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 sings with “tonal beauty” and “passion” in role debut as Maurizio in ‘Adriana Lecouvreur’ at The Royal Opera

“When I interviewed Brian Jagde a year or two back he described himself modestly as “fresh off the boat”. On this showing we should be offering him UK nationality. The young American’s voice has grown in power and tonal beauty even in the short time that’s elapsed since he sang Pinkerton here. Already a prodigious instrument, it has the potential for him to become one of the great modern tenors.”

Mark Valencia – What’sOnStage

“The American tenor Brian Jagde made a terrific role debut as the hero Maurizio. He has a pliant tone, pinging accuracy, stamina, shading and an astounding ability to make the voice grow throughout a phrase. What a voice. In 2010 Jonas Kaufmann sang the role, and this month has his own residency at the Barbican. So keep your ears on Jagde.”

Fiona Maddocks – The Guardian

“… the American tenor Brian Jagde (pronounced Jade) sported a handsome presence and beefy tenor with explosive high notes that will doubtless carry him far …”

Hugh Canning – The Times



Critical acclaim for debut at Bayerische Staatsoper in ‘Carmen’

“Great respect! Most convincingly, his portrayal of Don José in the final act was a completely depressed man tormented by hopeless despair.”

{Großer Respekt! Am überzeugendsten war seine Gestaltung des Don José in der Endphase als völlig niedergeschlagener, von auswegloser Verzweiflung gepeinigter Mann.}

Martina Bogner – Online Merker

Brian Jagde is “impressive” and “ardent” in role debut as Radamès in new ‘Aida’ at San Francisco Opera

” In his first Radamès, tenor Brian Jagde had an impressive night, singing with firm, ringing tone in “Celeste Aida” and projecting a sense of vigor and vitality throughout the opera.”

Georgia Rowe – Opera News

“… the delicately spun lyricism of tenor Brian Jagde as Radames — his “Celeste Aida” aria had the necessary heft …”

Richard Bammer – The Reporter

“Tenor Brian Jagde (in his role debut, as is Crocetto), was fine as the military hero who saves Egypt but unwittingly betrays his country when he reveals military secrets to his beloved Aida. His clear, supple voice made was favorable from the get-go with the Act 1 signature aria “Celeste Aida.”

James Ambroff-Tahan – San Francisco Examiner

“Jagde fulfilled the role’s dual demand for both lyrical and heroic voices, showing promise for a future heldentenor career.”

Janos Gereben – Classical Voice North America


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.”



David Gockley Gala

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



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



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


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


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


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