|Shaken, Not Stirred: Bryan Hymel brings cool to opera with his heroic high notes. (Photo: Dario Acosta)|
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.