AZO Cast Members & Creatives
Bille Bruley, tenor, hails from Montgomery, Texas and is a recent graduate of the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied under Carol Vaness. He completed studies in Vocal Performance at Baylor University in 2014. The 2017/18 season will have Bille returning to Virginia Opera to complete his second year as an Emerging Artist. He will be singing several roles and performances with the company, including First Philistine in Samson et Dalila, Trin in La fanciulla del West, Flute in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor. He will also be joining the Baltimore Choral Arts as tenor soloist for Handel's Dixit Dominus under the baton of newly appointed Music Director, Anthony Blake Clark. The 2016/17 season found Bille singing the Father in The Seven Deadly Sins with Virginia Opera, singing the title role in Britten's Peter Grimes with Indiana University Opera Theater, and as tenor soloist in Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass under the baton of Joseph Flummerfelt. He was also the tenor soloist in another Haydn work, his Schopfungmesse in Indianapolis, before he joined the Winona Oratorio Chorus and Orchestra for a performance of Operatic and Oratorio favorites. Bille traveled to Michigan to be a Guest Artist with the Pine Mountain Music Festival right before returning to Central City Opera for performances as King Nebuchadnezzar in Britten's The Burning Fiery Furnace.
In the summer of 2016, He joined the Young Artist Program at the Glimmerglass Festival singing Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd and Giles Corey in The Crucible, while covering the role of Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd. He also sang Ferrando in Indiana University's Così fan tutte, had an appearance at the American Choral Director’s Association Regional Conference in Chicago with Indiana University's contemporary new music choral ensemble, NOTUS, sang a solo recital representing Indiana University at The John F. Kennedy Center, and summer engagements with The Glimmerglass Festival. In the 2015 season, Bille was an Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera, singing The Tempter in Britten's The Prodigal Son, Gastone in Verdi's La Traviata, and covering the role of Sancho in Leigh's Man of La Mancha. He was awarded the Iris Henwood Richards Memorial Award by the Central City Opera House Association. Bille was also named Grand Prize Winner at The Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions in Houston, TX, and was a Regional Finalist at the MONC Gulf Coast Regional Finals in 2014.
Mr. Bruley has participated in summer training and young artist programs, including most recently the Central City Opera as a member of the esteemed Bonfils-Stanton Young Artist Program. As a Studio Artist in 2014, he sang roles in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and participated in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, and Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. At the conclusion of the season, Mr. Bruley was awarded the Central City Opera Studio Artist Award. Other programs include the 2012 and 2013 Opera in the Ozarks Festival in Eureka Springs, AR. As an Apprentice Artist, he portrayed the roles of Frederic in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, and Goro in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. For his portrayal of Frederic, he was voted Best Leading Male Role by members of the company, faculty, and staff.
During his time at Baylor, Bille was a valued member of the Baylor Opera Theater, winning the Most Outstanding Baylor Opera Theater Member Award in 2012, and performing numerous roles such as The Defendant (Trial By Jury), Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw), Chevalier de la Force (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Donald Hopewell (Gallantry), and Basilio (he Marriage of Figaro), just to name a few. He also won the Thomas Stewart Award for Vocal Excellence from the Baylor University School of Music.
Mr. Bruley has participated in many state, regional, and national competitions, including most recently The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as mentioned previously, the Texoma NATS Competition where he won Second Place, and the MTNA State, Regional, and National Competitions where he won First Place, First Place, and Third Place, respectively. He was a finalist in the prestigious 2014 Dallas Opera Vocal Guild Competition, as well as a semi-finalist in the 2013 Lois Alba Aria Competition. He has also been a featured Soloist or Performer with many orchestras, symphonies, and ensembles in Texas, including The Waco Symphony, The Fort Worth Baroque Society, and The Texas Baroque Ensemble.
Bille currently resides between Norfolk, Virginia and Houston, Texas.