Samuel McCoy, with his musical, vocal, and theatrical background, brings to the world of opera conducting a unique perspective rarely found among conductors of his generation. His performances are noted for their vocal sensitivity, lyrical sweep, and dramatic detail.
Samuel is quickly developing a reputation for his work in contemporary opera. He recently served as Assistant Conductor & Chorus Master for Utah Opera’s May 2023 production of Mason Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. In June 2022, he led Robert Paterson’s one-act The Companion at the 2022 Mostly Modern Festival. Samuel led the world premiere of Kamala Sankaram’s Looking at You at HERE Arts in September 2019. He made his debut with LA Opera as Conductor for Sankaram’s Thumbprint in June 2017. He also served as the Assistant Conductor for the New York premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves for the 2017 PROTOTYPE Festival in New York. In 2016, Samuel served as the Assistant Conductor for Jonathan Dove’s Flight at the Juilliard School, as well as the Assistant Conductor for David T. Little’s Dog Days and Du Yun’s Pulitzer Prize winning Angel’s Bone, both for the 2016 PROTOTYPE Festival. In 2015, Samuel conducted D.J. Sparr’s Approaching Ali with North Carolina Opera, Gary Fagin’s A Distant Love with Chelsea Opera, and Thomas Pasatieri’s The Hotel Casablanca for Hunter College Opera Theater. He also served as Assistant Conductor for the 2015 tour of Little’s Dog Days to L.A. Opera and Fort Worth Opera in a co-production with Beth Morrison Projects. Samuel served as Assistant Conductor for the 2014 world premiere of Sankaram’s Thumbprint and the 2013 world stage premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s Sumeida’s Song, both with the PROTOTYPE Festival. During the 2013-2014 Season, Samuel served as Guest Conductor for Chelsea Opera’s production of La pizza con funghi by Seymour Barab, and Assistant Conductor for the New York premiere of “Winners” from the opera Ballymore by Richard Wargo. He also served as Assistant Conductor for the world premiere of Matthew Harris’s The Mark of Cain with Chelsea Opera.
Equally at home with the classics, Samuel recently served as the Assistant Conductor for Utah Opera’s October 2022 production of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer, and Assistant Conductor & Chorus Master for their January 2023 production of Verdi’s Rigoletto. In the Fall of 2021, Samuel conceived, developed, and orchestrated a new ninety-minute reduction of Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci with director John de los Santos and dramaturg Cori Ellison. The culminating work, entitled CAV+PAG, premiered with New Camerata Opera in September 2021. As co-founder of The Verdi Project, Samuel led the inaugural performance of their production of Verdi’s Don Carlos. He recently led Monk Parrots/Gertrude Opera’s concept production of Verdi’s M*cbeth at LaMaMa, and led the Opera Scenes performances of works by Verdi, Mozart, Massenet, and Glass at the Manhattan School of Music. Samuel led Chelsea Opera’s 2015 production of Tosca and their 2014 production of The Tender Land as Music Director/Principal Conductor. Samuel has led productions of Die Zauberflöte and Gianni Schicchi with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble and Le Donne Curiose with Opera Moderne in New York City. Regionally, he has led productions of La Traviata and Le Nozze di Figaro with Rogue Opera, and served as the Assistant Conductor for North Carolina Opera’s production of Verdi’s Aida. As Principal Conductor for Puget Sound Concert Opera in Seattle, Samuel led performances of Suor Angelica, Simon Boccanegra, Cosi fan Tutte, Cendrillon, Dido and Aeneas, and scenes from The Fairy Queen.
In addition to his work in opera, Samuel has worked with several orchestras, including members of the Refugee Orchestra Project, the Chamber Philharmonic of Catalonia, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Mannes American Composers Ensemble (MACE), the UCLA Philharmonia, the Ithaca College Chamber Orchestra, the Cornell Chamber Orchestra, and the Oklahoma City University Orchestra.
Samuel currently lives in Philadelphia, PA.