“In this hard-scrabble concept, Don José stood out as the clueless romantic, and Brian Jagde sang the “Flower Song” with all the passionate abandon of an adolescent in love for the first time.” Heidi Waleson – Wall Street Journal “Bizet’s score remains just as exciting as ever and (though there won’t be a rose between anyone’s teeth) […]
30 May, 2016
Brian Jagde will be the first-ever artist to take over San Francisco Opera’s Instagram channel (@sfopera) on May 27, opening night and the US debut of Calixto Bieito’s thrilling production of Carmen. [email protected] see behind-the-scenes photos and videos all day and throughout the show!
24 May, 2016
Brian Jagde makes his highly anticipated return to San Francisco Opera this season, as Don José in Bizet’s smoldering classic, Carmen. This is a signature role for Mr. Jagde, who recently sang José to great acclaim at Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Teatro di San Carlo: “Brian Jagde was an excellent Don José . . . he transcended in […]
14 May, 2016
“In this hard-scrabble concept, Don José stood out as the clueless romantic, and Brian Jagde sang the “Flower Song” with all the passionate abandon of an adolescent in love for the first time.”
Heidi Waleson – Wall Street Journal
“Bizet’s score remains just as exciting as ever and (though there won’t be a rose between anyone’s teeth) the principal cast and chorus are fabulous. Brian Jagde’s lyric tenor chops are enthralling, his rendition of Don José’s Act 2 aria, “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” (The Flower Song) is dazzling. Brian’s ascension on the phrase that leads to the sustained high B-flat is delivered gently and seamlessly, the tonal quality is jewel-like. Even at the opening night performance, he knocked it out-of-the-park. As thousands cheered.”
Sean Martinfield – Huffington Post
“Brian Jagde’s Don José alone gave us goosebumps, holding nothing back emotionally as he gave stentorian notice that the force was with his instrument.”
Lee Eisman – Classical Scene
“. . . the final scene between the proud and reckless title character and her spurned lover Don José pulses with an almost frightening charge . . . this is a raw, emotionally confrontational Carmen, insisting that the audience look straight into the eye of passion’s pitiless storm.
Mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts and tenor Brian Jagde were magnificently real in their final, fated scene . . . Jagde, his voice by turns chastely pleading, menacing and desperately stretched, staggered like a puppet coming loose from his strings. Here is the final, inevitable undoing of a beefy, hometown boy who gets in over his head with a woman who has reeled him in and cut him off. It’s a terrible, transfixing thing to witness . . . that climax delivers the evening’s crowning blow . . . the second two [acts] pay off with sustained high dividends. When Carmen and Don José circle each other in that bullring, they’re playing out a destiny that’s much bigger than the two of them . . . Stunning and dramatically compelling . . . ”
Steven Winn – San Francisco Classical Voice
“Brian Jagde made an impressive debut as Bacchus, physically portraying both the preening tenor and the heroic god. He met the musical challenges without appearing to tire. The climactic duet with Ariadne was a fulfillment rather than another series of challenges: a fitting culmination to a brilliant love letter to music and theater.”
Karl W. Hesser – Opera News
“Ariadne’s deliverer, bright-voiced, handsome tenor Brian Jagde, comes through with ringing sound and endurance as Bacchus – a treacherous role that has been the downfall of many highly established heldentenors.”
Robert Croan – Palm Beach Daily News
“The roles of Ariadne and the god Bacchus (who transforms the grieving heroine through love) challenge the singers with music of almost Wagnerian dimensions and difficulty. Both Wendy Bryn Harmer and Brian Jagde scored triumphs, meeting the vocal demands head on and turning the roles’ mythical stereotypes into real characters with deep emotions.
The role of Bacchus is notoriously high and more than one seasoned tenor has come to grief attempting it. Arriving in a ship of gold, Jagde’s refulgent, heroic sound swept all before him. His voice conveyed beauty and ardor as well as sheer strength and volume. In the concluding duet, a final burst of Straussian lyricism, Harmer and Jagde’s voices were thrilling.”
Lawrence Budmen – South Florida Classical Review
“Magical debuts make the myth alive in Houston Grand Opera’s Rusalka . . . Houston Grand Opera’s presentation embodies a magical sound that is out of this world . . . Making their HGO debut, two singers bumped this singing up from solid to brilliant. From his entrance late in Act One, tenor Brian Jagde stole hearts and took no survivors as the rakish prince . . . the prince (who, let’s be honest, kind of deserves it) has the infamous expiring aria. With his head on Martínez’s lap, Jagde sang his end so sweetly, his voice still abounding with vitality and breadth, it was hard to know we wouldn’t hear him anymore.”
Sydney Boyd – Bachtrack.com
“. . . Brian Jagde, an American tenor making his HGO debut as The Prince. This is perhaps the most stunning HGO debut I’ve witnessed this year. Jagde has a big, big voice, well-controlled, and it’s safe to say that no orchestra will ever drown him out. A striking actor, he looks the part of an archetypal prince.”
Theodore Bale – CultureMap Houston
“From her woodlake pool, mermaid Rusalka has seen a man (tenor Brian Jagde, making a most impressive HGO debut.) When he swims in the water, she can only embrace him as a wave. But she longs to touch him, to be one with him, to become human and have a soul . . . The final duet, as the Prince begs Rusalka for her kiss of death, is almost hymn-like in its purity and emotional intensity.
. . . it’s young Jagde, as the Prince, who’s the revelation. Broad of shoulder and oozing stage presence, he’s a graduate of San Francisco Opera’s acclaimed Merola program and is making a solid run through the international opera world in leading tenor roles in Butterfly, Carmen, Tosca, Ariadne and Bohème. His ringing tenor fills the enormous Brown Theater with effortless rich, full, masculine tone. He has something of the legendary Canadian heldentenor Jon Vickers about him, and we hope he’s been signed up for future appearances at HGO. He is one to watch . . .
Dvorák’s sublime Rusalka is opera at its most grand, intimate and ultimately shattering. A standing ovation without parallel.”
D.L. Groover – Houston Press