Dan Montez – Composer/Arranger/Performer
Dan Montez, General Director of Taconic Opera, has been an opera singer, stage director, and composer for over thirty years. He has performed principal tenor roles in or directed more than one hundred productions and has appeared in numerous houses, including San Francisco Opera, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He has also performed and conducted oratorios and recitals throughout the United States. 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. 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.
What few knew about him early in his opera career, is that he was a prolific liturgical composer at the same time. He has had his works performed for over thirty years across the United States. During this period, Montez has conducted three different hundred-voice oratorio choirs in three states, in addition to conducting numerous other church choirs. He regularly conducts the Taconic Opera chorus in oratorio literature each year. He saw the premiere of his first oratorio, The Condescension,
performed in Saratoga, California in 1991. Westchester County, New York saw the premiere of his oratorio, Enoch
, based on the book found in Qumran, in March of 2013. In June of 2014, his oratorio, Jonah,
premiered; in 2015, his oratorio, Daniel,
had its premiere in both Ossining and White Plains, New York; and his oratorio, Job, will have its debut in March of 2016 at the Taconic Opera (taconicopera.org
). In addition to his oratorio and opera work, he has composed hundreds of shorter works for liturgical worship services that are performed each year throughout the United States. One of his works was recently performed in the famous tabernacle in Salt Lake City.
Montez holds a Masters minor in Portuguese and also speaks Spanish, French, Italian, and German. Montez is also an author and acted as editor of Positive Life
, a monthly subscription periodical dedicated to positive attitudes and goal-oriented living. He has recently published Don’t Believe It: How to follow your dreams in spite of those who say you can’t
and Singing for Your Supper: What They Didn’t Teach You in College
(can be found on amazon.com
). His most recent book, also available on Amazon is Singing in your Sleep: The personality you will need to have a career in opera.
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. In addition, he was a cover story in the February 2006 Issue of Classical Singer Magazine. He also writes for the magazine and annually lectures 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.