Since his 1974 San Francisco Opera debut, tenor Joseph Frank has
specialized in the lyric character tenor operatic repertoire. In a career
spanning over 50 years, the tenor has garnered acclaim in over 80 roles.
Metropolitan Opera and European debuts followed in 1979 and he
has appeared with other leading opera companies here and
abroad including the opera companies of Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle,
Washington, Orange County, San Diego, Santa Fe, London, and Paris. As
a concert specialist, he has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the
Buffalo Philharmonic, the symphonies of Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis and
Atlanta under such luminaries as James Levine, Christoph Eschenbach,
Julius Rudel, Eduardo Meuller and Emil Tchakarov.
Engagements include his appearances with San Francisco Opera Season as Altoum in Puccini's Turandot. Erste Juden in Salome for the San Diego Opera, and Pong in Turandot for the Austin Lyric Opera. Other performances include Monsieur Triquet in Eugene Onegin for the Pittsburgh Opera and Horace Adams in the San Diego Opera production of Peter Grimes conducted by Steuart Bedford. Other engagements included the premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's revised The Grapes of Wrath as Grampa Joad for the Pittsburgh Opera and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus for Austin Lyric Opera. For San Diego Opera, Frank performed in both Boris Godunov and a new production of Wozzeck by director Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys). Other noteworthy appearances include the Tanzmeister in famed film director William Friedkin's production of Ariadne auf Naxos and a new production of Tosca with Samuel Ramey and Salvatore Licitra both for the Los Angeles Opera; Turandot at the Hollywood Bowl; Los Angeles Opera's world premiere of Nicolas and Alexandra and Fanciulla del West both with Placido Domingo. Future engagements include Spoletta in Tosca for Livermore Valley Opera.
Mr. Frank received a Bachelor of Music, Masters of Music the coveted Performers Certificate from Indiana University and an Opera Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music. After 29 years as Professor of Voice at San Jose State's School of Music and Dance where he taught applied voice, art song he retired from academia and the university bestowed to him the title Professor Emeritus.
2012 marked the 20th anniversary of his tenure with the School of Music and Dance at San Jose State University. In 2006, he was the recipient of the Dean's Faculty Recognition Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement for the College of the Humanities and the Arts. Professor Frank regularly gives master classes in voice and opera and has been an adjudicator for numerous musical organizations throughout the country. His students have pursued their studies at prestigious graduate schools such as the Mannes College of Music, the Academy of Vocal Arts, and the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. Graduates have gone on to be Resident Artists for the Orlando Opera, the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Caramoor International Music Festival and the Amherst Early Music Festival. Others have been the recipients of the Mario Lanza Competition, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation and the Heinz Rehfuss Singing Actor Competition.
The Joseph Frank Opera Excellence Endowment
Created in honor of Professor Joseph Frank, it establishes the first permanent endowment to support the Opera Theater program at San Jose State University. Funds are used for program support, including scholarships, performance costs, guest artists, scholars and clinicians. The Endowment inauguration took place at the Hammer Theater April 14, 2019. "A Celebration of Enrico Caruso and Mario Lanza" starred the talents of Professor Joseph Frank and internationally known tenor and SJSU Alumnus, Pasquale Esposito accompanied by the San Jose State Orchestra and Choraliers under the direction of Dr. Fred Cohen. As of May 25, 2022, the endowment has raised over $135,000.00. Interested donors may make checks payable to "The Joseph Frank Opera Excellence Endowment" and sent to Dr. Fred Cohen, Director, School of Music and Dance San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0095.