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 having “…a glistening, malleable baritone of exceptional beauty, and…the technique to exploit its full range of expressive possibilities from comic bluster to melting beauty.” (Opera Today)
In the 2017-2018 season, Joshua makes his house debut at The Norwegian National Opera as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, followed by a return to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, directed by John Cox and conducted by James Gaffigan. In the spring, he returns to The Metropolitan Opera as Mercutio in Bartlett Sher’s production of Roméo et Juliette, conducted by Plácido Domingo and Mr. Hopkins finishes his season with a return to The Glimmerglass Festival as Figaro in a new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia, directed by Francesca Zambello. Concert performances include Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Future seasons will see an exciting debut with San Francisco Opera and return invitations to The Metropolitan Opera and Washington National Opera.
In Joshua’s busy 2016-2017 season, he stepped in for two unexpected projects: a debut at Dutch National Opera creating the leading role of Niccolò Machiavelli in the World Premiere of Mohammed Fairouz and David Ignatius’s The New Prince, and a return to Houston Grand Opera as Valentin in Faust. Mr. Hopkins also created the role of Harry Bailey in the World Premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s It’s a Wonderful Life at Houston Grand Opera, directed by Leonard Foglia and conducted by Patrick Summers. Other return appearances included Washington National Opera as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, conducted by James Gaffigan, and the Canadian Opera Company as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, conducted by Bernard Labadie. Joshua was thrilled to make his role debut as the title character in Don Giovanni with Utah Opera and returned for his sixth season at The Santa Fe Opera as Dr. Falke in a new production of Die Fledermaus. On the concert stage, Joshua joined Baldwin Wallace University’s 85th Bach Festival in Brahms’s Ein deutches Requiem.
Mr. Hopkins’s recent seasons have featured the roles of Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at The Glyndebourne Festival, Verbier Festival, The Dallas Opera and Houston Grand Opera; Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Opera Lyra Ottawa; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte in his company debut at Oper Frankfurt; Papageno in The Magic Flute at Washington National Opera, Vancouver Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa and Arizona Opera; and Marcello in a new John Caird production of La bohème at the Canadian Opera Company and Houston Grand Opera.
Operatic highlights of past seasons include Joshua’s Metropolitan Opera debut as Ping in Turandot, conducted by Andris Nelsons, a return to The Metropolitan Opera as Cecil in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, conducted by Maurizio Benini, and his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Tadeusz in The Passenger, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis in the acclaimed production by David Pountney. Further highlights include the role of Junior in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place in a new Christopher Alden production for New York City Opera, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at The 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 with Lyric Opera of Chicago. 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 both Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3 and 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 has also performed and recorded Bach’s St. John Passion with Portland Baroque Orchestra and Arion Orchestre Baroque. Joshua has performed Handel’s Messiah with many symphonies across North America, including San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra. 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, and Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony. Joshua also made his debuts with the New World Symphony in an all-Schumann program under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, the Hamburger Symphoniker as Dr. Pangloss in Candide conducted by Jeffrey Tate, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as Dr. Pangloss conducted by Marin Alsop.
Profoundly committed to the art of song, Mr. Hopkins’s first recital disc, Let Beauty Awake, features 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 concert highlighting Benjamin Britten alongside Ian Bostridge and Iestyn Davies. Joshua has also collaborated with Julius Drake, Richard Goode, Marc-André Hamelin, Graham Johnson, and Warren Jones.
Mr. 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 2006 ARD Musikwettbewerb in Munich 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 in Pamplona. 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.