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.


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


A “radiant” and “glorious” recital debut at the Mondavi Center

“It was not long ago – October 2013, as matter of fact – when American tenor Brian Jagde made his first appearance on the Mondavi stage. At the time, he was one of several singers in a concert billed as the “Rising Stars of Opera.” Flash forward two years, and Jagde is on the same stage, this time in a recital all his own. In that time, Jagde has established himself in the opera world. This past January, he stepped in at the last minute to play Cavaradossi in a Lyric Opera of Chicago production of Tosca, when Ukrainian tenor Misha Didyk backed out. Jagde had only 12 days to prepare, yet performed the role to positive reviews.

His debut appearance at the Mondavi Center at UC Davis Wednesday evening suggests Jagde is more than just a rising star. He’s a singer whose time has come. And a gamer to boot.

It would be hard to imagine a tenor making a bolder, more impressive debut than Jagde did Wednesday, delivering a demanding repertoire over the course of an hour-and-a-half performance . . . There is nothing more exciting than seeing a performer whose career and voice are on a steep uptick, as is the case right now with Jagde. He’s in that zone where he can do no wrong. At Mondavi he possessed a stage presence that was at once relaxed but thoroughly confident. His voice was radiant and warm.



Brian Jagde is “a revelation” as Cavaradossi in ‘Tosca’ at Lyric Opera of Chicago

A substitute at Lyric Opera’s Tosca is a revelation . . . On January 12, Lyric Opera general director Anthony Freud announced that Misha Didyk, the Ukrainian tenor scheduled for the leading role of Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca had dropped out of the production “for personal reasons.” Opening night was just 12 days away. But a replacement had been found: a rising young American tenor, Brian Jagde (it’s pronounced Jade), would be stepping in, making his Lyric debut. In the announcement, Freud thanked the Portland Opera for releasing Jagde from a conflicting engagement there . . .

Not to worry! In a revelation to an audience who hadn’t heard him before, Jagde and his Tosca, Russian soprano Tatiana Serjan, also in her Lyric Opera debut, delivered standout performances. (No surprise about Serjan for those who’d heard her in CSO’s concert version of Verdi’s Macbeth, conducted by Riccardo Muti last season.) The abrupt departure from plan resulted in an inspired pairing: two wonderful acting singers with the extraordinary voices that make for opera legend.”
Deanna Isaacs – Chicago Reader

“Puccini’s Tosca returned to Lyric Opera in a beautifully performed, new-to Chicago production that featured a wealth of important company debuts, including the evening’s conductor and all three principal singers (seen Jan. 24) . . . Serjan found an excellent stage partner in Brian Jagde’s handsome, clarion-toned Cavaradossi. The tenor won audience approval from the initial phrases of “Recondita armonia,” which were lyrically dispatched without the bellowing so often heard. Once fully warmed, Jagde produced an impressive flood of ringing sound that appeared to be produced well within his means without spreading under pressure above the staff. The sexual chemistry onstage with Serjan was palpable: this was a hot Tosca duo.”
Mark Thomas Ketterson – Opera News

“Puccini’s score for “Tosca” is chock-full of thrilling moments . . . In Lyric’s production, the less familiar music of Act I is enlightened by soprano Tatiana Serjan’s Tosca and tenor Brian Jagde’s Cavaradossi. They chase each other up and down scaffolding, play-fighting like children, and then suddenly confessing love that cannot be moved. Both are attractive, consummate actors, and bring a freshness to their portrayals . . . His voice’s chiaroscuro (the balance of lightness and darkness) and a razor-sharp focus awarded his Lyric debut with thunderous applause; Jagde seems the new Richard Tucker . . . Jagde alone is reason to attend.“
New City Stage



A “stirring” role debut as Narraboth in ‘Salome’ at Opera San Antonio

“Undertaking Richard Strauss’ Salome (Jan. 8) as its first large-scale fully-staged production, the fledgling Opera San Antonio demonstrated impressive musical muscle . . . Brian Jagde’s stirring Narraboth and Renée Rapier’s lustrous Page were pleasurable . . .”
Mike Greenberg – Opera News

“Narraboth has a brief part, but Brian Jagde brought a clarion voice and convincing acting to the role of the captain obsessed beyond all reason with (who else?) Salome.”
Diane Windeler – Classical Voice North America

“Tenor Brian Jagde was solid in his short-lived role as Salome’s would-be lover . . .”
David Hendricks – San Antonio Express-News

“Brian Jagde makes for an earnest Naraboth . . .”
Gregory Sullivan Isaacs – TheaterJones

A “magnificent” and “passionate” ‘Tosca’ at San Francisco Opera

Brian Jagde returned to the role of Cavaradossi this fall (last seen at San Francisco Opera in 2012) to spectacular reviews:

“The San Francisco Opera is batting a thousand where young singers are concerned this season . . . it’s hard to deny that the headliner and crowd favorite was Brian Jagde, an American lirico-spinto who can’t be more than thirty-two and who’s still singing a fair amount in smaller houses (who will soon be unable to get their mitts on him soon, by the look of things.) Jagde is a handsome guy and has an unfussy, comfortable stage comportment. More to the point, he’s vocally in the clover as Cavaradossi.

“Recondita armonia” strikes me as a particular kind of gift to tenors—it sits high, but it’s short, and someone else is muttering along while you build up to the B-flat, and the melody lets you make a money note of the G if you’re not feeling it quite that early in the evening. Jagde made the most of it. Much as I’ve enjoyed hearing veterans belt the thing over the years, it was refreshing to the point of mild disorientation to hear such a tight and youthful sound lavished on it . . . it’s a voice that, while sleek, fills the house most gratifyingly. He could not have more effectively signed up a fan base had he opted for “You’re Gonna Love Me” as a suitcase aria, and the rest of the evening made good on early promise.”
Greg Freed – parterre.com

“A great match for the celebrated soprano is tenor Brian Jagde as Mario Cavaradossi, with his remarkably good looks, commanding stage presence, dramatic talent, and the most amazing voice – so powerful and effortless – it gives a listener a special kind of satisfaction when one knows that nothing could go wrong, and the enjoyment will sustain to the very last note, and beyond!”
Emma Krasov – Art and Entertain Me

“The real star—do not miss him—is tenor Brian Jagde. He is magnificent.”
Kevin Sessums – dot429.com


“Nessun dorma” at ‘Opera in the Park’

‘and tenor Brian Jagde . . . delivered a ripping account of “Nessun dorma” from Puccini’s “Turandot.” The crowd roared its approval.’ SFGate – Joshua Kosman – 9/7/2014



Madama Butterfly, San Francisco Opera

“Jagde has emerged as first rate Puccini tenor, possessing the spinto weight expected of Pinkerton or a Cavaradossi as well as the lyrical beauty to do justice to Puccini’s richly melodic score.”

“Tenor Brian Jagde is simply a dream come true as “Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton”. His character, of course, is the ultimate cad, the definition of the Ugly American. But for the trusting Butterfly – who gives up family, social acceptance and sheds her religious convictions for the god of her husband – Jagde is the ideal package. His full lyric tenor stems from his training with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and Adler Fellows.”
Examiner.com – Sean Martinfield

“. . . Racette was in good company, with Brian Jagde providing a full-throated, tall and handsome Pinkerton . . .”
Huffington Post – George Heymont


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

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