Brian Jagde uses an untiring tenor with a baritonal foundation and a great deal of emotional delicacy, which is highly present in all registers, for Der Fremde, and was acclaimed accordingly on the evening of the premiere.

“Brian Jagde uses an untiring tenor with a baritonal foundation and a great deal of emotional delicacy, which is highly present in all registers, for Der Fremde, and was acclaimed accordingly on the evening of the premiere.”

{Einen unermüdbaren, in allen Lagen höchst präsenten, baritonal grundierten Tenor und viel darstellerische Delikatesse setzt Brian Jagde für den Fremden ein und wurde dementsprechend am Premierenabend bejubelt.}
Ingrid Wanja – Opera Lounge

“… a cast led by the American soprano and tenor Sara Jakubiak and Brian Jagde, both of them totally committed throughout, pulsing a strong electric charge into their erotic love duets.”
Rupert Christiansen – The Daily Telegraph

“As the imprisoned Stranger who preaches a gospel of love, Brian Jagde sings with burnished timbre and sturdy tone, easily surmounting the role’s vocal hurdles, and projects an appealing presence.”
Eric Myers – Opera Magazine

“Brian Jagde is no less enthusiastic in the vocally demanding part of the stranger. He masters the treacherous cliffs of this role with bravura. Above all, however, he does not focus on roaring through, but is able to create colours where others capitulate, and to use the full range between piano and fortissimo. It is breathtaking how fresh and radiant Jagde and Jakubiak still seem in the final duet. At the end of a long and exhausting opera evening they keep their heads above water, do not throw out top notes with their last energy, but create with tonal beauty and sovereignty. You can only take off your hat before that and then burst into jubilation.”

{Nicht weniger Begeisterung löst Brian Jagde in der stimmlich fordernden Partie des Fremden aus. Erfreulich textverständlich meistert er die tückischen Klippen dieser Rolle mit Bravour. Vor allem aber verlegt er sich nicht aufs Durchbrüllen, sondern ist in der Lage, Farben zu kreieren, wo andere kapitulieren, und zwischen Piano und Fortissimo die volle Bandbreite zu nutzen. Es ist atemberaubend, wie frisch und strahlend Jagde und Jakubiak im Schlussduett noch wirken. Am Ende eines langen und kräftezehrenden Opernabends behalten sie Oberwasser, schleudern nicht mit letzter Energie Spitzentöne heraus, sondern gestalten mit Tonschönheit und Souveränität. Davor kann man nur den Hut ziehen und anschließend in Jubel ausbrechen.}
Benjamin Künzel –

“DVD of the Month (August 2019) – Brian Jagde’s Der Fremde (Stranger) is tenorially stentorian and detailed …”
Francis Muzzu – Opera Now

“… an amazing stranger of presence, and who has the exact voice of the role, so close to that of the Emperor of Frau ohne Schatten: Brian Jagde, just listen.”

{… un Étranger stupéfiant de présence, et qui a la voix exacte du rôle, si proche de celle de l’Empereur de la Frau ohne Schatten : Brian Jagde, écoutez seulement.}
Jean-Charles Hoffelé – Avant Scène Opéra

“I haven’t come across American tenor Brian Jagde before, but he is supremely capable of bringing all that to the role of the Stranger, in thrall to love and beauty. The rush of ‘pure’ lusts inspire him to soar to incredible heights in his Act I scene with Sara Jakubiak’s Heliane that culminates in her revealing herself fully to him. The singing with the orchestration and the charge of the chaste eroticism reaches everything that Korngold could wish to achieve in a scene like this.”
Keris Nine – Opera Journal

“Brian Jagde (The Stranger) has a magnificent voice and frequently create highlights with it and also create melting effects … On stage he becomes a figure of light, as called for by the libretto.”

{Brian Jagde (Der Fremde) hat einen Prachttenor und kann mit ihm öfter Glanzlichter setzen und auch Schmelz erzeugen … Auf der Bühne wird er zu einer Lichtgestalt, ganz wie vom Libretto gefordert.}
Uwe Krusch –

” … there is much to commend in Das Wunder der Heliane beyond its lush post-Strauss score. The singers, conductor and production team in the Deutsche Oper Berlin recording, issued by NAXOS as a double DVD (2.1105584-85) are good. A strong cast of heavy-weight voices led by soprano Sara Jakubiak, tenor Brian Jagde, baritone Joseph Wagner, baritone Derek Welton, mezzo-soprano Okka von der Damerau, and tenor Burkhard Ulrich share the burden.”
Rafael Music Notes

“This opera is undoubtedly about a dramatic story full of love and eroticism that Korngold reflects perfectly in his score: intense, melodic, full of effects, rhythmic and dense at the same time. A fair synthesis of Romanticism, an original orchestration and a complex post-Strauss harmony, which the pit and the protagonist trio interpret to perfection … In short, this DVD is a great opportunity to enjoy a magnificent production of this opera of the twentieth century, even today unjustly little programmed in the great theaters.”

{Esta ópera trata, sin duda, de una historia dramática llena de amor y erotismo que Korngold refleja perfectamente en su partitura: intensa, melódica, llena de efectos, rítmica y densa a la vez. Una síntesis justa de Romanticismo, una orquestación original y una armonía compleja post-Strauss, que el foso y el trío protagonista interpretan a la perfección … En definitiva, este DVD es una gran oportunidad para disfrutar de una producción magnífica de esta ópera del siglo XX, aún hoy en día injustamente poco programada en los grandes teatros.}
Aniol Costa-Pau – Ópera Actual

“American tenor Brian Jagde as the Stranger and Austrian bass-baritone Josef Wagner as the Ruler both have fine voices and are excellent in their dramatic skills. Try their First Act encounter in the consecutive numbers Dich, der das Lachen angezündet im Lande (track 5, disc 1) and Wie? Sterben? when the Ruler sentences the Stranger to death and the latter then pleads desperately for his life. Both are thoroughly compelling here, bringing high drama to the opera early on. Another outstanding scene is the Stranger’s Act II death scene (Tötet mich!–track 9, disc 2) with Heliane: it is filled with passion and tension as Jagde meets every vocal and dramatic expectation, as does Jakubiak, but this is more his moment than hers.”
Robert Cummings – MusicWeb International

“Jagde is an energetic tenor and delivers a powerful performance which is rendered flawlessly on this disc’s audio.”

“Recommended Disc (September 2019) – The vocal demand of the work is more than surpassed by the main vocal trio … with a good trajectory, and, most importantly, the intensity always present in the intense lyricism of the korngoldian melodies. It is not surprising that this revealing representation of a great work concluded with twenty minutes of applause.”

{La exigencia vocal de la obra está más que superada por el trío vocal protagonista … pero con buena trayectoria, y, lo más importante, la intensidad siempre presente en el lirismo intenso de las melodías korngoldianas. No es de extrañar que esta representación reveladora de una gran obra concluyera con veinte minutos de aplausos.}
Jerónimo Marín –

“Brian Jadge fights with amazing ease against the score. His unshakeable vocal foundation allows him to brilliantly assume the role of the stranger…”

{Brian Jagde se bat avec une aisance stupéfiante contre la partition. Son assise vocale inébranlable lui permet d’assurer brillamment le rôle de l’Etranger …}
Alexandre Jamar – Forum Opéra

“Brian Jagde captivates as the stranger who fascinates the queen so much, with erotically timbred continuous radiance.”

{Brian Jagde besticht als der Fremde, der die Königin so fasziniert, mit erotisch timbrierter Dauer-Strahlkraft.}
Joachim Lange –

“Brian Jagde is a young dramatic tenor and is technically fully up to the role. His brilliant upper register and vocal prowess masters all the challenges of this murderous role. He is a soulful stranger who fills this monstrous role both vocally and dramatically. He also sets standards with his interpretation and is another highlight of the DVD.”

{Brian Jagde ist ein junger dramatischer Tenor und der Rolle technisch vollständig gewachsen. Seine leuchtende Höhe und Stimmkultur meistern alle Herausforderungen dieser mörderischen Rolle. Ein beseelter Fremder der diese monströse Partie sowohl gesanglich als auch dramatisch voll ausfüllt. Auch er setzt mit seiner Interpretation Maßstäbe und ist ein weiterer Höhepunkt der DVD.}

“As the Stranger – a messianic figure of a sexual liberator, a bit like the shepherd of Szymanowski’s Król Roger (1926) or the mysterious guest of Pasolini’s Theorem – is the imposing Brian Jagde, whose power and vocal lyricism, magnetic figure and bewitching gaze are not known to be more admired, is perfectly cast.”

{Nei panni dello Straniero – figura messianica di un liberatore sessuale, un po’ come il pastore del Król Roger di Szymanowski (1926) o il misterioso ospite di Teorema, il film di Pasolini – si cala alla perfezione l’imponente Brian Jagde di cui non si sa se ammirare maggiormente la potenza e la liricità vocale o la magnetica figura e lo sguardo ammaliatore.}
L’opera in casa

“As the Stranger, American heldentenor Brian Jagde embodies strength and exciting vocal virility …”
Clive Paget – Opera News

“In Berlin we have a real discovery, the ideal combination of lyric and heroic voice in the shape of the American Brian Jagde … he delivers phrase after phrase with strength and warmth which suggest a great potential in Wagnerian heroic roles …”
Paul Corfield Godfrey – MusicWeb International

“Brian Jagde (The Stranger) has a splendorous tenor and frequently sets it with highlights and also generates heat … On stage he becomes a figure of light, as demanded by the libretto.”

{Brian Jagde (Der Fremde) hat einen Prachttenor und kann mit ihm öfter Glanzlichter setzen und auch Schmelz erzeugen … Auf der Bühne wird er zu einer Lichtgestalt, ganz wie vom Libretto gefordert.}
Uwe Krusch –

Das Wunder der Heliane is available on DVD & Blu-ray formats via Naxos & Amazon

Photo Credit: Monika Ritterhaus

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