Press

© Bill Cooper/Royal Opera House

“Heroic lyricism and passion” as “the ideal Pinkerton” in Royal Opera debut

March 22, 2015

“ . . . the young, handsome American tenor Brian Jagde making an auspicious house debut as Pinkerton. His voice is powerful and even throughout the range, he produced some thrilling singing where necessary and cut an unusually sympathetic figure on stage in what is a pretty thankless role. I hope we hear a lot more of him . . .”
Keith McDonnell – musicOMH

Brian Jagde, on an exciting house debut, is the ideal Pinkerton. His voice sustains a lyrical beauty across its rangehowever forceful the orchestral swell beneath it, while as an acting presence he suggests coltish arousal at the prospect of a play-marriage with his exotic young victim.”
Mark Valencia – WhatsOnStage

For once, Cio-Cio-San had a Pinkerton worth throwing herself away for. The American tenor Brian Jagde (making his Royal Opera debut) rightly dominated the first Act. To go with his good looks, Jagde’s voice has the heroic lyricism and passion that suits Pinkerton’s reckless seductiveness, and its occasional hard edge . . . was a brilliant expression of Pinkerton’s lacerating arrogance.”
Peter Reed – Classical Source

Brian Jagde packs character into Pinkerton in this thoughtful revival of Puccini’s opera . . . Pinkerton, too, made an unusually strong impression, performed by American tenor Brian Jagde. New to the Royal Opera, his resplendent singing, with a real ring to the top of his voice, gave his anti-romantic lead personality, while his final (and literal) running away from his responsibilities provided an unforgettable image.”
George Hall – The Guardian

“The high drama of Opolais’s interpretation is complemented by Nicola Luisotti’s forceful, febrile conducting and Brian Jagde’s unusually sympathetic Pinkerton, a plausible American jock who imbues “Addio fiorito asil” with aching remorse.”
Rupert Christiansen – The Telegraph

House debutant Brian Jagde has plenty of weight to his bright tenor and played Pinkerton as a more likeable . . . cad than usual. He filled his brief aria “Addio, fiorito asil” with real regret.”
Mark Pullinger – Bachtrack

“The American tenor Brian Jagde, singing Pinkerton, was new to the Royal Opera. Young and good-looking, he suggested the carelessness and callowness of a young man who has no idea what he is getting into, and his final (and literal) running away from his responsibilities made a powerful visual image for his essential cowardice. Jagde possesses a substantial and warm-toned tenor, which he used with discretion and sensitivity, nevertheless supplying a bright and healthy ring for his topmost phrases.”
George Hall – Opera Magazine

“Opolais is well-partnered by Brian Jagde’s Pinkerton. The American tenor’s interpretation of the Yankee Lieutenant as an insensitive young buck whose crime is carelessness rather than malice is convincing, even if it doesn’t allow for much emotional range. Jagde’s tenor is bright and powerful . . . his aria, ‘Addio fiorito asil’, was deeply moving, full of shame and sorrow.”
Claire Seymour – Opera Today

Brian Jagde as Pinkerton produces a tremendously large sound that positively reverberates around the auditorium, but his tenor is so smooth, rounded and accurate that it never feels abrasive . . . with voices this good who would ever want to tell them to turn the volume down?”
Sam Smith – Opera Online

American tenor Brian Jagde delivers a fine Pinkerton, throwing his heart into the love duet . . .”
Sebastian Taylor – Camden Review

“Brian Jagde, who was already sharing the role of Pinkerton, has a soaring tenor voice and a fitting size for the role and the auditorium.”
Guy Withers – A Younger Theatre

“Making his debut at the Royal Opera House as bad boy Pinkerton was ‘fresh off the boat’ American Tenor Brian Jagde. Pinkerton only hangs around for the first act, and for this Jagde gave a convincing performance of a man who had fallen for an exotic creature as he sung, ‘I’m marrying Japanese style for 999 years.’ His voice has a rich and exquisite vibrato, which is disarming even if the words, he sang, were not genuine. I hope to see him perform again at the Covent Garden . . .

With an excellent choice of casting for the Royal Opera House’s 396th performance of Madam Butterfly, it was the most dramatic portrayal of Madam Butterfly I had ever seen.”
Trend FEM

“Brian Jagde’s Pinkerton was also very good. He has a warm quality to his voice that makes him likeable, and that perfectly helps in the way he portrays the carefree American officer in Act I . . . Pinkerton’s reappearance in Act III is welcome, and Jagde expresses Pinkerton’s deep remorse convincingly.”
Confesiones de un Nuevo Londinese

Brian Jagde’s heavyweight tenor is well contrasted at the start . . . and he hits all the high notes with full-blooded energy.”
David Nice – The Arts Desk

“American tenor Brian Jagde, making his Royal Opera debut as Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton, sounds and looks good in the role.”
Clare Colvin – Sunday Express

“Stepping into the shoes of the repellent Pinkerton is the American tenor Brian Jagde, making his ROH debut. He sings with an attractive silvery tone as he dismisses the concerns of US consul Sharpless . . .”
Stephen Pritchard – The Guardian

Photo: © Bill Cooper/Royal Opera House