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.


La traviata, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

“This is a genuine three-hanky show, grandly performed by a talented cast . . . Caballero and Brian Jagde, as Alfredo, are so good that you can’t help but root for them to recapture their love and, just this once, avoid the tragedy that awaits the endings of all great operas. Alas, it is not to be, but they sure are emotionally gripping to watch along the way.”

Freeline Media Orlando

Arabella, The Metropolitan Opera

“ … Brian Jagde brandished a big, muscular tenor as Elemer, most attractive of Arabella’s beaux.”
Observer.com – James Jorden – 4/8/2014

” … Brian Jagde is volubly enthusiastic as Elemer, one of Arabella’s young admirers, in his first performance here.”
HuffingtonPost.com – Wilborn Hampton – 4/4/2014

“Mr. Brian Jagde who portrayed Count Elemer was pleasing to both the eyes and the ears…”
Parterre.com – 4/4/2014

“Brian Jagde had a more finessed tenor as Count Elemer, especially in his mid-voice”
Latinos Post – David Salazar – 4/14/14

“A special mention has to be made to tenor Brian Jagde, who sang Count Elemer. He immediately stood out from the trio of Arabella’s suitors thanks to his handsome stage presence and, most of all, of his gorgeous voice. He has trumpet-like, ringing high notes that reverberated in the auditorium.”
OperaClick.com – Ingrid Haas – 4/7/14

“Jagde is a powerful Heldentenor-in-training . . . I certainly would like to hear him in something where he has more to do.”
Likely Impossibilities – 4/15/2014

“. . .  Brian Jagde was a memorable Count Elemer.”
Classical Source – Susan Stempleski – 4/3/2014

“As Count Elemer, Brian Jagde’s sunny tenor and smiling countenance lit up the stage.”
Gay City News – Eli Jacobson – 4/30/2014

Rusalka, San Antonio Opera

“Rusalka, a water nymph, seeks to become human to pursue her love of the prince, sung admirably by tenor Brian Jagde.”
San Antonio Express News – David Hendricks – 2/1/14

“Mr. Jagde’s warm, satin-smooth core voice was lovely, but he also showed some dramatic possibilities at full voice, when a steely edge and a shower of bright overtones emerged… this clearly is a tenor worth watching.”
Incidentlight.com – Mike Greenberg – 2/3/14

Carmen, Opéra de Limoges

“Ce sont d’ailleurs les mânes d’Enée qui transparaissent dans le Don José de Brian Jagde. Heldentenor au grain wagnérien et straussien, il confère au rôle, par son émission généreuse…  Il sait tirer profit de son timbre inté- ressant, riche en nuances, et appartient à la catégorie des trop rares solistes qui maîtrisent le chant en voix mixte, donnant aux airs du personnage la densité musicale et émotionnelle qui leur reviennent de droit.”
ConcertoNet.com – Gilles Charlassier  1/1/14

[“There are also the spirits of Aeneas that are reflected through the Don José of Brian Jagde. The heldentenor with a grain of Wagnerian and Straussian (color) gives this role its generous expression… He knows how to capitalize on his interesting timbre, rich in nuances, and belongs to the category of too few soloists who have mastered singing in mixed voice, rightfully giving the airs of the character musical density and emotion.”]

“Le Don José de Brian Jagde, ténor américain puissant et égal, séduit par sa ligne vocale et ses phrasés soignés, qui lui permettent de faire passer une émotion véritable dans ses déchirements, comme dans le célèbre air « La fleur que tu m’avais jeté » (qu’il conclut diminuendo, en voix de tête), ou encore la dernière scène, un modèle d’intensité dramatique.”
Opera-Online.com – Emmanuel Andrieu – 1/7/2014

[“The Don José of American tenor, Brian Jagde, was powerful and even, seducing with his vocal line and cared for phrasing, allowing it to demonstrate a real emotion in his anguish, as in the famous aria “La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” (which he concludes diminuendo in floated head voice), or even the last scene, a model of dramatic intensity.”]

“Pour Brian Jagde, le probème n’est pas le même: On sent le ténor Américain, bien jeune lui aussi, armé pour aborder les grands emplois Wagnériens ou Samson. Aigus vaillants, sens des nuances, en font un Don José fort valable…”
Opéra Magazine – Pierre Cadars – 2/1/14

[“The case isn’t the same with Brian Jagde: We can feel that the American tenor, who is also young, is ready for the big Wagner roles and roles like Samson.  Heroic top notes, sense of phrasing and nuance, make for a valuable Don José…”]

Arabella, Minnesota Opera

“Matteo [was] impressively sung by Brian Jagde.”
Opera News – Michael Anthony – 2/1/14

“Brian Jagde’s strapping Matteo is the very model of tenorial ardor; his instrument could fill several Ordways.”
Star Tribune – Larry Fuchsberg – 11/11/13

“As the sister and the soldier she desires, Elizabeth Futral and Brian Jagde inject some passionate urgency into the center of the story..”
Pioneer Press – Rob Hubbard – 11/10/13

“Tenor Brian Jagde, who will appear in “Arabella” at the Met this season, was impressive as Matteo..”
Post-Bulletin – Jay Furst – 11/11/13

“Brian Jagde, a young tenor in possession of the finest voice of the night, sang Matteo.”
Andrew & Joshua Blogspot – Andrew Vanz – 11/15/13

Opera Pulse

Opera Pulse: Pay it Forward, Brian Jagde

Opera Pulse

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).


Tosca, San Francisco Opera

“Racette’s Cavaradossi, Brian Jagde, took top honors among the alternating casts.  The artist’s large, well-placed tenor sounded supple in “Recondita armonia,” virile in “Vittoria!” and tender in “E lucevan le stelle.”
Opera News – Georgia Rowe – 2/1/13

“Tenor Brian Jagde (Cavaradossi) strode onstage with the ease and assurance of a seasoned pro. From his first phrase, filled with power and conviction, it was clear that this was going to be a very, very different night.
Jagde has done his Divo homework. His rapturous opening love song, “Recondita armonia” (Oh hidden harmony) was not only ardent and filled with feeling, but also climaxed with a burnished high B-flat that grew in power and intensity until he felt assured that it had made its mark. Jagde then followed up with a final “sei tu” intentionally overstretched to elicit cheers.
Jagde, a Cavaradossi who clearly delights in his beloved’s show of jealousy, smiled, approached from behind as she played pious before the statue of the Madonna, and lifted her head covering with the seductive joy of someone who has lifted far more in the recent past. And then, with voices far stronger than we heard the night before, the two went for it… She certainly knows how to play a role for all its worth. Nor is Jagde anywhere the slouch. Mixing vocal passion with a host of gestures unseen the night before, this duo guarantees delight… Jagde’s interplay with Tosca was delightful and affecting.”
San Francisco Classical Voice – Jason Victor Serenius – 11/17/12



SFist Interviews: Tenor Brian Jagde

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.



Shifting into High Gear

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.

View PDF 


Five Questions with Brian Jagde

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.


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