Rico Serbo

Associate Professor Emeritus of Music


Rico Serbo hails from California where he studied at the University of the Pacific.  He remained on the West Coast to begin his professional life at the San Francisco Opera.  Subsequently, he was engaged as principal tenor with the Theater der Stadt Koblenz and the Staatstheater am Gaertnerplatz in Munich.  Mr. Serbo also thrilled audiences with numerous guest appearances throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland offering stirring performances of many roles including the Duke in Rigoletto, Alfredo in La Traviata, Tamino in Die Zauberfloete, Rodolfo in La Bohème, the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier to name but a few.

His return to American shores has brought many distinguished engagements with numerous opera companies including The New York City Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Company of Boston, Pittsburgh Opera, Philadelphia Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Greater Miami Opera, Houston Opera, Dallas Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Washington Opera, Utah Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Toledo Opera, Dayton Opera, Nashville Opera, Chattanooga Opera, and Arizona Opera.  To critical acclaim, he has bowed in the roles of Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Romeo in Romeo et Juliette, Faust, Hoffmann in The Tales of Hoffmann and Belmonte in Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail.  A welcome addition to his repertoire has been Don Jose in Carmen which he has performed with great success with the opera companies of Nashville, Forth Worth, Sacramento, Gold Coast and Walla Walla Symphony.

Mr. Serbo has traveled worldwide with featured performances in Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Belfast, Welsh National Opera, Rennes (France), Berlin, Vancouver, Toronto, Hamilton and Victoria.  More exotic ports-of-call have included Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Auckland, New Zealand.

Great versatility in a broad spectrum of musical styles has been a hallmark of this artist’s career.  His concert work has found him singing great masterpieces of the traditional classical repertoire such as the Verdi Requiem and Hymn of the Nations, Handel’s Messiah, Rossini and Dvorak Stabat Mater as well as contemporary works such as Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Pulcinella and completing the circle of repertoire with popular favorites such as Bernstein’s West Side Story, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem and The Phantom of the Opera, and Schonberg’s Les Miserables.

Serbo has appeared as guest soloist with the Symphonies of Detroit, Denver, Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Aspen Music Festival, San Jose, Walla Walla, Chattanooga, West Virginia, Santa Fe, Symphony of the Americas, Symphony of the United Nations, Singapore, Manila, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.

He has won three prestigious vocal awards:  The Kirsten Flagstad Award, a Martha Baird Rockefeller Grant and both grant and award from the Corbett Foundation of Cincinnati, OH.  This multi-faceted artist has made his recording debut in the release of L’Assedio di Calais by Donizetti for the Opera Rara London label.
In December of ’99 a Concert Tour in Spain brought Mr. Serbo to Albacete, Lugo, Cadiz, and Alicante.  More recent performances have been as Alfredo (La Traviata) in Pompano Beach, FL and also at Lawrence University with the Symphonic Orchestra under the direction of Bridget Reischl, repeat performance of the Messiah with the Green Bay Symphony and a Messiah performance with the Adrian Symphony, MI. and The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Detroit, MI.  From ’96-’04, Mr. Serbo was Artist-in-Residence with The Bay View Music Festival, Bay View, MI.
Serbo joined the faculty of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in Ann Arbor, MI in 2005.