Robert Dean Smith with the SEK Orchestra at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts

Robert Dean Smith

The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts welcomes Pittsburg State alum and operatic tenor Robert Dean Smith performing with the Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra on Thursday October 17 at 7:30 p.m. The performance at the Bicknell will be followed up an encore concert at the Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City on Sunday Oct. 20 taking place at 5 p.m.

Smith speaks about working to break into signing professionally

I recently spoke to Smith via Skype from his home in Switzerland and he told me it was a dream to return to Southeast Kansas. To be able to perform in-front of friends and family that still reside in the area and return to the campus where it all started.

At the start of his career Smith acknowledges he couldn’t have imagined the success that he’s enjoyed
Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at the NY MET

Smith revealed that it wasn’t until his mid-20’s that he realized that he could sing professionally. Although he did know that he wanted to work in music, regardless of what he was doing to earn an income. Taking one step at a time, in addition to both courage and curiosity continued to propel Smith ahead in the competitive field of performing opera .

Siegmund in Die Walküre with Manuela Uhl as Sieglinde at Teatro San Carlo Napoli

Over his 40+ year career Smith has appeared on 17 albums and has performed throughout North America, Asia and Europe. In 2008 Smith got a big break when he appeared with the Metropolitan Opera in the lead role of “Tristan and Isolde” which was broadcast as part of the “Met’s Live in HD” series to movie theaters throughout the United States. Ahead of his two performances later this month I inquired to what he would be performing with the SEK Symphony Orchestra.

Smith speaking about the upcoming performances in Pittsburg, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri


  1. I am a huge Robert Dean Smith fan and would love to hear the concerts at PSU and in Kansa City. Will either of the concerts be on Public Radio?


    • Hi Rosie, good question. It’s my understanding that the staff at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts will be recording the performance tonight with the SEK Symphony Orchestra and that it will appear in an upcoming episode of “Live From The Bicknell” which is heard Sunday nights at 6 pm on KRPS. I’m going to look into whether it’s possible to make the “Live From The Bicknell” episodes available through a podcast so that you can hear the performances as many time as you’d like. If that is possible I might also post the “Live From The Bicknell” episode on this news blog in addition to posting the link to the podcast site. Thanks, Fred


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s