No matter how many times a performer might tell you “it’s no big deal” when they’re called to step in for a leading role at the last minute, trust us… it’s no small feat. Only those that have taken all the necessary steps in preparing their mind and body for the role in a professional and determined manner can feel the least bit comfortable. Of course, you can’t learn such abilities without passionate teachers by your side. Professionalism and determination are traits that bighearted tenor, Brian Jagde brings to work everyday. They’re traits that not only help his opera career, but undoubtedly his work to inspire youth; a worthy cause at any level.
OP: Last year you took second prize in Placido Domingo’s Operalia competition. Did the maestro have any encouraging words that have stuck with you?
Brian: Maestro Domingo is such a lovely man and an incredible inspiration to us all. He had such kind words to say to me about my career and he said he was excited about my voice. That was one of the most meaningful things anyone has ever said to me.
OP: Which aria do you think impressed Operalia the most?
Brian: That’s a good question. As a singer, to think we would ever be able to get in the judges head is fool’s play, but I would hope they all had an influence on their decision. I will say that I had a lot of good feedback on both the Wagner piece (Siegmund heiss ich from Die Walküre) and the third act aria from Manon Lescaut (Guardate, pazzo son).
SFist | As with Rigoletto earlier this season, the SF Opera is experimenting with a double header format for Tosca, which opened last night. Namely, two casts will alternate nightly for twelve performances of the Puccini favorite. Now, you don’t want to offend anyone’s sensibility by calling them cast one and cast two, they’re like Tracy Jordan and Jenna Maroney, two equally good teams of consummate professionals.
Behind the Curtain Magazine | San Francisco Opera
An Interview with Adler Fellow Brian Jagde
Successful opera singers bring passion to the stage. But many don’t leave it there. Case in point: Brian Jagde. Spend a few minutes with him and you can’t help but get swept up in his enthusiasm. How fitting that he is a lyric tenor. His verve is ideal for the kind of roles he’s bound to play – notably the ardent young lover. It almost didn’t happen. “I started out as a baritone. But everyone knows it’s the tenor who gets the girl,” Brian says with a laugh.
Brian Jagde is a tenor and third year Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera. He will make his mainstage leading role debut as Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca on Friday, November 16, 2012 – you can catch him for 5 more performances on November 20, 24, 27, 29 and December 2. Brian made his SFO Debut in 2010 as Joe in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West and has been seen since in roles in Aida (Messenger), The Makropulos Case (Janek), and Lucrezia Borgia (Vitellozzo) and he has covered the leading roles of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Christian in Cyrano de Bergerac, and Don José in Carmen. He was seen as Don José in the 2011 presentation of Carmen for Families – an abridged 2-hour version in English presented on the War Memorial Opera House stage with other members of the Adler Fellowship Program.
Brian Jagde (Cavaradossi):
Brian Jagde (pronounced Jade) is making his Santa Fe Opera debut as well as his first performance in the role of Cavaradossi — stepping in after Andrew Richards pulled out of the production last week due to severe allergies. Ironically, the opening aria he will sing in Santa Fe, (“Recondita armonia”) was the opening piece he sang last month in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia – The World Opera Competition in Beijing. Jagde took the second place award for men and a special commendation for his performance of an aria from Wagner’s “Die Walküre.” “This is my year,” he said. (He is pictured, left, as Cavaradossi, with Amanda Echalaz as Tosca; photo by Ken Howard.)