Instructor of Voice
ROBERT W. OVERMAN joined the voice faculty of High Point University in 2010 after a 23-year international singing career. Still an active singer, Robert may be heard in leading roles with Piedmont Opera and as a soloist with the Choral Society of Greensboro, among others. Robert was born in North Carolina and did his musical training at UNC-Greensboro and the Mozarteum Conservatory in Salzburg, Austria. While a student, Robert was a first-place, national winner of both the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in New York City and the National Opera Association Auditions in Washington, D.C. Concerts at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City and in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, and at Liszt Hall at Lincoln Center under the auspices of the Metropolitan Opera National Council followed.
Robert took a brief detour prior to his opera career serving as cruise director and lead entertainer for Royal Viking Cruise Lines (now a part of NCCL). To begin his professional operatic career, Robert served as principal baritone in the Salzburg, Austria opera house and made his debut in the role of Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca in Salzburg’s Grosses Festspielhaus (Grand Festival Hall). Shortly thereafter he debuted in the renowned Salzburg Festival in a commissioned work entitled Fürst von Salzburg – Wolf Dietrich, in which he sang the title role.
A contract as principal baritone in the German National Opera House in Karlsruhe followed, where he sang leading roles in such operas as: Don Giovanni, La Bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor, Iphigenie auf Tauris, Madama Butterfly, Il Trovatore, La Forza del Destino, La Traviata, Le Nozze di Figaro, Rigoletto and Nabucco.
Robert was then engaged as principal baritone in the International Opera House in Bonn, Germany, where he sang leading roles opposite such world-renowned singers as Katja Riccerelli, Giuseppi Giacomini, Barbara Daniels, Vladimir Atlantov, Waltraud Meier, Eva Lind, Julia Varady, Eva Marton, Sherrill Milnes and Placido Domingo. He worked with baritone idols Milnes, Justino Diaz, Piero Cappucilli, Renato Bruson and Leo Nucci and performed such works as Tosca, Le Villi, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Il Tabarro, La Fanciulla del West, Das Rheingold, Romeo et Juliette, Carmen, Manon Lescaut, La Rondine and Otello.
Robert has performed in concert and opera in Vienna, Zurich, Bern, Basel, Strasbourg, Nice, Montpelier, Warsaw, Reggio Emelia, Torino, Luxembourg, Heidelberg, Nüremberg, Leipzig, Weimar, Aachen, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden, Kiel, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, and Munich, as well as Houston, San Francisco and New York. He has also appeared as baritone soloist with numerous European and American symphonies, including the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg, the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, the Beethovenhalle Orchestra in Bonn, the Kölner Philharmoniker in Cologne, the Greensboro Symphony, the Winston-Salem Symphony and the Houston Symphony, where he was the baritone soloist for Mendelssohn’s Die Erste Walpurgisnacht, conducted by Helmut Rilling.
Robert was last heard in this area in Piedmont Opera’s La Traviata (Germont) and Un Ballo in Maschera (Renato). He has also sung King Melchoir in the Piedmont Opera production of Amahl and the Night Visitors and in concert for two seasons with the Winston-Salem Symphony as baritone soloist for Handel’s Messiah. In 2008, Robert sang the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, conducted by international opera star Sherrill Milnes. He reprised the role of Elijah with the Choral Society of Greensboro in 2013, where he will sing the Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan-Williams as soloist in November of 2014. Also in October / November 2014, Robert will again appear with Piedmont Opera in the role of Sharpless in their prodution of Madama Butterfly.
As a teacher, Robert has taught private voice lessons throughout his 23-plus years as a professional singer. Robert has taught voice on the faculties of Greensboro College and High Point University and as a guest clinician at Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, For nine years Robert served the department of music at Greensboro College as Vocal Artist-in-Residence and Director of Vocal Studies, where he taught private voice lessons, directed the opera workshop and coached operatic and musical roles through the 2009 academic year.
In addition to opera, musical theater, concert appearances and teaching, Robert began a new dimension of his musical career in 2005 with his appointment to his first church as music director. He is now director of music ministries at Starmount Presbyterian Church in Greensboro where he also has a private voice studio. Robert resides in Greensboro, N.C., with his wife, American soprano Rhonda Ingle Overman, and their daughters, Jennifer and Mary