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.


Brian Jagde makes a “magical” and “brilliant” debut in HGO’s ‘Rusalka’

“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


Rusalka Tells a Watery Tale of Love and Betrayal

Margaret Downing, Houston Press

Before there was ever the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, there was Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s Rusalka, with a similar, but much darker, story of a water nymph who gives up the life she’s had, as well as her voice, for love.

Brian Jagde (a winner of the Birgit Nilsson Prize at the Operalia competition) will be singing the Prince role, and says there are real differences with the Disney film and musical. “He’s much more of a cad, a guy who’s just really out for women. He does feel something for Rusalka that he’s never felt before.” This doesn’t keep him from pursuing other women even after his marriage.


Carmen Teatro San Carlo 2015 Image 1

A “passionate” and “virile” Don José in ‘Carmen’ at the Teatro San Carlo

Brian Jagde was an excellent Don José . . . he transcended in voice and the eloquence of his acting, and offered with Montiel artistic outbursts that I will remember forever. The end of the fourth act was dramatic and heartbreaking. A José madly in love and jealous that faces the refusal of his unbridled desires. Carmen’s murder was part of a vocal and gestural culmination that imprisoned all participants in a sublime musical delirium.”

{Brian Jagde fue un don José excelente . . . a medida que pasaba la representación su inmersión en el papel trascendía en elocuencia vocal y actoral, y ofreció junto con Montiel espasmos artísticos que quedarán para el recuerdo. El final del cuarto acto fue espectacular y desgarrador. Un don José loco de amor y de celos que se enfrenta a la negativa de sus deseos desenfrenados. El asesinato de Carmen formó parte de una culminación vocal y gestual que encarceló a todos los asistentes en un delirio musical sublime.}
Francisco Quirce – Codalario

A true and exact process of psychological evolution and timbre (was shown) immediately by the Don José of Brian Jagde; The pursuit of a light color and use of falsetto in the first part up to the interaction with Carmen, an act of release, began turning over to the acquisition of his (true) identity. Most surprisingly, the American tenor used darker registers, a burnished core sound, and full voice in the upper register in the later acts. The romance “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” had a virile consistency and passionate abandonment.”


A “stupendous” debut as Bacchus in ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’

In a class of his own was tenor Brian Jagde (Bacchus) who . . . put his jaw-dropping instrument to stirring use; together with Wagner, he made Strauss’s apotheosis unforgettable.”
Larry Fuchsberg – Opera News

“Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos,” an elusive opera-within-an-opera that attempts to fuse the frivolous and the heroic while making cruel demands on its principal singers, was an intriguing choice to open Minnesota Opera’s 53rd season.

And it turned out to be a wise choice, judging by the engaging, occasionally hilarious and, in its final moments, sublime . . . This is Ariadne’s great duet with Bacchus, a scene that the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham called the finest music that Strauss ever wrote. Many tenors have fallen short singing this difficult music, but not Brian Jagde who sang Bacchus Saturday night with stupendous stamina, tonal heft and affecting lyricism.”
Michael Anthony – Star Tribune

“All the performers came across marvelously well . . . Brian Jagde as the tenor sings with godlike gusto as Ariadne’s would-be lover Bacchus.”

William Fietzer – Examiner.com


Jagde Morley Wagner Star Tribune

Opera spotlight: ‘Ariadne Auf Naxos’

Minnesota Opera opens its season with Richard Strauss’ comedy about the competition between high art and buffoonery. Soprano Amber Wagner (right) makes her debut with the company as Ariadne, one of her signature roles. The rising star is a resident artist at the Chicago Lyric Opera and has sung frequently at the Met. She will sing opposite tenor Brian Jagde, who portrayed Matteo in Minnesota’s 2013 production of Strauss’ “Arabella.”


An “ardently” sung Narraboth in ‘Salome’ at Santa Fe Opera

The ardent, healthy-voiced tenor Brian Jagde was wonderful in the minor role of Narraboth.”
Zachary Woolfe – The New York Times

Brian Jagde was luxury casting as Narraboth, a role that could easily have been assigned to one of SFO’s excellent young artists. Mr. Jagde has been singing Puccini heroes of late, and he brought that same full-throated vocal approach to the young Syrian soldier.”
James Sohre – Opera Today

Brian Jagde, last seen at Santa Fe as Cavaradossi, sang the small role of Narraboth with exhilarating conviction.”
Simon Williams – Opera News

Brian Jagde’s James King-like Narraboth bespoke luxury casting.”
David Shengold – Gay City News

” . . . tenor Brian Jagde’s clarion voice made his performance as the sensitive Narraboth, the captain of the guard who kills himself over his unrequited love for Salome, even more poignant.”
Charles T. Downey – The Classical Review


Verdi’s ‘Nabucco’ in Valencia

“American tenor Brian Jagde left a very good impression. His voice is attractive and very well suited to Ismaele.”
José M. Irurzun – Seen and Heard International

“Brian Jagde exhibió un bello timbre y buen gusto en su papel de Ismaele, del que hay que lamentar que sea tan breve.”
Manuel Muñoz – CulturPlaza

[“Brian Jagde exhibited a beautiful timbre and good taste in the role of Ismaele, which is regrettable that it is so brief.”]

“En esta obra, el tenor, en el personaje de Ismaele, tiene menos protagonismo de lo habitual. Brian Jagde, no se lució especialmente por falta de un aria que se lo permita, pero su voz se escuchó firme en las escenas en las que hacía acto de presencia.”
Notas de Paso de Miguel


© Bill Cooper/Royal Opera House

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

“ . . . 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


Brian Jagde feels ‘really at home’ at Royal Opera

Mark Valencia – What’s on Stage

Brian Jagde, Covent Garden’s Pinkerton – ‘fresh off the boat’

The American tenor makes his UK debut opposite Kristine Opolais in Madama Butterfly

The Royal Opera unveils its latest star signing this week as handsome Brian Jagde takes on opera’s most notorious love-’em-and-leave-’em character, Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, in the latest revival of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. The young American tenor spoke to WhatsOnStage a few days before the opening.


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