The American tenor, Kurt Streit, studied at the University of New Mexico with Marilyn Tyler. He was a member of apprentice programmes in San Francisco and Santa Fe, also at the Texas Opera Theater. He began his career with appearances with the Milwaukee Skylight Comic Opera and in Dallas.
Kurt Streit's European career began with the Hamburg Staatsoper singing in operas by Mozart, Donizeni and Rossini. He made guest appearances at Schwetzingen (1987), Aix- en-Provence (1989), Salzburg (1989) and at Glyndebourne (as Tamino in the 1990 production of Die Zauberflöte by Peter Sellars). Hae has also sung at the opera houses of Vienna (Staatsoper), Munich. Brussels, Leipzig, Düsseldorf and San Francisco (1990). He had concert engagements with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamburg Staatsorchester and the English Chamber Orchestra; Promenade Concerts, London, in a 1990 concert performance of Die Zauberflöte.
Kurt Streit has been considered one of the world’s best Mozart interpreters throughout his career. He has performed Die Zauberflöte in 23 different productions around the world (over 150 times) and Idomeneo in seven different productions - in the opera houses of Naples, Vienna, Madrid, London, Hamburg, San Francisco and others. He regularly sings the title roles in Idomeneo (with current productions in Madrid and San Francisco), Lucio Silla (in Vienna and Barcelona), and La Clemenza di Tito (in New York, Vienna, Salzburg and Frankfurt). Performing in numerous productions of Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Streit has also featured in these and earlier works of Mozart in opera houses such as The Metropolitan Opera in New York, The Vienna State Opera, The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London, La Scala in Milan, both the Bastille and the Grand Opera in Paris, Teatro Real and the Zarzuela in Madrid, and on the prestigious stages of San Francisco, Tokyo, Aix-en-Provence, Chicago, Munich, Berlin, Rome and Salzburg.
Kurt Streit’s renown as a Mozart specialist has in recent years led him to further success in his broadening repertoire, encompassing works from composers such as Janacek (Glagolithic Mass in Frankfurt, Kat’a Kabanova in London and Amsterdam, both tenor roles in Jenufa in Chicago, Amsterdam and Bilbao, From the House of the Dead at the Met), Wagner (Erik in Der Fliegende Hollaender in Barcelona and Munich), Berlioz (Les Troyens in Geneva, La Damnation de Faust in Madrid), Georges Bizet (Carmen with Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Styriarte Fesitval in Graz), Weber (Euryanthe in Brussels) and L.v. Beethoven (Fidelio in Vienna), all the while keeping his Mozart interpretations alive with the title roles in La Clemenza di Tito and Idomeneo. His specialities also include Handel (Semele at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Jephtha and Theodora with Concentus Musicus Wien in Vienna’s Musikverein, Rodelinda in Paris and Glyndebourne, and Partenope in Chicago and in Vienna, recorded for Chandos, soon a Tamerlano at Covent Garden) and Monteverdi - both Ulysse and Poppea with appearances in Berlin and Los Angeles.
In opera and in concert, Streit has appeared with the world’s foremost conductors including Nikolaus Harnoncourt (with whom he works regularly), Riccardo Muti, Simon Rattle, Seiji Ozawa, John Eliot Gardiner, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Zubin Mehta, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, with noted symphony orchestras, as Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, the symphony orchestras of Paris, Florence, Stockholm, and all four of London’s major orchestras.
Kurt Streit can be seen as well as heard on Warner Music’s DVD of Rodelinda from Glyndebourne and Dynamic’s DVD of Idomeneo from Naples. His discography includes Gluck's Echo et Narcisse (Harmonia Mundi); two complete recordings of Così fan tutte (as Ferrando) with Daniel Barenboim and Berliner Philharmoniker (1989, Erato) and with Sir Simon Rattle (1995, EMI) (also at Glyndebourne, 1990), Die Zauberflöte with Arnold Ostman (1992, L'Oiseau-Lyre), Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Bruno Weil (1991, Sony Classical), as well as Cherubini’s Mass in D-minor with Riccardo Muti (EMI) and Franz Schmidt’s Das Buch mit Sieben Siegeln with Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker (Teldec). The Johannes Brahms Liebeslieder-Walzer recording for EMI was nominated for a prestigious Grammy award. Most recently he recorded L.v. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Sir Simon Rattle and the Wiener Philharmoniker (EMI) and the Mozart Requiem with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Concentus Musicus Wien (BMG).