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 of Il barbiere di Siviglia, followed by his return to Houston Grand Opera as the Pilot in Francesca Zambello’s production of Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince, 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. Future seasons will see the baritone’s return to the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, Washington National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Houston Grand Opera.
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 also included performances of the title role of Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Canadian Opera Company. 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.
Mr. Hopkins’ recent seasons have featured the roles of 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 at Vancouver Opera; Argante in Händel’s Rinaldo and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro both at the Glyndebourne Festival; Cecil in a new production by Sir David McVicar of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at the Metropolitan Opera conducted by Maurizio Benini; Marcello in a new John Caird production of La bohème at the Canadian Opera Company conducted by Carlo Rizzi, and at Houston Grand Opera conducted by Evan Rogister; Schaunard in a revival of Franco Zeffirelli’s beloved La bohème production at the Metropolitan Opera led by Stefano Renzani.
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 include the role of The Pilot in Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly.
Past concert engagements include 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.
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 Chicago, Montreal, New York, Santa Fe, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, D.C. Highlights of his varied appearances at Carnegie Hall include the world premiere of Michael Tilson Thomas’ Rilke Songs and a tribute concert to Benjamin Britten alongside Ian Bostridge. Joshua has also collaborated with Julius Drake, Richard Goode, Marc-André Hamelin, Graham Johnson, and Warren Jones.
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, he 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.
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.