Dan Montez is presently the General Director of Taconic Opera, in Westchester County, New York, having founded the company in 1997. As a professional tenor himself, he has appeared in principal roles in over 50 productions on stages including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and San Francisco Opera. He has also performed numerous oratorios and recitals throughout the United States.
As an acclaimed stage director, he has directed even more productions than he has performed. After completion of his degrees, he assisted in teaching and directing the Opera workshop program at San Jose State University for four years under the direction of Irene Dalis.
Montez received a BMu from Brigham Young University in Vocal Pedagogy and his M.A. in Vocal Performance from San Jose State University. While in college he simultaneously held scholarships in piano and voice. Apart from singing, he made a debut as a concert pianist, performing Prokofiev’s 3rd Piano Concerto in San Jose, California.
For fifteen years he acted as Music Supervisor for churches in Utah, California and New York, directing the programs of over thirty church congregations, and directing the training of other liturgical music directors. During this period, he conducted three 100 voice oratorio choirs. He has taught advanced voice and conducting at annual international liturgical music conventions. He conducts the annual oratorios performed by the Taconic Opera chorus.
Mr. Montez is an accomplished composer as well. He has had hundreds of his works performed for over 30 years across the United States. His sixth oratorio, David, was premiered by the company in 2017. He has saw the premiere of his oratorios Job, in 2016, David in 2015, Jonah in 2014, and Enoch in 2013 (scores and CDs for all his oratorios are available on amazon.com). He conducted his first oratorio, The Condescension, in California. His first opera, In bocca al lupo, debuted in the fall of 2017 to open Taconic Opera's 20th Anniversary Season. He is currently working on a 7th oratorio, based on the book of Esther to be performed in 2020.
Montez holds a Masters minor in Portuguese and also speaks Spanish, French, Italian, and German. He is a specialist in the art song and operatic literature of the Portuguese and received a grant from the Luso-American Education Foundation to conduct research in Portugal. He presently holds the largest collection of this music in the United States and has been a guest soloist and lecturer on the subject. He has been heard throughout the country in performance and interview on National Public Radio’s Performance Today as an expert in this subject. He has performed widely as a recitalist and recently released his first art song CD, The Lost Song: Portuguese songs of Love and Longing. Montez is also an author and has acted as editor of Positive Life, a monthly subscription periodical dedicated to positive attitudes and goal-oriented living. He has published a number of books including Don’t Believe It: How to follow your dreams in spite of those who say you can’t, Singing for your Supper: What they don't teach you in school about an opera career,and Singing in Your Sleep: The personality you will need to have a career in opera--all available on amazon.com. He was published and appeared as the cover story in the Norman Vincent Peale foundation’s international magazine, Positive Living, another periodical dedicated to self-improvement. He was also a cover story in the February 2006 Issue of Classical Singer Magazine, a magazine for which he has also written. He also regularly instructs at their conventions.
He and his wife, Melissa, have three children, which they have homeschooled. Their oldest child, Kessa, is pursuing a career as a concert pianist.
For details of this career including photographs, reviews, and repertoire, click here.