American tenor Aaron Blake, touted as “a vocal powerhouse” by the Los Angeles Times for his elegant portrayal of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, is becoming known as a vibrant interpreter of many of the composer’s most challenging roles. Mr. Blake began his 2013–2014 season with an exciting debut as Don Ottavio for Cincinnati Opera, opposite soprano Angela Meade. In addition he will make company debuts at Virginia Opera as Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff, Opera Grand Rapids as Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, as Tamino in the Minnesota Opera‘s The Magic Flute in an exciting new production from the Komische Oper Berlin and will return to the Cincinnati Opera in its productions of Carmen and Cavalli’s La Calisto as Pane. In concert this season Mr. Blake will be heard at Carnegie Hall for a performance of Mendelssohn’s Die Erste Walpurgisnacht and the Mozart Requiem with the Oratorio Society of New York, a piece he will later reprise with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.
Recent seasons have found the tenor making debuts with several companies including Opera Birmingham as Tamino, Washington National Opera in Stephen Lawless’ acclaimed production of Anna Bolena opposite Sandra Radvanovsky and as Prince Idamante in Opera San Jose’s production of Idomeneo. In 2011 he made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Oratorio Society of New York’s performances of Handel’s Messiah (Mozart version) of which Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times said of the tenor, “Aaron Blake possesses a light Mozartean voice, which proved ideal.”
He has had the opportunity to work with several notable conductors and directors for many of his productions including Maestros Graeme Jenkins, Frederic Chaslin, James Conlon, Eve Queler, Alan Gilbert, Richard Bado, Patrick Summers, Marco Zambelli, David Zinman, Marco Guidarini, Larry Rachleff, Corrado Rovaris and Bramwell Tovey, among others. Recently, he had the honor of covering the role of Don Ottavio in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s production of Don Giovanni under the baton of Mo. Dudamel. Mr. Blake has also been fortunate to work with many engaging directors that have included Laurent Pelly, Stephen Lawless, Bliss Hebert, Christian Rath, Bartlett Sher, Garnett Bruce and Christopher Alden, to name a few.
Accolades for Mr. Blake have included being awarded a prestigious Bagby Foundation Career Grant in January 2011, a grant designed to support the careers promising emerging artists at the precipice of a major careers in the performing arts. In addition, Aaron has been the winner of the first prize in the Florida Grand Opera Competition and the Concerto Competition at the Aspen Music Festival. He has also been recognized by the Metropolitan Opera National Council as one of their prize winners.
Highlights of the 2010–2011 season included his second workshop production of Nico Muhly‘s opera Two Boys as the role of Brian at the Metropolitan Opera. In addition, he was involved with concerts of Rodgers and Hammerstein with The Artist Series of Sarasota, and his debut with the Dallas Opera in the role of Hervey in Anna Bolena, with performances that followed of both Tybalt and Roméo in its production of Roméo et Juliette. He also returned to the Utah Opera to make an important role debut as Fenton in Utah Opera’s production of Verdi’s Falstaff.
The year 2009 marked Mr. Blake’s concert debut in a gala concert for the Shepherd School of Music opposite star soprano Renée Fleming. That summer he was an apprentice with the Santa Fe Opera singing the role of Evandre in Gluck’s Alceste and covering the role of Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore. As a result of his successes at Santa Fe, Aaron joined the Utah Opera and Symphony as a resident artist making his debut with the company as El Remendado in Carmen followed by performances as the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah conducted by Suzanne Sheston, and as both Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi.
Aaron has been an artist in residence at Dallas Opera, Utah Opera, Santa Fe Opera and at the Music Academy of the West, and is an alumnus of both the Juilliard School and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.