”, Rodolfo in “La Bohème”, Roméo in “Roméo et Juliette” and Nanki-poo in “The Mikado”. In January 2007, Mr. Khodadad sang as a soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a concert of “Der Rosenkavalier” excerpts conducted by Donald Runnicles. In October 2007, he sang Don Carlo and Bishop of Puebla in Carla Lucero’s new Spanish opera “Juana” which played to sold-out audiences at Theater Artaud in San Francisco. Engagements for 2008 included being in the Young Artist Program at Opera Santa Barbara, where he understudied Nemorino in “L’Elisir d’Amore”, and a return to Commonwealth Opera, CT Lyric Opera and Natchez Opera Festival as the Duke in “Rigoletto”, Alfred in “Die Fledermaus” and Ferrando in “Così fan tutte”, respectively. 2009/2010 engagements include Cavaradossi in “Tosca” for Amarillo Opera, Des Grieux in “Manon” for Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, Turiddu in “Cavalleria Rusticana”at Opera Theater of Connecticut and Ferrando in “Così fan tutte” for Delaware Valley Opera. Upcoming engagements include Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly” for Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra in January 2011, Nadir in “Les Pếcheurs de Perles” at Taconic Opera in April 2011 and the Tenor Soloist in “Elijah” at Hot Springs Music Festival in June 2011. Mr. Khodadad coached privately with legendary tenor Nicolai Gedda in Switzerland from 2006 to 2009.