Puccini’s “Tosca”: E lucevan le stelle

Lyric tenor Brian Jagde performs Cavaradossi’s dramatic aria “E lucevan le stelle” from the third act of Tosca by Puccini live with Orchestra.

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Tenor Brian Jagde Goes Slow and Steady in the Fast Lane

The demands of the modern operatic career are many. Short rehearsal periods mean more travel, changing directorial styles mean greater theatrical demands, and the rise of televised and video performances add an increased pressure to look good on screen. It’s a tough life, and hard to imagine anyone better suited to it than the congenial, handsome, and stentorian-voiced tenor Brian Jagde. Since winning the Operalia competition’s Birgit Nilsson Prize in 2012 and second prize at the age of 32, the Long Island native has taken long strides across the operatic landscape with debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. He celebrated his marriage last year and has another love in his life who accompanies him everywhere, a long-eared spaniel mix named, appropriately, Cavaradossi.

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Brian Jagde sings Pinkerton in new ‘Madama Butterfly’ at the Teatro Massimo with “unsurpassed musicality”

“The surprise of the evening was Brian Jagde as Pinkerton. The American tenor, a winner at Operalia 2012, had a great impact with his powerfully articulated, very high-pitched voice, his temperament and his youthful approach. We can look forward to upcoming performances in our broadcasts.”

{Die Überraschung des Abends war aber Brian Jagde als Pinkerton. Der amerikanische Tenor, Gewinner der Operalia 2012, hatte mit seiner kraftvoll attackierenden, sehr höhensicheren Stimme, seinem Temperament und mit jugendlichem Draufgängertum großen Eindruck hinterlassen. Man darf auf baldige Auftritte in unseren Breiten gespannt sein.}

Johannes Marksteiner – Online Merker

“Brian Jagde was an effective Pinkerton with a robust voice and a natural manner on stage.”

Sara Patera – Opera Magazine

“Pinkerton is Brian Jagde, a good-looking American tenor with vigorous vocal prowess, secure in the love duet but even more overwhelming in the farewell aria, which highlights the ringing of his seductive timbre.”

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Tenor Brian Jagde Is Don José In ‘Carmen’ — Opera At The Ballpark, July 2

Brian Jagde is Don José in San Francisco Opera’s presentation of Calixto Bieito’s Carmen through July 3. The Saturday performance, July 2 at 7:30 will be simulcast to AT&T Park for the annual Opera at the Ballpark. The cast will include Irene Roberts (Carmen), Ellie Dehn (Micaëla), Zachary Nelson (Escamillo), Edward Nelson (Moralès), and Brad Walker (Zuniga). Conductor Carlo Montanaro marked a spectacular debut at the opening night performance. “Don José is a brute,” said Brian. “I always warn people – he’s a killer!”

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David Gockley Gala

“. . . tenor Brian Jagde, who sang a robust “Nessun dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot.”
James Roy MacBean – Berkeley Daily Planet

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San Francisco Opera honors David Gockley – Examiner.com feature

With a reputation as one of today’s most important opera impresarios, and one of the major innovators in the art form, David Gockley has certainly made a huge impact on opera in this country. Next month he retires from a 45-year career, having spent the past 10 years as general director of San Francisco Opera, and leaving behind a remarkable legacy.

It is fitting, therefore, that San Francisco Opera is celebrating this astonishingly fruitful career, with a Gala Concert at the War Memorial Opera House this week, in which an illustrious array of luminaries will pay tribute to his impressive achievements.

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Critical acclaim for ‘Carmen’ at San Francisco Opera

“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

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Bold new production of ‘Carmen’ for San Francisco Opera – Examiner.com interview

Tenor Brian Jagde sings Don José, a role which he says is now “a staple” in his repertoire. “I have a long history in many roles with this opera,” he says, “and it is likely for that reason that it’s so close to my heart.” Among his recent performances of Don José was his debut appearance in 2015 at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, in which he was described by Codalario magazine as both “passionate” and “virile”, adding that “he transcended in voice and the eloquence of his acting”. It also referred to the end of the fourth act as “dramatic and heartbreaking”. Jagde sang the role at the Deutsche Oper Berlin just before his arrival in San Francisco for this production, and is due to appear at the Bayerische Staatsoper in the coming season, as well as in new productions in several other international houses.

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Classical KDFC – The State of the Arts Interview

San Francisco Opera’s upcoming run of Georges Bizet’s Carmen marks the US premiere of a production by director Calixto Bieito, who is known for edgy and provocative interpretations. The action has been moved to the 1970s under Franco’s rule, and a tiny Spanish town across the Strait of Gibraltar, on northern Africa. Tenor Brian Jagde will be singing the role of Don José in all but one of the performances. Enjoy his interview at the following link.

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A “heroic” and “ringing” Bacchus in ‘Ariadne’ at Palm Beach Opera

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

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