Brian Kontes, Bass
Noted by Opera News for his “dark bass and strong dramatic energy,” Brian Kontes, continues to perform throughout this country and abroad. The first highlight of his 2017-2018 season included a return to the Shippensburg Music Festival where he was featured as the bass soloist for performances of Brahms Requiem. Mr. Kontes will also make his debut as Dr. Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Pittsburgh Opera, Timur in Turandot with San Diego Opera, and as Don Fernando in Fidelio with Boston Baroque.
During the 2016-17 season Mr. Kontes returned to The Metropolitan Opera for much of the season, which included assignments in Salome and Manon Lescaut. He was also seen live during their new, HD production of Der Rosenkavalier. This marked his eighth season with the company, having participated in numerous past productions including Die Zauberflöte, War and Peace, Die Meistersinger, Madama Butterfly, La Gioconda, The Nose, La fanciulla del West and Tannhauser.
Last season, Brian Kontes was a featured soloist for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony at Carnegie Hall and was a guest soloist with The Florida Bach Festival where he sang Dvorak’s Stabat Mater. He also joined the Shippensburg Music Festival as Dr. Grenvil for their concert production of La Traviata.
Other engagements include Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte with the Erie Chamber Orchestra, Don Fernando in Fidelio with the Shippensburg Symphony Music Festival of Pennsylvania, and Banquo in Verdiʼs Macbeth for his debut with Opera National de Lorriane. With Ash Lawn Opera, he sang Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte and Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia. With Opera Hong Kong, he performed Colline in La bohème. With the former New York City Opera, he sang Alexis in Anthony and Cleopatra, Remigio in La Navarraise as well as Commendatore in Don Giovanni.
Additional highlights on the opera stage include singing Leporello in Don Giovanni at Seattle Opera, The Bonze and Yamadori in Nashville Operaʼs Madama Butterfly, Colline in Piedmont Opera Theatreʼs La bohème, Palemon in Thäis for both Opera Theater of Saint Louis and Kentucky Opera, and as Dr. Grenvil in La traviata for Opera Colorado.
Concert highlights include Verdi’s Requiem with The New Choral Society of New York, performances as Remigio in La Navarraise, and Alessio in Belliniʼs La Sonnambula with Opera Orchestra of New York, and as Don Fernando in Fidelio and Beethoven’s Mass in C with The Charlotte Symphony under the baton of Maestro Christof Perick. Mr. Kontes has also been heard as a guest soloist with The Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra for Beethoven’s Mass in C and Symphony No. 9, and appeared with the New York Choral Society in Carnegie Hall for Rossiniʼs Stabat Mater. He performed the Faure Requiem, Bach Magnificat and Haydn’s Paukenmesse with Mid America Productions in Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Kontes made his professional debut in 1998 as Elder McLean in Carlyle Floydʼs Susannah at the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. He was a first prize winner of the George London Foundation Competition and is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music.