“Joshua Hopkins sang the enormous role of Athanaël with stunning skill. His character’s bold, even bullying personality was spot on, depicting a monk who is often called too proud in his single-minded pursuit of winning the soul of the courtesan Thaïs. In the end, Athanaël discovers he is in love with Thaïs, and renounces his faith at her death-bed, while she, unaware of his worldly obsession with her, sees a vision of angels and saints welcoming her into the afterlife. Hopkins was remarkable in stamina, musicality, and sheer force in his performative stage presence, but above all, he presented a clear artistic grasp of the French singing idiom. He was an ideal casting for the role, and a prudish sharp contrast to the worldly Alexandrians he must unwillingly court if he is to win Thaïs’s soul as his prize.” Ludwig Van Toronto, Stephan Bonfiel, November 8, 2019.

“Athanaël (sung wonderfully by Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins) is a monk who casts aside all worldly pleasures, instead choosing divine love and its promise of eternal life…Hopkins brings a warm and stoic sound to Athanaël, walking the line between the learned composure of a monk and the white-knuckled battle of a man in conflict with his own virile body.” The Globe and Mail,

“Appearing as Athanaël, Joshua Hopkins’ steely stage manners proclaimed his character’s eternal inflexibility, clutching his thick binder of music like some treasured holy book…Hopkins’ assertive reach somewhat lightened by his translucent mid range provided an engaging platform for his maniacal monk. Largely deprived of opportunities to spotlight style and technique by virtue of Massenet’s penchant for declamation rather than aria, the rising young Canadian baritone gave more than ample expression to a succession of smouldering recits and ariosos.” Opera Going Toronto, Ian Ritchie, November 11, 2019.

“Baritone Joshua Hopkins has a beguiling, lyric tone to his voice, but it was powerful enough to hold its own against the orchestra as he portrayed Athanaël.” The Toronto Star, John Terrauds, November 8, 2019.

“The Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins was the perfect counterpart to Wall as the monk Athanaël. His vibrant voice had enormous power when required and yet could project intensity in quieter passages. This was my first-time hearing Hopkins and he showed his worthiness for the leading roles he enjoys on the world’s biggest stages.” Toronto Concert Reviews, David Richards,November 10th 2019.