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Praised by The Wall Street Journal for his “ardent, heroic tenor and strong acting,” Brandon Jovanovich is sought after by the world’s finest opera companies for his passionate stage portrayals of leading roles in French, Italian, German, and Slavic opera. Mr. Jovanovich opens the 2014-2015 season at San Francisco Opera as Sam in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah in a new production by Michael Cavanagh, followed by his return to the Metropolitan Opera as Sergei in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk under the baton of James Conlon. Other operatic highlights of Mr. Jovanovich’s upcoming season include Walter in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s highly-anticipated production of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger and a reprise of his acclaimed Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio at Opernhaus Zürich under the baton of Fabio Luisi. Orchestral engagements include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, both under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, concert performances of Fidelio with Michael Tilson

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Praised by The Wall Street Journal for his “ardent, heroic tenor and strong acting,” Brandon Jovanovich is sought after by the world’s finest opera companies for his passionate stage portrayals of leading roles in French, Italian, German, and Slavic opera.

Mr. Jovanovich opens the 2014-2015 season at San Francisco Opera as Sam in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah in a new production by Michael Cavanagh, followed by his return to the Metropolitan Opera as Sergei in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk under the baton of James Conlon. Other operatic highlights of Mr. Jovanovich’s upcoming season include Walter in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s highly-anticipated production of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger and a reprise of his acclaimed Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio at Opernhaus Zürich under the baton of Fabio Luisi. Orchestral engagements include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, both under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal, concert performances of Fidelio with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, and his New York Philharmonic debut in Verdi’s Requiem under the baton of Alan Gilbert.

Highlights of Mr. Jovanovich’s recent seasons include the Prince in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Rusalka at Lyric Opera of Chicago; Don José in Carmen at LA Opera conducted by Plácido Domingo, The Dallas Opera conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, Opernhaus Zürich conducted by Vasily Petrenko, and in a new production at Houston Grand Opera; the title role of Lohengrin at San Francisco Opera conducted by Nicola Luisotti; Florestan in a new production of Fidelio by Andreas Homoki at Opernhaus Zürich, conducted by Fabio Luisi, and at the Verbier Festival under the baton of Marc Minkowski; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at LA Opera; the Chevalier des Grieux in Manon Lescaut at La Monnaie in Brussels; and Sergei in a new production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with Opernhaus Zürich. Recent concert work includes appearances with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln under the baton of Markus Stenz, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Millennium Park series, and the title role in a concert production of Lohengrin at Festival International de Lanaudière conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.  

Mr. Jovanovich made role debuts in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen as Froh (Rheingold) and Siegmund (Die Walküre) with the San Francisco Opera in 2011 in the highly acclaimed production by Francesca Zambello, under the baton of Donald Runnicles, and his U.K. debut at the Glyndebourne Festival as Don José in David McVicar’s production of Carmen, conducted by Stéphane Denève. He later returned to Glyndebourne to sing the Prince in Dvořák’s Rusalka which was released as a live recording on Glyndebourne’s independent label.

Other career highlights include Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Teatro alla Scala; Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Boston Lyric Opera; Don José in Carmen with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bayerische Staatsoper, and the Metropolitan Opera; the title role in Don Carlos with Houston Grand Opera; the title role in Peter Grimes at Teatro di San Carlo in Naples; and Cavaradossi in Tosca with the Canadian Opera Company, Oper Köln, Seattle Opera, l’Opéra National de Bordeaux, de Vlaamse Opera, and the Bregenz Festival, which was featured in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. Mr. Jovanovich’s Pinkerton has been seen at Santa Fe Opera, The Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, LA Opera, and San Francisco Opera, where it was broadcast in high-definition in movie theatres across the United States.

A native of Billings, MT, Brandon Jovanovich received his training at Northern Arizona University and Manhattan School of Music. He was the recipient of the 2007 Richard Tucker Award and was twice a New York City district winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He was a founding member of the Seattle Young Artists program and was a member of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice program, where he was given the Anna Mackay Case Award. He won the Crawley Award from the Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera Voice Competition and in 2004 he was given the prestigious ARIA Award.

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Reviews

"Mr. Jovanovich is ideal as Sergei. His singing is bright and virile, and he is dramatically fearless."

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

"In his debut as the mysterious, nameless knight who shows up to defend Elsa of Brabant against the baseless charge of fratricide, Jovanovich combined sweet-toned lyricism and ardent heroism in just the proportions required by this tricky role. His singing was thrillingly pure and tireless, his stage presence simultaneously tender and aloof."

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

"Jovanovich sang impressively as Siegmund in the company's Ring cycle two years ago, and now with this Lohengrin he has entered the front ranks of Wagnerian singers."

Mike Silverman, Musical America

"Jovanovich brought remarkable authority to the title role with seemingly effortless production, ardent dedication and tonal refinement. The tenor sang with a big, evenly produced tone and displayed consistent attention to the text and quickly shifting action. One can go a lifetime without hearing In fernem Land and Mein lieber Schwan sung with such delicate mezzo-voce sweetness and emotional resonance. Dramatically, Jovanovich was equally faultless, tall and noble of bearing, angered at his enemies and conflicted with Elsa’s persistence, without losing an essential dignity and spiritual center. "

Lawrence A. Johnson, The Classical Review

"The finest moments Sunday came from Brandon Jovanovich as Boris, making a terrific Lyric Opera debut. The American tenor has the looks, charisma and big febrile voice, which can make one understand Katya’s fatal attraction. In addition to singing with a warm, echt-Slavic timbre, Jovanovich provided the most well-rounded characterization, firmly etching the young man’s conflicted emotions and intense attraction to the married Katya."

Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review

"2007 Richard Tucker Award-winning tenor Brandon Jovanovich wins us over in his San Francisco Opera debut….His virile instrument, powerful throughout the range yet uncommonly sweet on top, seems tailor-made for Puccini’s love-struck, lyrical heroes. … Jovanovich’s Lt. B.F. Pinkerton proved such a strong-minded, two-faced cad as to elicit boos during curtain calls. Those of us who praised the man’s sterling tenor during his seasons at Festival Opera now discover that he has matured into an artist who has already debuted at La Scala, and is set to conquer the world’s major stages"

Jason Victor Serinus, Bay Area Reporter

"Jovanovich is not a stranger to Bay Area audiences - he has done his time with Opera San José and Festival Opera - but his Pinkerton hit with the force of a revelation. Tall, blond and ridiculously handsome, he moved through Act 1 with the ease and self-regard of someone whose entire life has been a breeze; for once it was easy to see Pinkerton not simply as a thug but as someone who has never known anything but getting what he wants. His vocal performance, delivered with plenty of effortless power and deep, baritonal colors, only emphasized the point. In the first-act aria, ‘Dovunque al mondo,’ Pinkerton's imperialist swagger became improbably charming; the self-recrimination of the concluding ‘Addio, fiorito asil’ was all the more arresting for being obviously unprecedented."

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

"…The ovation that followed the performance, a massive crowd staying through all the curtain calls…hissing the debuting Brandon Jovanovich, one of the best Pinkertons in local history, vocally sensational, and such a mean—if handsome—cad that disapproval for his character is of the highest accolade. … In Act 1, Jovanovich made an amazing debut, satisfying the tricky dichotomy of Pinkerton's vocal requirements: a strong lyrical/narrative sound with an (anti)heroic edge. The tenor—already well received locally as Don José in a recent Walnut Creek Festival Opera ‘La Tragédie de Carmen’— projected effortlessly in the 3,000-seat auditorium, with fine diction, and he cut a letter-perfect Pinkerton figure physically and dramatically."

Janos Gereben, The San Francisco Examiner

"The sure voiced Brandon Jovanovich was an excellent Pinkerton, bringing a blithe insouciance to his role as the arrogant American"

Jeremy Eichler, The New York Times

"Looking every inch the matinee idol, he sang with radiant fluency and clarion high notes. His is a flexible, mid-sized tenor that should prove gratifyingly versatile, and he possesses more credible stage presence than many another rising tenor."

William V. Madison, Opera News Online

"Brandon Jovanovich as Pinkerton is an athletic find: His toned tenor soared without drizzling itself over you, and he cut a trim, confident figure on the stage, a perfect example of a self-important Westerner…”"

Adam Baer, New York Sun

"His is a heroic tenor, full and fleshy, while most successful Pinkertons are more lyrical and oriented towards the big high note. But this particular sailor was not to be gainsaid and convinced by the sheer consistency of his artistry. I am probably the worst one to judge this sort of thing, but I did overhear one woman say that this Pinkerton was so handsome that he was “almost worth killing yourself over”. Perhaps before I write these last sentences I should emphasize that Mr. Jovanovich sang very well in this performance. But to really judge the dramatic effectiveness of these two fine young principals, think about this: when Pinkerton came out for his curtain call, he was roundly and heartily booed. Judging by his reaction, Mr. Jovanovich realized that he had received a compliment."

Frederick L. Kirshnit, ConcertoNet.com

"Montana native Brandon Jovanovich has a tenor voice buttressed by baritonal heft, with an athletic frame to match. His virile, volatile Turiddu persuades as a man who loathes himself at the end as much as we loathe him at the beginning.”"

Bradley Bambarger, New Jersey Star-Ledger

"In ‘Cavalleria,’ Brandon Jovanovich offered a swaggering, bigvoiced Turiddu, which he capped with a vivid performance of the famous drinking song."

George Loomis, The New York Sun

"…a splendid-voiced Brandon Jovanovich (the best singing of the evening) as [the] antihero lover, Turiddu."

Clive Barnes, The New York Post

"Brandon Jovanovich…looked and acted [his] part, [with] swagger and guilt…Jovanovich made Turiddu into a self-indulgent adulterer, melting at the end into a knowing, self-sacrificing hero going off to his death. He sang with virile, clarion power…"

Willard Spiegelman, Opera News

"Brandon Jovanovich puts in a storming performance as the weak corporal with anger-management problems. Even as he's crooning sweet-nothings to Carmen in the ‘Flower Song’, his grainy, vibrant voice poses a threat. By Act III his top notes are positively psychotic. He even looks different, his handsome demeanour eaten away by anger."

Edward Seckerson, The Independent

"Perhaps even more effective than Kross is the young American tenor Brandon Jovanovich. McVicar’s view is clearly that Don José is not a “simple soldier”, seduced and dumped by a fickle Carmen, but a psychotically jealous lover, utterly unable to control the rage that consumes him. Both vocally and physically, Jovanovich makes that interpretation believable. In a powder-keg world, he’s the fatal spark."

Richard Morrison, The London Times

"As Don Jose, Brandon Jovanovich brilliantly unravels from the once proud corporal to a pathetic coward, plagued by jealousy and revenge."

Jakki Phillips, The Argus

"For dramatic vocal thrust, honours go to the Don José of Brandon Jovanovich. The American tenor has fine presence, acts passably and has an evenly produced voice that takes in trumpet tones and Gallic plangency. His finely controlled Flower Song provides the performance’s most stylish singing – on the first night he won the evening’s biggest ovation…"

Martin Hoyle, Financial Times

"Brandon Jovanovich was the José who delivers good looks, an ability to smoke a lot of cigarettes without bad results for his singing and the athletic features I have already mentioned. And then there is the voice: smooth, big, and in a house like Antwerp it makes a tremendous impression while it has a gleaming edge of steel in it. In short this is what the French call “un vrai demi-caractère”, the French equivalent of the Italian lirico-spinto and if Mr. Jovanovich continues to sing as impressive he should be the rare bird: a real successor in the great line of Franz, Granal, Vezzani, Poncet. Even now I think he is superior to Ben Heppner. And mind you he knows the difference between strength and just shouting: his high B-flat in ‘La fleur’ was a beautiful pianissimo."

Jan Neckers, Opera Today

"Brandon Jovanovich has a young healthy voice with a thick, baritonal undertone. He made a dashing stage figure; luckily, the physical exercise that Bieto demanded of him did not tire him vocally. He gave a most beautiful traversal of the flower song, concluding with an excellent pianissimo B-flat. One would have to return to Alain Vanzo to hear such an elegant, stylistic rendition."

Rudi van Den Bulck, Opera News Online

"The young American tenor Brandon Jovanovich possesses amazing vocal qualities that should assure him a beautiful future on all the stages of the world…an extraordinary Don José."

Eric Dauvilliers, Nice Matin

"...tenor Brandon Jovanovich, as the Prince, resembles the incarnation of a male lead from a Walt Disney cartoon (i.e. he unquestionably looks the part). He also has the voice and presence to match. The ode to Rusalka when he first lays eyes upon her in Act I (Vidino diviná – 'Divine Vision') was exquisitely phrased, showing an acute awareness of musical line."

William Norris, MusicalCriticism.com

"[Including the] strongly acted performances of Ana María Martínez and Brandon Jovanovich. Throughout her long, tortuous silences, which she expresses with balletic intensity, Martínez makes us feel the painful palpitations of Rusalka’s heart, while Jovanovich’s Prince, masculine and eloquent, inspires her to a radiant Liebestod."

Andrew Clark, Financial Times

"A revelation, by the light of the moon screams a miracle. The young American tenor that interprets Hoffmann; perfect diction, healthy singing, elegant, and with the stamp of a true tenor, always covered high notes. A phoenix!"

Paolo Isotta, Corriere Della Sera

"The American tenor is a Hoffman in the young Hollywood style, with a strong voice, clear and healthy, and with almost perfect French."

Monique Barichella, Opera International

"Tenor Brandon Jovanovich more than held his own against the force of nature that was Brewer’s Elizabeth. The Earl’s appeal and the vanity that led to his downfall were both made clear."

Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"The dark-toned tenor Brandon Jovanovich, a virile strutting and impulsive Essex, vividly conveying the foolish man’s ambitious nature and singing ‘Happy were he’ with melting tone."

Michael Kennedy, Sunday Telegraph

"…his virile, dark-toned singing and handsome presence make him the most convincingly sung and played Essex I have witnessed."

Hugh Canning, Sunday Times

"Brandon Jovanovich was a fiery, ardent Earl of Essex and made the dreamy faux-lute song ‘Happy were he’, both melancholy and passionate."

Judith Malafronte, Opera News

"At last, Brandon Jovanovich asserts an ideal Mario…his voice has a unique strong copper timbre, notably in the recitatives. His natural presence imbues the role with the true qualities of an actor. His ‘Vittoria!’ after the torture, tempting the voice to dominate a body staggering in pain, is all simply heart wrenching. If the training of certain American artists seems to be lacking in this vocal category, it seems that the music of Puccini fits Brandon Jovanovich like a glove. After an effective Luigi (Il Tabarro), an irreproachable Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), he gives here an excellent Mario."

Bertand Bolognesi, Anaclase Review

"Brandon Jovanovich who played MacDuff stole the show. MacDuff isn’t a large role but Jovanovich with his heart shattering tenor was able to express the despair and anger of losing his son and wife. He nearly brought the audience to tears. He literally stopped the show after his first solo. The audience broke out in a thunderous and well deserved applause. Later at curtain time, he not only received the same kind of adulation as Ms. Serjan but he also received many ‘Bravos’ from the audience. Here is a performer to keep your eyes on."

Mark-Brian Sonna, Pegasus News

"Brandon Jovanovich's Macduff delivers a thrillingly muscular tenor, but also sensitive phrasing."

Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News

"…tenor Brandon Jovanovich who sang the role of Bill…[displayed] strength and versatility. He has a strong, steady enjoyable tenor voice with shades of baritone, and used that voice and power with great effectiveness last night to command the audience’s attention whenever he sang. He displayed a good comic streak, too, and was genuinely funny and effective playing the cheating husband. When he awoke after being hit on the head with a book by his wife Tina, thinking his name was Del – well, it was moments such as this that made Flight such a delight."

Paul Joseph Walkowski, OperaOnline.us

"…it was good to see Baron Lummar played with attractive suavity by Brandon Jovanovich."

Micahel Kennedy, Sunday Telegraph

"Tenor Brandon Jovanovich was a vocally robust and dashing Narraboth."

Anthony Tommasini, New York Times

"…tenor Brandon Jovanovich, in a magnificent performance as Susannah’s hard-drinking, ineffectual brother Sam. The air of loving resignation when he tries to comfort Susannah at the end of Act I was a touching counterpoint to the muscular heft of his singing elsewhere."

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

"Wexford was lucky to have the golden young tenor of Brandon Jovanovich in the role of Jean Gaussin…"

Richard Fairman, Financial Times

"Brandon Jovanovich sang Alfredo’s music with a firm, almost baritonal sound and keenly expressive phrasing."

Tim Smith, Opera News Online

"The tenor wielded his powerful voice with equal flash and command. His clear diction was shared by his cohorts…"

John W. Freeman, Opera News

"Honors to the tenor of Brandon Jovanovich. He possessed a suicidal passion….a physique and a fire that is predestined to heroes…"

Bertrand Simon, Opera International

"…Brandon Jovanovich provided the standout performance of the night. With a magnificent big-boned voice, the young tenor’s generous vocalism and firm line made the most of (his aria)."

Lawrence A. Johnson, Sun-Sentinel News

"Jovanovich seems to possess true star potential. He managed the role with a winning combination of lyricism and dramatic intensity."

Brian Kellow, Opera News

"The star of the show…with a hunky tenor voice. He looks and acts like the male romantic lead of one’s dreams…there is star potential here."

Hugh Canning, Sunday Times

"Tenor Brandon Jovanovich sang with forward tone, excellent diction, and great abandon. He made his haunting (aria) the high point of the evening."

John Koopman, Opera News

"His voice was impressive with its virile ring, baritonal weight and lustrous finish."

Joe Banno, Washington Post

"…just the right sort of achingly ardent sincerity by Brandon Jovanovich, who sings a sweetly nuanced reading of (the aria)."

Michael Anthony, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"…tenor Brandon Jovanovich brought clear diction, warm vocalism and a sympathetic portrait to…the opera’s central character"

David J. Baker, Opera News

"Brandon Jovanovich was just about ideal, a dashingly romantic figure with an attractive, firmly anchored lyric tenor and an elegant way with words"

Peter G. Davis, New York Magazine

"His tenor has the warmth and lyricism necessary for this character’s main arias, as well as the power needed to make the Wagnerian references plausible."

Allan Kozinn, New York Times