Brian Kontes

Noted by Opera News for his “dark bass and strong dramatic energy”, Brian Kontes continues to perform throughout this country and abroad. Mr. Kontes begins his 2018-2019 season with a return to Pittsburgh Opera where he will sing the role of The Bonze in Madame Butterfly. Additional highlights of this season include debuts at Sarasota Opera as Sarastro in Die Zauberflote and Lieutenant Ratcliffe in Billy Budd at Central City Opera. Brian Kontes will also return to the Metropolitan Opera for their production of Dialogues des Carmelites. This marks his ninth season with the company.

Last season Mr. Kontes received high praises for his singing and acting by audiences and reviewers alike. His season included debuts at San Diego Opera as Timur in Turandot, Don Fernando in Fidelio with Boston Baroque, and as Bartolo in Le Nozze di Figaro at Pittsburgh Opera and Charlottesville Opera. He was also a guest soloist at the Shippensburg Music Festival for their performances of the Brahms Requiem and was also a featured soloist for a New Yearʼs Eve celebration with the El Paso Choral Society in El Paso, TX. Brian Kontes also sang the role of Hogboy for the United States premiere of Charles Wourinenʼs opera, Brokeback Mountain at New York City Opera.

Career highlights at the Metropolitan Opera have included HD productions of Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg under the baton of Maestro James Levine, Der Rosenkavalier under the baton of Maestro Sebastian Wiegle, and The Nose, led by Maestro Valery Gergiev.

Other notable highlights in opera have included performing the roles of Leporello in Don Giovanni at Seattle Opera, Banquo in Macbeth at Opera National de Lorraine, Palemon in Thais at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Kentucky Opera, Commendatore in Don Giovanni at New York City Opera, Colline in La Boheme with Opera Hong Kong, Happy in La Fanciulla del West at Opera Omaha, Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata at Opera Colorado, Zuniga in Carmen at New Orleans Opera, The Bonze in Madame Butterfly for Nashville Opera and Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Sprecher in Die Zauberflote with Ash Lawn Opera. He has also sung many operas in concert with the Opera Orchestra of New York.

Brian Kontes is also a noteworthy concert artist. He has sung on numerous occasions at Carnegie Hall in New York City as well as venues throughout the United States. Career highlights have included Mozartʼs Requiem, Haydnʼs Paukenmesse, Faureʼs Requiem, Mozartʼs Coronation Mass, Beethovenʼs 9th Symphony, Bachʼs Magnificat and Rossiniʼs Stabat Mater with various orchestras and conductors in Carnegie Hall. He has also been a guest soloist with the Charlotte Symphony on numerous occasions, including Beethovenʼs Mass in C, under the baton of Maestro Cristof Perick. Recently, he has been a soloist with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park for their concert of Dvorakʼs Stabat Mater and was also a guest soloist with The New Choral Society of New York for performances of the Verdi Requiem.

Mr. Kontes made his professional debut in 1998 as Elder McLean in Susannah with 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.

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Current & Upcoming Performances

3
May
2019
Dialogues Des Carmelites
M. Javelinot (Cover)
Metropolitan Opera
New York
Metropolitan Opera House
8
May
2019
Dialogues Des Carmelites
M. Javelinot (Cover)
Metropolitan Opera
New York
Metropolitan Opera House
11
May
2019
Dialogues Des Carmelites
M. Javelinot (Cover)
Metropolitan Opera
New York
Metropolitan Opera House
13
July
2019
Billy Bud
Lt. Ratcliffe
Central City Opera
Central City
Central City Opera House
17
July
2019
Billy Bud
Lt. Ratcliffe
Central City Opera
Central City
Central City Opera House
19
July
2019
Billy Bud
Lt. Ratcliffe
Central City Opera
Central City
Central City Opera House
21
July
2019
Billy Bud
Lt. Ratcliffe
Central City Opera
Central City
Central City Opera House
23
July
2019
Billy Bud
Lt. Ratcliffe
Central City Opera
Central City
Central City Opera House
25
July
2019
Billy Bud
Lt. Ratcliffe
Central City Opera
Central City
Central City Opera House
27
July
2019
Billy Bud
Lt. Ratcliffe
Central City Opera
Central City
Central City Opera House
31
July
2019
Billy Bud
Lt. Ratcliffe
Central City Opera
Central City
Central City Opera House
2
August
2019
Billy Bud
Lt. Ratcliffe
Central City Opera
Central City
Central City Opera House

Past Performances

23
March
2019
Die Zauberflöte
Sarastro
Sarasota Opera
Sarasota
Sarasota Opera House
21
March
2019
Die Zauberflöte
Sarastro
Sarasota Opera
Sarasota
Sarasota Opera House
16
March
2019
Die Zauberflöte
Sarastro
Sarasota Opera
Sarasota
Sarasota Opera House
1
March
2019
Die Zauberflöte
Sarastro
Sarasota Opera
Sarasota
Sarasota Opera House
27
February
2019
Die Zauberflöte
Sarastro
Sarasota Opera
Sarasota
Sarasota Opera House
24
February
2019
Die Zauberflöte
Sarastro
Sarasota Opera
Sarasota
Sarasota Opera House
21
February
2019
Die Zauberflöte
Sarastro
Sarasota Opera
Sarasota
Sarasota Opera House
19
February
2019
Die Zauberflöte
Sarastro
Sarasota Opera
Sarasota
Sarasota Opera House
16
February
2019
Die Zauberflöte
Sarastro
Sarasota Opera
Sarasota
Sarasota Opera House

Fidelio – Boston Baroque
“As Don Fernando, Brian Kontes brought a deep and powerful bass and resolute delivery to the crucial stanza in which he awarded Leonore the privilege of removing Floristan’s chains.”
Virginia Newes, Boston Musical Intelligencer

Turandot – San Diego Opera
Brian Kontes offered a notably well sung Timur.  Mr. Kontes has a rolling, charismatic bass with dusky overtones and wonderfully weighted presence.”
James Sohre, Opera Today

Le Nozze di Figaro – Pittsburgh Opera
“Brian Kontes delivered Dr. Bartolo’s vengeance aria with aplomb, reveling in his booming low notes along with the cleanly projected fast patter lines.”
Robert Croan, Opera News

Macbeth – Opera National de Lorraine
Brian Kontes revealed impressive depth with his long and generous range.
Concert Classic(Michel Le Naour)

With a dark bass and strong dramatic energy, Brian Kontes made a substantial and positive Banquo.
Opera News (David Shengold)

The Nose – Metropolitan Opera
…….promising and young making debut.
Opera News (David Shengold)

Don Giovanni – New York City Opera
Brian Kontes was an imposing Commendatore.
The Wall Street Journal (Heidi Waleson)

La Boheme – Opera Hong Kong
…special mention to Brian Kontes as Colline whose voice has great character and warmth.
Paying Patron Perspective (Satoshi)

La Navarraise – New York City Opera
The father, Brian Kontes, is a regular at the Metropolitan Opera, and his paternal pleadings……..were heartfelt and generous.
Concertonet.com (Harry Rolnick)

La Sonnambula – Opera Orchestra of New York
She acted flirty with Rodolfo and haughty with her scorned lover, Alessio, sung well here by Brian Kontes.
New York Times (Vivian Schweitzer)

2007 George London Competition Finals
Brian Kontes…was superb in Vi ravviso, o luoghi ameni from “La Sonnambula”.  He is one of those singers that need only one note to prove the excellence of his instrument. He navigated what is essentially a cavatina-cabaletta combination with notable fluidity.
New York Sun(Fred Kirshnit)

Don Giovanni – Seattle Opera
Brian Kontes proved an engaging Leporello.
Seattle Times (Melinda Bargreen)

Thais – Opera Theater of Saint Louis
Brian Kontes was a sonorous Palemon.
St. Louis Post Dispatch