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 2012-13 season, operatic performances include Lord Guglielmo Cecil in a return to the Metropolitan Opera in a new production by Sir David McVicar of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda conducted by Maurizio Benini, Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in the Glyndebourne Opera Festival’s revival of the 2012 Michael Grandage production conducted by Jérémie Rhorer, Marcello in 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 performs Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony and with Jean-Marie Zeitouni and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. In a recital program presented by Early Music Vancouver, Mr. Hopkins will be joined by Michael Jarvis on a magnificent, recently restored 19th-century grand piano, for a programme that includes works by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann & Mendelssohn. Future seasons will see the baritone’s return to the Metropolitan Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Houston Grand Opera, Glyndebourne Festival and debuts with Frankfurt Opera and Washington National Opera.
The 2011-12 season included operatic performances of Händel’s Rinaldo in a new Robert Carsen production with the touring company of the Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with the Verbier Festival conducted by Paul McCreesh, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia with Houston Grand Opera under the baton of Rory Macdonald, and Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia both with Vancouver Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. 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. As part of the New York Philharmonic’s plan to record all of the Nielsen symphonies and concertos, DaCapo records has released this performance of Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3. Mr. Hopkins was also featured in Marilyn Horne’s The Song Continues…Annual Recital at Carnegie Hall, which included the world premiere of William Bolcom’s song cycle, Chestnuts.
Operatic highlights of past seasons include a Metropolitan Opera debut as Ping in Turandot, conducted by Andris Nelsons, 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 Gounod’s 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 The Little Prince and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly.
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 has also 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 under 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 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.