The American tenor, educator, and administrator MARK BEUDERT began his working career at “the entry level of show business”--as a stockboy in a record department, in this case in a Korvette’s department store in Southfield MI. Within two years he became the only person ever transferred from the stores to the home office in New York City. Over the next few years, he received a thorough practical education in all aspects of retailing on the national level before leaving the world of business to pursue an undergraduate degree at Columbia University.
While at Columbia, his professional performance career began as an original cast member of the New York Shakespeare Festival’s historic Broadway production of The Pirates of Penzance with Linda Ronstadt, George Rose, and Kevin Kline. His dramatic rise from the chorus to replace an indisposed colleague in the starring role of Frederic (with only 25 minutes notice and no prior rehearsal) won him critical notice from coast to coast-- and many further performances.
After private study with legendary tenor Franco Corelli, Beudert won the Luciano Pavarotti International Vocal Competition in 1985. Since then he has appeared around the world in roles ranging from Nero in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Lt. Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (opposite Jane Eaglen), “Candide” in the award-winning Scottish Opera/Old Vic production (directed by Jonathan Miller and supervised by Leonard Bernstein), Sam Kaplan in the United Kingdom, Portuguese, and Italian premieres of Weill’s Street Scene, to The Electrician in Ades’ Powder Her Face and other contemporary works. He also has an extensive career in standard and contemporary oratorio and in concert with such artists as John Mauceri, Helmut Rilling, Neeme Järvi, and Dalton Baldwin.
While performing, he earned the Masters in Music and A. Mus Doc. degrees at the University of Michigan under the direction of the distinguished tenor George Shirley. He has taught at the New School for Social Research in New York City, the University of Michigan, and served as Artist-in-Residence at Oregon State University. As Chairman of the Voice Department of the University of Oregon, he revived their pioneering Summer High School Vocal Camp and extended its reach throughout the entire West Coast. As Director of Portland (OR) State University’s Bel Canto Northwest Vocal Institute he worked with an international faculty and student body of high school, undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students to achieve professional development through intensive performance study. BCNW’s innovative production of a double-bill of Weill’s Down in the Valley and Hindemith’s Hin und Zurück appeared at the Kurt Weill-Festival in Dessau, Germany.
In 2006 he became Professor of Voice and the Director of Opera Notre Dame, where his blend of standard rehearsal and formalized classroom study rooted in Notre Dame’s liberal arts tradition enabled a talented and intelligent student body—many not traditional music majors—to succeed in works ranging from Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers and Les Contes d’Hoffman, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a reconstruction of Gounod’s original version of Faust, Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict, Le nozze di Figaro, L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites—many sung in original languages.
Also in 2006, he joined Eugene (OR) Opera as Artistic Advisor, rescuing the professional company from financial peril with his production of The Pirates of Penzance, the most successful in the company’s 40-year history. The following year he was named Artistic Director and directed a new production of Die Zauberflöte, also singing the role of Tamino from the pit when a colleague fell ill. He was named General Director in 2008 and was responsible for all aspects of the company’s life from production and direction to financial planning and fundraising.
Along with expanding the company’s repertoire and performance “footprint” in Eugene and elsewhere in Oregon, he led the company in collaborating with Eugene’s greater economic, educational, and social justice communities in productions centered around works ranging from Nixon in China (in collaboration with the opening of UO’s Confucius Center), Dead Man Walking (working with Sr. Helen Prejean concurrently with a UO/UNESCO conference on Prison Justice and the 40th Anniversary of “Sponsors, Inc.”), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (celebrating Eugene’s growing downtown collaboration of arts and local businesses), and Puccini’s La fanciulla del West (examining both the role of women in the West Coast of the Gold Rush Era and Puccini’s and Belasco’s nuanced view of American expansionism).
The many events surrounding each production were inspired by Eugene’s self-proclaimed identity as “the world’s greatest city of arts and the outdoors.” They provided educational enrichment to the entire community, but most especially to each’s productions’ performance mixture of Eugene high school, University of Oregon, and University of Notre Dame students—all of them appearing on stage with EO’s professional international casts.
Dr. Beudert retired from both Eugene Opera and Notre Dame in 2017 to spend more time with his family and pursue further professional development. He lives with his wife Jennifer (Manager of ND’s Robinson Community Learning Center) in South Bend IN and upstate NY. They have three Oregon-raised children: Katie (a working actress in London), Sarah (now deceased, but who was an arts administrator both here and in London), and Nicholas, a recent graduate of the Cardozo School of Law and a member of Covington and Burling, LLP. .