Known as one of the finest singer-actors of his generation, JUNO Award-winning and Grammy-nominated Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins has been hailed by Opera Today 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.”
Having established himself as a prominent leading artist throughout the United States and Canada, Joshua appears regularly at The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company and The Santa Fe Opera amongst many others, and has performed under the baton of such renowned conductors as Sir Andrew Davis, Alan Gilbert, Marin Alsop, James Gaffigan, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Nicholas Carter and Enrique Mazzola.
In the 2023-24 season, Joshua returns to LA Opera to sing the title role of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia and makes his company debut at La Monnaie de Munt creating the roles of Apollo/Angry Audience Member in the World Premiere production of Cassandra by Bernard Foccroulle and Matthew Jocelyn. He also returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago for his role debut as Dandini in La Cenerentola and to the Canadian Opera Company for Malatesta in Don Pasquale. Concert engagements include Bach’s Christmas Oratorio conducted by Bernard Labadie with Orchestra of St Luke’s at Carnegie Hall and Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jane Glover.
His most personal work, Songs for Murdered Sisters, is a song cycle by composer Jake Heggie and author Margaret Atwood, conceived by Hopkins in remembrance of his sister, Nathalie Warmerdam. Following the critically acclaimed film and JUNO-nominated album releases, the chamber version of Songs for Murdered Sisters received its live World Premiere with the composer at the piano at Houston’s Rothko Chapel in March 2022, in partnership with Houston Grand Opera. In 2023, he gave the live World Premiere of the work’s orchestral version with Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra under the baton of Alexander Shelley in Ottawa, Toronto and Kingston, and the European premiere of the cycle at the Trasimeno Festival in Perugia, Italy with pianist Angela Hewitt.
In his 2022-23 season, highlights included Joshua’s debut at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center in Japan as the title role in Don Giovanni, as well as a return to The Metropolitan Opera to sing Belcore in L’Elisir d’amore and reprise Papageno in Julie Taymor’s renowned production of The Magic Flute. He also returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago to make his role debut as Raimbaud in Le Comte Ory, conducted by Enrique Mazzola. On the concert platform, he performed Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra under Peter Oundjian, joined the MET Orchestra Chamber Ensemble for Poulenc’s Le Bal Masqué at Carnegie Hall, and performed Peter Lieberson’s Songs of Love and Sorrow with the Monterey Symphony.
Latest role debuts have included Belcore in L’Elisir d’amore at Lyric Opera of Chicago, the title role in Billy Budd with Central City Opera, and Athanaël in a concert version of Massenet’s Thaïs with Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis and recorded for Chandos Records, for which he won a JUNO Award. Past seasons have featured his signature roles of Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro at the Glyndebourne Festival, Verbier Festival, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Washington National Opera and Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon; Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia in house debuts at Opéra de Rouen and Den Norske Opera in Oslo, as well as The Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, and the Glimmerglass Festival in a new production by Francesca Zambello; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte in his company debut at Oper Frankfurt and at Lyric Opera of Chicago; Silvio in Pagliacci at Palm Beach Opera, directed by James Robinson; Papageno in The Magic Flute at The Metropolitan Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Washington National Opera, Vancouver Opera; and Marcello in La bohème at the Canadian Opera Company and Houston Grand Opera in a new production by John Caird.
Joshua has developed a reputation for his work in contemporary operas by celebrated American composers, creating leading roles for the World Premieres of new works both in the U.S. and Europe. Recent original roles have included Niccolò Machiavelli in the premiere of Mohammed Fairouz and David Ignatius’s The New Prince in his company debut at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam; Harry Bailey in Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s It’s a Wonderful Life at Houston Grand Opera and in his debut at San Francisco Opera; and creating the role of Orpheus in the World Premiere of Matthew Aucoin and Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice for his company debut at LA Opera, which he also performed at The Metropolitan Opera including a worldwide simulcast as part of The MET’s Live in HD series. Joshua received his first Grammy nomination in 2023 when the MET’s live recording of Eurydice was nominated for Best Opera Recording.
Joshua made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Ping in Turandot in the 2009-10 season, conducted by Andris Nelsons. His notable past engagements have also included Cecil in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda for The Metropolitan Opera, his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Tadeusz in The Passenger in David Pountney’s acclaimed production, and his role debut as the title character in Don Giovanni with Utah Opera. Further highlights include the role of Junior in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place with New York City Opera, Sid in Albert Herring at The Santa Fe Opera under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, Dr. Falke in a new production of Die Fledermaus at The Santa Fe Opera, Mercutio in Bartlett Sher’s production of Roméo et Juliette with Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Metropolitan Opera, and Valentin in Faust at Houston Grand Opera and Washington National Opera.
Past concert engagements have included his European concert debut with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Spain, performing Peter Lieberson’s Songs of Love and Sorrow, his Edinburgh International Festival debut as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos under the baton of Lothar Koenigs, 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 in 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 San Francisco Symphony, Chicago 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, Haydn’s Creation with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum with the San Francisco Symphony, Die Zauberflöte with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra led by Bernard Labadie, and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony.
Profoundly committed to the art of song, Mr. Hopkins’ 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 collaborated with Julius Drake, Richard Goode, Marc-André Hamelin, Angela Hewitt, Graham Johnson, and Warren Jones.
Mr. Hopkins has won numerous awards and distinctions. Most recently, he won a JUNO Award for his portrayal of Athanaël in Chandos Record’s recording of Massenet’s Thaïs in concert with Toronto Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. 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 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. Joshua has also received prizes from the George London Foundation, the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation, and won the Sylva Gelber Foundation Award from the Canada Council for the Arts.