Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bryan Hymel On Family, Santa Fe Opera, High Notes, "Les Troyens"

Shaken, Not Stirred: Bryan Hymel brings cool to opera with his heroic high notes. (Photo: Dario Acosta)
"French grand opera makes great demands on singers, with performances clocking in at times that rival Wagner and orchestras crowding the pit. New Orleans native, Bryan Hymel (pronounced ee-mel) will continue to embrace that repertoire in performances of epic works like Les Troyens in San Francisco next month and Les[sic] Damnation de Faust in Paris this coming December. In between, he’ll sing the roles of the Duke in Rigoletto and Don Jose in Carmen at Santa Fe and Washington National Opera respectively. His bow as Rodolfo at the Met last year earned him continued praise from the New York press, which had welcomed his triumph on short notice in 2012, stepping in for a save-the-day kind of performance in Les Troyens appropriate for someone whose voice type is most often described as heroic. His list of awards is long, and illustrious, and includes the Metropolitan Opera’s Beverly Sills Artist Award and first
prize in the Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition. His debut recording, Héroïque, which includes a selection from Les Troyens, has earned rave reviews. Often noted are his exceptional high notes, or as one reviewer put it, his 'particular facility above the stave.' Also praised are his idiomatic, unaffected French, with some reviewers even suggesting that he is a successor to the great French tenor Georges Thill, someone Hymel himself speaks of with great admiration. Hymel is no stranger to San Francisco, having participated in San Francisco Opera’s Merola program in 2001, but his Aeneas, next month — which he sings opposite Susan Graham’s Dido — will mark his house debut. He has been in town for two weeks of rehearsal for the six performances, which take place from June 7 to July 1. I asked him how it’s going. It’s going great. It’s wonderful to come back to this production. The first thing I saw was the horse, which is always great. But when I went to my costume fitting and saw my costume, it brought back so much from that exciting time in London. I get goosebumps now just talking about it. It’s a lovely team here. A lot of familiar faces on the production staff from London and great to see Susie (Susan Graham) here. Actually, a lot of my buddies that I kind of came up with are in this show, those formative years of summer programs and that kind of stuff, so it’s really great for me to kind of come full circle. In London it was great, but it was definitely kind of me on my own. I guess I knew Eva-Marie (Westbroek) but it was a whole new crew. This one is more like a homecoming." [Source] Read the interview by clicking here.

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