'Tosca' at Opernhaus Zürich
‘Turandot’ revival at San Francisco Opera
Jagde undertook the role in promising fashion for the first time in September, but since then his command of the assignment has only grown more assured and polished ... best of all was his “Nessun dorma” in Act 3, a grand and glorious rendition that combined huge reserves of sound with phrasing of untrammeled eloquence."
“Puccini’s grand, chilly exercise in bloodthirsty pageantry returned to the War Memorial Opera House on Saturday, Nov. 18, for one more burst of performances, and it sounded better than ever … a performance that shone with appropriately steely luster throughout the entire evening, with familiar artists upping their game and new ones making strong first impressions. In all, this was an event to reinforce all the old verities about “Turandot.”
With this in the background, Turandot’s ultimate concession to the power of love played as more motivated and less arbitrary than it often can.
That plot development, in turn, was helped along by the ringing ardor of tenor Brian Jagde’s performance as Calaf. Jagde undertook the role in promising fashion for the first time in September, but since then his command of the assignment has only grown more assured and polished.
His interactions with the other characters in the first act were dramatically generous, and he rose to heroic heights in the enigmatic showdown of Act 2. But best of all was his “Nessun dorma” in Act 3, a grand and glorious rendition that combined huge reserves of sound with phrasing of untrammeled eloquence.”
Joshua Kosman – SFGate
“Jagde, whose Calaf was vocally strong and dramatically fully realized at his season-opening role debut in September, exuded confidence and even greater swagger in his November return. Fully in command of the role’s vocal demands, his third act aria Nessun dorma was, as is expected in a performance by a world-class Calaf, a sensation.”
“It was immensely satisfying to have a tenor whose height allowed him to look more like a conquering hero than the runt of a litter. As Calaf, Brian Jagde brought more than mere optics to the stage. Unleashing a powerful voice that rose to every musical challenge with stentorianstrength (and without ever sounding strained), his was the kind of performance that demonstrates the athletic as well as the vocal thrills of live opera.”
George Heymont – HuffPost
“Tenor Brian Jagde’s Calaf made a ringing impression, vocally on point. His is a heroic tenor voice, with real squillo, enhanced by a virile stage presence … he established his bona fides from the start.”
Harvey Steiman – Seen and Heard International
“American spinto tenor Brian Jagde, a former San Francisco Opera Adler fellow, was a remarkable Calaf, perfectly rendering the prince’s unwavering confidence. Uniformly powerful across the entire spectrum, his voice may soon be ready for significant Wagnerian challenges.”
Edward Sava-Segal – Bachtrack