Roger Honeywell

Tenor

Biography

Canadian tenor Roger Honeywell has been acclaimed by Anthony Tommasini as a performer who brings, “burnished sound and crisp diction to sweeping vocal lines, full of leaps and dips.”

In the 2020-2021 season, Mr. Honeywell will return to the roster of Lyric Opera of Chicago for the North American premiere of Lessons in Love and Violence, under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, and return to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for a new production of Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel, conducted by Michail Jurowski.

Roger Honeywell’s 2019-2020 engagements included the title role in The Phantom of the Opera at Opera on the Avalon, and appearing as Lloyd in Paul Moravec’s The Shining with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. A busy and exciting 2018-2019 season saw Mr. Honeywell return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for his stage debut as Prince Shuisky in Boris Godunov, as well as the cover of Captain Vere in Billy Budd. He also returned to the Canadian Opera Company for Rufus Wainwright’s world premiere work Hadrian, and debuted the role of Loge in Das Rheingold with Opéra de Montréal.

In the 2017-2018 season, Roger Honeywell debuted the role of Captain Ahab in Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick at both Utah Opera and Pittsburgh Opera, garnering unanimously rave reviews. Of the role, Opera News proclaimed, “Honeywell’s unflagging heldentenor intensely portrayed Ahab’s obsession deftly negotiating angular, piercing lines. His more melodic second act aria ‘Heartless God’ was exquisitely sung before the work’s stormy ending.” Mr. Honeywell made his house debut with Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg, France in a Kurt Weill double-bill, performing the roles of Charlie and the Father in Mahagonny-Songspiel and The Seven Deadly Sins, respectively. Other appearances included Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West with Virginia Opera, and a reprisal of the role of Veasey in Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain with North Carolina Opera.

At the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he sang the role of Aegisth in Sir David McVicar’s production of Elektra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis and Danilo in The Merry Widow, a role he also performed at Michigan Opera Theatre and Boston Lyric Opera. He joined Portland Opera, Florida Grand Opera and Fort Worth Opera as Cavaradossi in Tosca, Boston Lyric Opera, Calgary Opera and Fort Worth Opera for Don José in Carmen, Portland Opera, Philadelphia Opera, Pittsburgh Opera and Opera Omaha as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Vancouver Opera as Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, a role he also performed with Calgary Opera. With Théâtre du Châtelet, he sang Torasso in Sondheim’s Passion, at Pacific Opera Victoria, Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos, Midas in Die Liebe der Danae with Bard Music Festival, Dick Johnson, and Laca in Jenufa, both with Glimmerglass Festival, Narraboth in Salome for Opéra de Montréal, the Canadian Opera Company and Michigan Opera, Macduff in Macbeth with Opéra de Montréal and the Canadian Opera Company, Erik in the The Flying Dutchman with Utah Opera and Leukippos in Daphne with New York City Opera and Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, France.

A champion of new works, Roger Honeywell has performed James Nolan in Doctor Atomic with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, a role he reprised for his Metropolitan Opera debut. As a frequent guest at the Santa Fe Opera, he has performed lead roles in the world premieres of Paul Moravec’s The Letter, Lewis Spratlan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Life Is a Dream, Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain, directed by Leonard Foglia, and the American premiere of Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of Soul. Moreover, he created the role of Casey in Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath at the Minnesota Opera and Utah Opera, and Calgary Opera as Nikolaus Sprink for the Canadian premiere of Kevin Puts’ Silent Night. Internationally, he joined the roster of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Salzburg Festival for Thomas Adès world-premiere, The Exterminating Angel.

 

An expert interpreter of Benjamin Britten, Roger Honeywell has performed as Captain Vere in Billy Budd at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro and Des Moines Metro Opera, where he also sang the title role in Peter Grimes, which Opera News lauded as “a career-defining interpretation…a prodigious vocal performance impressive for its remarkable skill in dynamic shading, as well as its dramatic power.”

In addition to his many opera engagements, Roger Honeywell finds time to do symphonic engagements, and has performed with the Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Albany Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

A graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto, Roger Honeywell has also made a career for himself as an actor in Canada working at many of the country’s foremost companies, including five seasons with the Shaw Festival and five seasons with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. He has also received numerous awards for acting, including the Dora Mavor Moore Award for his role of Arnaud du Tilh in The House of Martin Guerre, a Maureen Forrester Award, and a Tyrone Guthrie Award from the Stratford Festival.

 

 

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Reviews

“Honeywell’s stage sense is second to none, so his judiciously nuanced dramatic performance was foreseeable; the tenor has come into his own technically as well and delivered a prodigious vocal performance impressive for its remarkable skill in dynamic shading, as well as its dramatic power. All was delivered with a catch in the voice reflective of misery itself. This bodes to be a career-defining interpretation.”

Mark Thomas Ketterson

Opera News

“As the boozy, proud Count Danilovitch, Canadian tenor Roger Honeywell brought considerable vocal weight to a talky role that gave him few chances to display his voice at its best. Honeywell’s chemistry with [Deborah] Voigt was palpable in Act II, kicked off with a cavalry duet that, for all its silliness, gave the two stars room to play both vocally and comedically. Honeywell never missed an opportunity for fun, including the male ensemble’s near-slapstick rendition of “Girls, Girls, Girls,” complete with kick line coda.”

Jennifer Goltz-Taylor

Opera News

More Reviews

“Honeywell’s stage sense is second to none, so his judiciously nuanced dramatic performance was foreseeable; the tenor has come into his own technically as well and delivered a prodigious vocal performance impressive for its remarkable skill in dynamic shading, as well as its dramatic power. All was delivered with a catch in the voice reflective of misery itself. This bodes to be a career-defining interpretation. “

Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News 

“As the boozy, proud Count Danilovitch, Canadian tenor Roger Honeywell brought considerable vocal weight to a talky role that gave him few chances to display his voice at its best. Honeywell’s chemistry with [Deborah] Voigt was palpable in Act II, kicked off with a cavalry duet that, for all its silliness, gave the two stars room to play both vocally and comedically. Honeywell never missed an opportunity for fun, including the male ensemble’s near-slapstick rendition of “Girls, Girls, Girls,” complete with kick line coda.”

Jennifer Goltz-Taylor, Opera News 

“Roger Honeywell gives the performance of a lifetime, throwing himself into the role of the tortured Segismundo as if he were singing Tristan, holding nothing back and attacking the punishing vocal line with alarming intensity.”

Lawrence A. Johnson, The Classical Review 

“The tenor Roger Honeywell, in splendid voice as Segismundo, charts the course of a character who initially delivers a self-pitying rant yet ultimately proves fit to rule.”

George Loomis, Financial Times 

“The all-demanding central role of Segismundo requires that rare breed of singer, a dramatic tenor, and Roger Honeywell more than fits the bill with his ideal mix of power and flexibility. In a remarkable, all-encompassing performance, he adroitly handles the role’s vocal extremes and vividly conveys the character’s transformation and ultimate redemption.”

Kyle MacMillan, The Denver Post 

“The role calls for a heroic tenor, and this production has one in the young, athletic Roger Honeywell, who brought burnished sound and crisp diction to the sweeping vocal lines, full of leaps and dips.”

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times 

“As the Maxim’s-loving Danilo, Roger Honeywell was ideal in both characterization and vocalism. The Canadian tenor’s flexible voice is well-suited to Lehar’s buoyant score and he delivered warmly idiomatic singing in the operetta’s set pieces. Honeywell also managed the farce and dialogue with a theater hand’s natural ease, making a well-rounded character out the pleasure-loving, commitmentphobe playboy who has met his match in the hard-to-get Hanna. The tenor seemed to having a high time, throwing himself into the ensembles and dancing with an energy that was infectious.”

Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review 

“Roger Honeywell used his assertive dramatic tenor ably as Hammond; his duets with Ms. Racette were among the evening’s vocal highlights.”

Allan Kozinn, New York Times 

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