Kurt-Alexander Zeller began performing in opera, musical theatre, and oratorio in his native Pacific Northwest at age eight. Since then, he has performed throughout the United States, Spain, and Austria, and has appeared on German television, winning acclaim for his memorable characterizations as a singing actor in music drama from Baroque opera to the musicals of Sondheim. His other performance activities have included a tour of Austria in a revue of the music of Kurt Weill, performing weekly “operatic soap operas” on the streets of Portland, Oregon, under a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and two seasons in the company of the Tony® Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In his increasingly active career as a stage director, Dr. Zeller has staged productions of Carmen, Don Giovanni, La Cenerentola, The Barber of Seville, Così fan tutte, Elixir of Love, La Bohème, Tosca, and Don Pasquale for professional companies in Oregon and Georgia and has directed over two dozen academic productions of music drama. He staged a program of sacred opera scenes for the Sacred in Opera Initiative of the National Opera Association at its 2013 national conference in Portland, Oregon, and his 2009 production of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde at Clayton State University, in partnership with schools in the Clayton County Public Schools, was profiled by Opera America’s Education Talk as an example of excellence in opera education and community outreach.
Dr. Zeller is Director of Opera and Vocal Studies and Coordinator of the Division of Music at Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia, and is active throughout the country as a vocal adjudicator and clinician. He has given presentations and workshops for the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the International Congress of Voice Teachers, the National Opera Association, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, and Early Music America. Dr. Zeller is a Licensed Body Mapping Educator, and his book What Every Singer Needs to Know about the Body, written with Dr. Melissa Malde and MaryJean Allen, is now available in its fourth edition from Plural Publishing.
With his recital partner, Dr. Michiko Otaki, Director of Keyboard Studies at Clayton State University, he has appeared in concerts across North America, including a performance at the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Vancouver, B.C., appearances as guest artists with the Degas String Quartet for a series of performances of On Wenlock Edge by Ralph Vaughan Williams throughout the Southeast, and many recitals in Atlanta’s renowned Spivey Hall. WABE-FM also broadcast their program of British song by composers active in the 1920s and 1930s: “Everyone Sang: British Song between the Wars.”
Dr. Zeller trained at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where he became the first undergraduate in that institution's history to earn concurrent degrees in Theatre and in Music. His graduate studies were at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, where he was awarded the MM in Voice Performance and a DMA in Voice Performance with cognate studies in Opera Directing and Musicology. He has done further study at the Early Music Institute of Indiana University, the National Association of Teachers of Singing’s Internship Program at Florida State University, and the Seattle Academy of Baroque Opera.