Hailed as “a strikingly gifted tenor, with a deeply moving, unblemished voice” (sfmusicjournal.com), Brian Thorsett is excelling in opera, oratorio and recital across the world. Since taking to the operatic stage, he has been seen and heard in over 100 diverse operatic roles, ranging from Monteverdi to Britten, back to Rameau and ahead again to works composed specifically for his talents. As a concert singer Brian fosters a stylistically diversified repertoire of over 250 works, which has taken him to concert halls across the US and Europe. Future engagements include Evangelist and soloist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, Mass in B minor, Mass in G minor and several cantatas, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, Britten’s War Requiem and Cantata Misericrodium, the Requiems of Mozart and Verdi, Haydn’s Creation, Bruckner’s Te Deum, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, a rare performance of Blitzstein’s Airborne Symphony and the world premiere of Stacey Garrop’s Terra Nostra. Closely associated with expanding the vocal-chamber genre, he has been involved in premieres and commissions of Ian Venables, Peter Josheff, David Conte, Shinji Eshima, Scott Gendel, Gordon Getty, Michel Bosc, Noah Luna, Laurence Lowe, Brian Holmes, Eric Choate, Eric Davis, Michael Scherperel, Robert Conrad and Nicholas Carlozzi. His voice has been featured in film and commercials, being the artist for Soundiron studio’s Voice of Rapture: The Tenor. He also makes many concert appearances with SF Opera & Ballet Principal horn Kevin Rivard. Their interpretations of Britten’s Serenade and Cancticle III have been called “impressive, captivating, transporting” (repeatperformances.org), “lifted to greatness” (sfcv.org), “arresting, fervent and eerie” (nffo.org), “so striking it managed to efface the original recording… a great rendition, sad and poetic” (sfciviccenter.blogspot.org). The duo will be seen in future concerts premiering Bourne to Shelley (Eshima), The Jolly Hunter (Holmes), Perceval (Bosc) and unearthing forgotten works for this combination of instruments. Other projects include working with Theatre Comique, which specializes in historically informed performances of early Broadway music. Brian’s first solo album will be released spring 2016, featuring works of Frank Tours, Idabelle Firestone, Guy d’Hardelot and their contemporaries arranged for salon orchestra. He is a graduate of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Glimmerglass Opera’s Young American Artist program, American Bach Soloists’ Academy, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme at Aldeburgh, England and spent two summers at the Music Academy of the West. Brian is currently Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech and previously served on faculty at Santa Clara University and University of California at Berkeley.
- Sandy Reese