PC: Matthu Placek
“Evan Hughes, a formidable bass-baritone, riveted whenever he was performing. He navigated passages in the depth of his range with power and clarity, at times enunciating forcefully to convey a particularly solemn moment. What a joy it was to hear ‘The trumpet shall sound’ in tandem with trumpeter Matthew Ernst – a stunning performance.”
Cincinnati Enquirer, Janelle Gelfand, December 21, 2015
American Bass-Baritone Evan Hughes has been praised for his “appealing clarity and emotional heft” (New York Times) and his “burnished tone” (Opera News).
This season Mr. Hughes returns to the Komische Oper Berlin’s Ensemble and will be seen as Adamas/Apollon in a Barrie Kosky production of Rameau’s Les Boréades and as Baron Puck in Offenbach’s La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein. Mr. Hughes appeared with the Teatro Massimo in Palermo as the bass soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C and as Masetto in Don Giovanni. He will return to the role of the King in George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence on a German tour with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Future projects include returns to the Opernhaus Zürich and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in leading roles.
Last season Evan Hughes joined the Ensemble of the Komische Oper Berlin in roles such as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte and Somnus in Semele. He also made his debut with the Opernhaus Zürich as Gobrias in a new production of Handel’s Belshazzar. In concert, Evan Hughes appeared with the Hamburg State Philharmonic Orchestra and Kent Nagano at the Elbphilharmonie in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and with the BBC Philharmonic and Omer Meir Wellber in Manchester in Beethoven’s Mass in C.
Prior to that Evan Hughes made spectacular debuts at the Hamburgische Staatsoper as the King in George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence and at the San Diego Opera as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, a role he reprised at the Sächsische Staatsoper. He also made debuts with Opera Philadelphia as Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and with the State Chamber Orchestra of Russia as Astolfo in Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso. Finally, he joined the Komische Oper Berlin for his role debut as Papageno in their celebrated Barrie Kosky production of Die Zauberflöte at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York City. Concert appearances include the Protector in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Berlin’s Philharmonie with the composer conducting as well as solo recitals in Toulouse and Beirut.
In the 2017-2018 season Mr. Hughes was heard as Narbal in the new production of Les Troyens, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and Leporello in Don Giovanniwith the Sächsische Staatsoper. He reprised his two roles in the Simon McBurney production of The Rake’s Progress, Nick Shadow 2 and the Keeper of the Asylum, for his debut with the National Dutch Opera and returned to the Komische Oper, Berlin, for Somnus in Semele.
In the 2016-2017 season Mr. Hughes returned to the Sächsische Staatsoper as a fest member in roles such as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Angelotti in Tosca and Schaunard in La Bohème. Other projects included a debut with Boston Lyric Opera as the title-role in Le Nozze di Figaro, a return to the Komische Oper Berlin for Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream on tour in Beijing with the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and a debut in Aix as Nick Shadow 2 and the Keeper of the Asylum in The Rake’s Progress as well as concerts of Jay Schwartz’s M with the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris and Cologne.
Mr. Hughes’s engagements for 2015-2016 included his return to the Sächsische Staatsoper in roles such as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Schaunard in La Bohème, Angelotti in Tosca, Emma Becker in Nachtausgabe and Achilla in Giulio Cesare. Later in the season, he made his debut with the Komische Oper in Berlin as Leporello in Don Giovanni. In concert he joined Washington Concert Opera as Oroe in Rossini’s Semiramide.
The 2014-2015 season saw Mr. Hughes return to the Sächsische Staatsoper in Dresden in a variety of roles ranging from Handel (Zoroastro in Orlando and Achilla in Giulio Cesare) to Rossini (Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Verdi (Pietro in Simon Boccanegra), Puccini (Colline in La Bohème) and contemporary music (Emma Becker in Nachtausgabe). In concert, Mr. Hughes returned to Carnegie Hall for the world premiere of Elliott Carter’s The American Sublime with the Met Chamber Ensemble and James Levine. He made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut in the West Coast premiere of Pintscher’s Songs from Solomon’s Garden with the composer conducting (having just recorded the piece with the Ensemble InterContemporain and the composer in Paris) and made his debut in Fauré’s Requiem with Voices of Ascension.
Prior to that, Mr. Hughes returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Starveling in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and became a member of the Junges Ensemble at the Sächsische Staatsoper in Dresden, where he sang various leading roles, including Don Alfonso and Don Basilio. In the summer Evan Hughes made his debut at the Santa Fe Opera as Zuniga in Carmen and Don Fernando in Fidelio. On the concert stage, Mr. Hughes appeared with the New York Philharmonic in a program of contemporary pieces curated by Matthias Pintscher and presented at MOMA and with the Metropolitan Museum’s recital series in a program devoted to French songs of the time of the sculptor Carpeaux, alongside Susan Graham and Brian Zeger.
An alumnus of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Mr. Hughes scored a great personal success as Don Alfonso in a production of Così Fan Tutte directed by Stephen Wadsworth and conducted by Alan Gilbert at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Lincoln Center. Further engagements in the 2012-2013 season included the premiere of a John Glover piece with the New York Youth Symphony.
Previously, Mr. Hughes was seen as Aronte in Gluck’s Armide presented by the Met in collaboration with the Juilliard School; he also performed Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, Italy with Lorin Maazel and reprised the role in the summer at the Castleton Festival, where he also sang the bass solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, both projects being conducted by Mr. Maazel. In concert he appeared in Schubert’s Mass No. 6 with San Diego Symphony, followed by Matthias Pintscher’s Songs from Solomon’s Garden with the BBC Scottish Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Aspen Music Festival.
A champion of contemporary music, Mr. Hughes appeared in Elliott Carter’s Syringa with the Met Chamber Ensemble at Zankel Hall (Carnegie) and the Tanglewood Music Festival, conducted both times by James Levine, and more recently he premiered Mr. Carter’s Three Explorations at Alice Tully Hall with the Axiom Ensemble and Jeffrey Milarsky. Another milestone in the bass-baritone’s exploration of Elliott Carter’s music was On Conversing with Paradiseas part of a festival of cultural exchange entitled Ascending Dragon in Los Angeles, Hanoi and in other parts of Vietnam.
Evan Hughes appeared as Leporello in Don Giovanni at the Curtis Opera Theatre and the Tanglewood Music Festival (conducted by James Levine). At the Curtis Institute he was also seen as Lord Sidney in Il Viaggio a Reims, the title role in Don Giovanni, and Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, José Tripaldi in the Philadelphia premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar and in Argento’sPostcard from Morocco, which was released on Albany Records.
After winning the grand prize in the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition, Evan Hughes gave critically acclaimed recitals in NYC for the “On Wings of Song” series, and for “The Song Continues” Gala, marking his Carnegie Hall debut. The New York Times called him a “naturally communicative artist.” Returning to Carnegie Hall in collaboration with Dawn Upshaw and Ensemble ACJW, Mr. Hughes sang David Bruce’s Klezmer-inspired Piosenki, led by Stephen Prutsman. He also performed the work alongside Ms. Upshaw with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He made his European recital debut in Denmark with pianist Mikael Eliasen in Skagen’s Sommermusik series. He has also given recitals for the William Walton Foundation at La Mortella in Ischia, Italy, and with the American Academy in Berlin, Germany. He has been heard in Puccini’s Messa di Gloria with the Santa Barbara Symphony and in collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group in Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzer.
Mr. Hughes attended the Curtis Institute of Music and was a regional winner and a national Semi-Finalist in the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.