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.”
In the 2013-14 season, operatic performances include the roles of Marcello in a new production of La bohème at the Canadian Opera Company conducted by Carlo Rizzi and Schaunard in a revival of the beloved Franco Zeffirelli production at the Metropolitan Opera led by Stefano Ranzani. The artist makes important international debuts at Oper Frankfurt as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and at Washington National Opera as Papageno in The Magic Flute conducted by Music Director Philippe Auguin. He returns to Glyndebourne to sing Argante in Händel’s Rinaldo after his tremendous success at the Festival as the Count in Le nozze di Figaro in summer 2013. Concert performances of the season include Fauré’s Requiem with Bernard Labadie and the Kansas City Symphony, Messiah with the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Ragnar Bohlin as well as with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jean-Marie Zeitouni. Mr. Hopkins can be seen in recital this season with tenor Paul Appleby under the auspices of the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center and at Carnegie Hall with Ian Bostridge, Iestyn Davies, and pianist Julius Drake to perform the entire sequence of Benjamin Britten’s Canticles and his realizations of songs by Purcell.
The 2012-13 season included performances at the Metropolitan Opera in a new production by Sir David McVicar of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda conducted by Maurizio Benini, La bohème with Opera Lyra Ottawa and in a new production with the Houston Grand Opera directed by John Caird and conducted by Evan Rogister, and Papageno in The Magic Flute with Vancouver Opera. On the concert stage Mr. Hopkins sang Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony and with Mr. Zeitouni and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. In a recital program presented by Early Music Vancouver, Mr. Hopkins was joined by Michael Jarvis on a magnificent, recently restored 19th-century grand piano, for a program that included works by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann & Mendelssohn.
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.
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 Händel’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, Händel’s Dettingen Te Deum with the San Francisco Symphony, Messiah with the National Arts Centre Orchestra under Trevor Pinnock, and Die Zauberflöte with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra led by Bernard Labadie. 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.
Profoundly committed to the art of song, Mr. Hopkins’ first recital disc, Let Beauty Awake, 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, and 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 was also the recipient of 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.