During the 2021-22 season, British-American tenor Joshua Blue makes multiple role and house debuts including the Metropolitan Opera as Peter in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in a revival with the Grammy Award-winning cast of Denyce Graves, Angel Blue, and Eric Owens; Los Angeles Opera singing the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion conducted by James Conlon with members of the Hamburg Ballet choreographed by John Neumeier; Opera Philadelphia as the Duke of Mantua in the Lindy Hume production of Rigoletto led by music director Corrado Rovaris; Virginia Opera as Loge in the Jonathan Dove reduction of Das Rheingold directed by Mary Birnbaum and conducted by Adam Turner; Berkshire Opera Festival as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni led by Brian Garman; and the tenor soloist for Handel’s Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Beethoven’s Symphony #9 at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also makes returns to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Tamino in The Magic Flute and Carnegie Hall for Handel’s Messiah with Oratorio Society of New York under the baton of Kent Tritle; The Ballad of the Brown King: A Christmas Cantata by Margaret Bonds with Cecilia Chorus; and Taneyev’s Reading of a Psalm with the American Symphony Orchestra.
Last season, Mr. Blue sang Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis directed by Seán Curran and accompanied by members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin; recorded Jeanine Tesori’s Blue with the Washington National Opera and conductor Roderick Cox; performed a reduction of Handel’s Messiah with the Oratorio Society of New York; took part in a joint virtual event concert by Opera Philadelphia and National Jewish American History Museum in honor of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; sang the premiere of Paul Moravec’s “Caltagirone” from A Nation of Others and a quartet reduction of “Much to be Done” from the 2019 work STONEWALL, both works have librettos by Mark Campbell, with the New York Festival of Song; and performed a Holiday Concert of arias and duets with soprano Ashley Marie Robillard for Classical Movement in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. He was scheduled to make a return to Washington National Opera to sing the role of Jaquino in Fidelio conducted by Robert Spano and directed by Francesca Zambello; perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music; and sing Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Jacksonville Symphony conducted by Courtney Lewis and Eugene Symphony led by Francesco Lecce-Chong before the pandemic forced their cancellation.
In the 2019-20 season, Mr. Blue performed Beethoven’s Symphony #9 accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Thomas Wilkins, for the Opening Festival of The REACH at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Opera engagements featured role a role debut as Tamino in the Maurice Sendak production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with Washington National Opera conducted by Eun Sun Kim and what would have been a role debut as Alfred in a scheduled performance of Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Additional performances at Washington National Opera included singing the role of Philistine Messenger in Saint-Saëns’s Samson and Delilah conducted by John Fiore and a contract to perform Man 1 in the D.C premiere of Jeanine Tesori’s Blue directed by the work’s librettist Tazewell Thompson. Concerts during the season marked a return to Carnegie Hall to join Musica Sacra for Handel’s Messiah; his first performances in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with the Florida Orchestra; and the premiere of a fascinating new program called Tain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do: Songs from Gay Harlem with the New York Festival of Song and pianist Steven Blier.
Highlights of the 2018-19 season included debuts at the Kennedy Center as Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata with Washington National Opera led by Renato Palumbo and the National Symphony Orchestra for Act I of La bohème in concert under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda. He joined Wolf Trap Opera to sing the role of Harlekin in Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis conducted by Geoffrey McDonald and traveled to Japan to cover the role of Monsieur Triquet in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin conducted by Fabio Luisi and directed by Peter McClintock at the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival. Mr. Blue was tenor soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall and the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra under conductor James Gaffigan. He also sang the American premiere of the rarely heard Franz Liszt opera Sardanapalo at the Library of Congress. Additional roles with Washington National Opera included Monsieur Triquet in Eugene Onegin; Hippo/Holy man/Dog/Water Seller in Tesori’s The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me; and David in Benavides’s Pepito as part of the American Opera Initiative Festival.
Mr. Blue’s previous seasons have included performances in Moravec’s Sanctuary Road at Merkin Concert Hall with New York Festival of Song for which the recording was nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award; the American premiere of Philip Glass’s The Trial at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; and singing the roles of Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos with Austin Opera and Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore with the Music Academy of the West.
In 2020, Mr. Blue was the inaugural recipient of the Lotos Foundation’s James McCracken and Sandra Warfield Opera Prize. He was a semi-finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2018; received the Ellen Lopin Blair award for 1st place in the 2017 Oratorio Society of New York solo competition; and was noted as an Emerging Artist in the 2017 Opera Index Competition in New York City.
Mr. Blue earned his bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and graduated from The Juilliard School with a master’s degree, studying voice with Dr. Robert C. White, Jr. In 2018, Mr. Blue was an Apprentice Singer with Santa Fe Opera and is an alumnus of the Cafritz Young Artist program with the Washington National Opera.