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Chosen by OPERA NEWS as one of twenty-five artists poised to break out and become a major force in the coming decade, Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins has been hailed as “…an outstanding young baritone with a virile, vigorous yet velvety sound and an immediately evident dramatic authority.” Mr. Hopkins’ 2015-2016 season begins with his return to Opera Lyra Ottawa in the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia, followed by his return to Houston Grand Opera as the Pilot in Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince, directed by Francesca Zambello, and as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro under the baton of Harry Bicket. This season also features Mr. Hopkins’ return to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Mercutio in Bartlett Sher’s production of Roméo et Juliette conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, and his return to Santa Fe Opera as Olivier in a new production of Capriccio directed by Tim Albery. Highlights of Mr. Hopkins’ orchestral engagements this season include his debuts with the New World Symphony in an all-Schumann program under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas and the Hamburger Symphoniker as Dr. Pangloss in Candide conducted by Jeffrey

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Chosen by OPERA NEWS as one of twenty-five artists poised to break out and become a major force in the coming decade, Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins has been hailed as “…an outstanding young baritone with a virile, vigorous yet velvety sound and an immediately evident dramatic authority.”

Mr. Hopkins’ 2015-2016 season begins with his return to Opera Lyra Ottawa in the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia, followed by his return to Houston Grand Opera as the Pilot in Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince, directed by Francesca Zambello, and as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro under the baton of Harry Bicket. This season also features Mr. Hopkins’ return to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Mercutio in Bartlett Sher’s production of Roméo et Juliette conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, and his return to Santa Fe Opera as Olivier in a new production of Capriccio directed by Tim Albery. Highlights of Mr. Hopkins’ orchestral engagements this season include his debuts with the New World Symphony in an all-Schumann program under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas and the Hamburger Symphoniker as Dr. Pangloss in Candide conducted by Jeffrey Tate, and his return to Mercury Houston in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

In the 2014-2015 season, Mr. Hopkins made his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Tadeusz in The Passenger conducted by Sir Andrew Davis in the acclaimed production by David Pountney.  His season included performances of the title role of Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Canadian Opera Company, and his renowned portrayal of Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro was seen at The Dallas Opera and with the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon for performances under the baton of Paul McCreesh. He also returned to the Santa Fe Opera as Nardo in La finta giardiniera under the baton of Harry Bicket in a new production by Tim Albery. In concert, Mr. Hopkins joined Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as Dr. Pangloss in Bernstein's Candide, and Matthew Halls and the Philadelphia Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah. He was also heard in Lieder recital programs with the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago and under the auspices of the Canadian Opera Company. 

Mr. Hopkins’ recent seasons have featured the roles of Marcello in new productions of La bohème at the Canadian Opera Company conducted by Carlo Rizzi, at Houston Grand Opera directed by John Caird and conducted by Evan Rogister, and with Opera Lyra Ottawa; Schaunard in a revival of Franco Zeffirelli’s beloved La bohème production at the Metropolitan Opera led by Stefano Renzani; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte in his company debut at Oper Franfurt; Papageno in The Magic Flute at Washington National Opera conducted by Music Director Philippe Auguin and with Vancouver Opera; Argante in Händel’s Rinaldo and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at the Glyndebourne Festival; and Cecil in a new production by Sir David McVicar of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at the Metropolitan Opera conducted by Maurizio Benini.

Operatic highlights of past seasons include a Metropolitan Opera debut as Ping in Turandot, conducted by Andris Nelsons, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia with Houston Grand Opera under the baton of Rory Macdonald, Le nozze di Figaro with the Verbier Festival conducted by Paul McCreesh, Il barbiere di Siviglia both with Vancouver Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, as well as performances of Marcello in La bohème at the Houston Grand Opera, where he also covered the title role of Billy Budd.  Further highlights include Junior in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place in a new Christopher Alden production for New York City Opera, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at Santa Fe Opera conducted by Lawrence Renes and Sid in Albert Herring at the Santa Fe Opera under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, and Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette for Dallas Opera.  Completing his formal training as a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio in the spring of 2005, early performances with the company included the role of The Pilot in Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly.

Past concert engagements included his European concert debut with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Spain, performing Peter Lieberson’s beautiful and poignant Songs of Love and Sorrow, Bach’s Magnificat with Orchestra of St. Luke’s under the baton of Robert Spano at Carnegie Hall, and Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3 as well as Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Alan Gilbert.  Mr. Hopkins toured North America with Bernard Labadie and Les Violons du Roy offering performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah in Quebec, Montreal, Los Angeles, and at Carnegie Hall in New York.  He also has performed and recorded Bach’s St. John Passion with Portland Baroque Orchestra and Arion Orchestre Baroque.  Additional highlights of his concert schedule include his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy in performances of Peer Gynt, Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum with the San Francisco Symphony, Die Zauberflöte with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra led by Bernard Labadie, Fauré’s Requiem with the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra and Bernard Labadie, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony and with Mr. Zeitouni and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and the Messiah with the National Arts Centre Orchestra under Trevor Pinnock, the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Ragnar Bohlin, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jean-Marie Zeitouni.

Under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, the artist appeared in recital at the Santa Fe Concert Association and, in conjunction with the Gilmore Festival, Mr. Hopkins presented an all-Schumann program for recitals in Michigan. Mr. Hopkins recently joined tenor Paul Appleby in recital under the auspices of the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center. In a recital program presented by Early Music Vancouver, Mr. Hopkins was joined by Michael Jarvis on a magnificent, recently restored 19th-century fortepiano, for a program that included works by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann & Mendelssohn. 

Profoundly committed to the art of song, Mr. Hopkins’ first recital disc was released in 2010 featuring songs of Barber, Bowles, Glick, and Vaughan Williams on the ATMA Classique label.  He has given recitals in New York, at Carnegie Hall with J.J. Penna, in Vancouver, under the auspices of the Vancouver Recital Society with Graham Johnson, and in Toronto, in conjunction with The Aldeburgh Connection, offering a program entitled 'Schubert's Florilegium' highlighting many Lieder about flowers written by the composer. He is proud to have given the world premiere of Michael Tilson Thomas’ Rilke Songs at Zankel Hall in New York and to have joined Barbara Bonney for performances of songs by three generations of Mozart (Leopold, Wolfgang Amadeus, and Franz Xaver) under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He has also collaborated, in a program of Haydn part songs, with pianist Richard Goode.

Also a force on the competition stage, Joshua Hopkins has won numerous awards and distinctions.  He was the winner of both the Verbier Festival Academy’s 2008 Prix d’Honneur and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2006.  He was also a prizewinner at the prestigious ARD Musikwettbewerb of 2006 and at the 2005 Plácido Domingo Operalia Competition held in Madrid.  In 2002, José Carreras presented him with the first place prize in the Julián Gayarre International Singing Competition.  The artist has also received prizes from the George London Foundation and the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation, and won the Sylva Gelber Foundation Award from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Comprehensive performance and career information may be found at www.joshuahopkins.com.

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Photos

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Reviews

"He owns a gorgeous voice, a voice with gold in it. I am not talking about its bankability, but rather its tone...this young Hopkins is one of those golden singers, and he filled the Koch Theater with this gold, this glow."

Jay Nordlinger, The New Criterion

"The drastic change, however, concerns the Count himself, whose promiscuity, in the context of 1970s ideas about open sexuality, originally turned him into a greater social rebel than Figaro. In a superbly judged performance, however, Joshua Hopkins makes him sinister as well as sexy."

Tim Ashley, The Guardian

"Joshua Hopkins is likewise superb as the Count, contrasting a smooth, honeyed tone with a characterisation that is lecherous and abusive. "

Laura Battle, Financial Times

"And the baritone Joshua Hopkins won your heart as the tormented, yet charming Junior. Mr. Alden has written that it was difficult to deal with this somewhat dated character: a gay man who is “punished” with mental illness. Yet Bernstein’s music ennobles and animates Junior, and with his mix of anguish and vitality, Mr. Hopkins triumphed over stereotype. "

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

"...one element of the endeavour transcends even this overall consistent standard - the quality and lithe exuberance of baritone Joshua Hopkins' Figaro. Vancouver audiences have enjoyed Hopkins as a lieder singer who combines an innately appealing instrument with musical sensitivity and precision. Here he delivers a stunning interpretation of Figaro, rooted in his physical sense of the character. He has the tone, the timing, and the confidence to make it appear effortless fun; from quicksilver recitatives to solo work and ensembles, Hopkins is the focus of the production. And he couldn't be better."

David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun

"An athletic Joshua Hopkins capered comically and sang stunningly as the bird-catcher Papageno...Hopkins has a perfectly placed, resonant baritone with a gorgeous, easy sheen to it...he is a singer to watch and will doubtless achieve real heights in both song and opera, for he has brains and joy to go with his voice."

Craig Smith, The New Mexican

"Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins's Marcello was the star among the bantering bohemians: his was a consummate performance, with impressive singing and convincing acting. "

Marcia J. Citron, Opera News

"There are two casts. One features Joshua Hopkins as Papageno, and he is reason alone to catch this "Flute." The baritone seems to have it all -- a warm, supple voice; easily communicative phrasing; and such assured, effortless acting that he could clearly be at home on any stage, not just the operatic variety."

The Baltimore Sun

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Discography