Drew Minter

Senior Lecturer in Music Drew Minter grew up as a boy treble in the Washington Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys and continued his education at Indiana University and the Musik Hochschule of Vienna.  Mr. Minter 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 Handel, he performed frequently at the Handel festivals of Göttingen, Halle, Karlsruhe, and Maryland.  He has sung with many of the world's leading baroque orchestras, including Les Arts Florissants, the Handel and Haydn Society, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Freiburger Barockorchester, and been a guest at festivals such as Tanglewood, Ravinia, Regensburg, BAM's Next Wave, Edinburgh, Spoleto, and Boston Early Music; other orchestra credits include the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.  Mr. Minter was a founding member of the Newberry Consort, TREFOIL, and My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort, and has sung frequently with ARTEK and the Folger Consort for the past three decades.  Mr. Minter has made over 70 recordings on Harmonia Mundi, Decca/London, Newport Classics, Hungaroton and others.  Mr. Minter is also a lauded stage director. Starting in the 1990’s as director of the operas at the Göttingen Händel Festival, he has since directed productions in many styles and eras for the Opéra de Marseilles, Caramoor, the Boston Early Music Festival, Lake George Opera, The Cloisters Museum, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Handel 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. Mr. Minter was the artistic director of Boston Midsummer Opera from 2006 to 2011, and has taught and directed opera for the Amherst Early Music Festival since 1989.  He teaches many summer workshops in the vocal and dramatic performance of baroque music and has taught masterclasses at numerous colleges and universities throughout the United States.


Hear Drew in Oratorio per la Settimana Santa March 8 & 10, 2018 - Get your tickets now! 


What is the story of how you first came to love music and opera?

These are two different stories.  I grew up in the National Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys.  So my initial love of music was choral music, and, to be fair, that has remained as my love above others.  I attended Indiana University as an undergrad and had my first extensive exposure to opera there.  For my junior year abroad I went to Vienna, where students could attend the opera nightly (in standing room) for almost no cost.  I probably heard over a hundred operas the two years I was there as a student, and I became hooked.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist? 

Probably making sure I am healthy.

Do you have a favorite performer?

No longer singing, but the mezzo-soprano Janet Baker was the singer who had the most influence on me during my life.

Do you have a favorite role? Aria? Opera?

Probably the title role of Giulio Cesare of Handel.  My favorite aria is probably “Agitato da fiere tempeste,” from Handel’s Riccardo Primo (the aria is for the title character).  Favorite opera is harder, as there are so many, but probably it’s La Traviata.

Do you have any favorite books about music?

The New Grove Dictionary of Opera!

What else are you reading?
At the moment I am reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink.  I just finished the first four books of Karl Ove Knaussgard’s series My Struggle. At the same time, I am reading Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward.

Who are your favorite 17th- and 18th-century composers? 

Monteverdi, Cavalli, Handel, Bach

If you were stranded on a desert island, is there one piece of music you would like to have with you?

I’m assuming here you mean a recording, right?  (If a piece of music, I’d say Handel’s Messiah, though I think I have it memorized.) Recording:  Faire is the Heaven by the Cambridge Singers, conducted by John Rutter.

What do you love about HOC?

The commitment to doing baroque opera.  Yay.

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not making music?

Painting.  Or maybe reading.  Not sure.  In the correct season, it could be gardening.

What is the first thing you think about in the morning?


Do you have any heroes/heroines? 

Martin Luther King.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Jesus.  Moshe Feldenkrais.  Pauline Viardot.  William Byrd.  
What music do you listen to most often?

Choral music.

If you had not entered into your current career what do you think you would have done instead?