Jan Opalach has received a Sullivan Foundation Award, won the National Arts Club Vocal Music Competition, Kosciuszko Foundation’s Marcella Sembrich Award, prestigious Walter M. Naumburg Vocal Competition, Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, s’Hertogenbosch International Vocalisten Concours, and a National Endowment for the Arts Soloist Recital Grant. He has been an adjudicator for The Walter M. Naumburg, Joy in Singing, and Concert Artist Guild competitions.
Mr. Opalach was a member of the New York Vocal Arts Ensemble (a solo vocal quartet with piano), performing little-known quartet repertoire for a three concert series at NYC’s Alice Tully Hall, touring throughout the United States and South America. With renowned conductor Helmut Rilling, he sang at the Oregon Bach Festival and the Hollywood Bowl and toured Bach’s "St. John Passion" with Mo. Rilling’s Gaechinger Kantorei in Germany.
Mr. Opalach has performed over fifty roles during his distinguished career. In 1980 he was invited by Beverly Sills to join the New York City Opera, where he was a principal artist for thirty years. Among the roles he performed with the company were the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore, dir. Jonathan Miller), Leporello (Don Giovanni), and Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia, cond. Sergiu Commissiona). He was heard at the Metropolitan Opera’s World Premiere of Philip Glass’ The Voyage for his company debut and in performances of War and Peace (cond. Valerie Gergiev); Opera Theater of St. Louis, Lord Sydney (Il Viaggio a Rheims, US stage premiere, cond. John Nelson, dir. Colin Graham), Kissinger (Nixon in China, New Production; Marin Alsop, cond. and James Robinson, dir.); Santa Fe Opera, Schaunard (La Bohème), Seattle Opera (Guglielmo: Cosi fan tutte, Xerxes, Musik-Lehrer:Ariadne auf Naxos); Washington Opera (Cendrillon, Don Giovanni).
Among the many orchestras Mr. Opalach has been heard with are the Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, London Sinfonietta, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, Mostly Mozart Festival, New York, Pittsburgh, Rochester Philharmonic, San Francisco, St. Louis, Seattle and the National Symphony (D.C.).