OPERA NEWS SOUND BITES

 

"Hughes has matured into an elegant, polished artist, impressively self-possessed and strikingly imaginative. His voice is dark and glossy, with a smart, sexy edge; his musicality is persuasive and his use of language superlative."

-Opera News

CINCINNATI SYMPHONY MESSIAH

 

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

ENSEMBLE INTERCONTEMPORAIN, PHILHARMONIE DE PARIS

"Evan Hughes sera la découverte vocale de la soirée. Le baryton américain membre de la troupe de l’Opéra de Dresde prouve la solidité de l’ensemble de sa tessiture, dévoilant un timbre brillant et coloré."

(Evan Hughes will be the vocal discovery of the evening. The American baritone, member of the Dresden Opera ensemble (semperoper), proves the solidity of its entire tessitura, revealing a brilliant and colorful tone.)

-Forum Opéra 

RECORDING: MATTHIAS PINTSCHER'S "BERESHIT" with Ensemble Intercontemporain

"C’est ici au tour du jeune et impeccable baryton Evan Hughes de se saisir de cette partition, à la vocalité finalement assez classique et conjointe, sans effets particuliers, permettant de mettre au mieux le texte au premier plan."

(It is here with the turn of the young and impeccable baritone Evan Hughes to seize this part, to vocality finally classical and joint, with no particular effects, allowing to put the best text in the foreground.)

-ResMusica, France

DON GIOVANNI, SEMPEROPER DRESDEN

"Gesanglich ist der junge Bassbariton Evan Hughes, vor kurzem noch als Leporello an der Komischen Oper zu erleben, durchaus kräftig-fulminant und eine hervorragende Wahl."

(Vocally is the young Bass-Baritone Evan Hughes, who can be experienced at the Komische Oper as Leporello, is Strong and fulminant throughout, and an outstanding choice)

-Klassic.com, Germany

"...der Amerikaner Evan Hughes (Masetto) lagen in der Gunst des Publikums weit vorn."

(The American Evan Hughes (Masetto) stood far forward in the favor of the public)

-MusikHeute, Germany

DON GIOVANNI, KOMISCHE OPER BERLIN

"Performed as per Komische Opera tradition in a German translation, it is simply hilarious, at times crude, and perfectly appropriate for the Komische Opera's standard 'naughty' filter. Sabrina Zwach's gritty translation, coupled (please do excuse this hilarious pun), with the fantastic physical comedy of Günter Papendell as Don Giovanni, and bass-baritone Evan Hughes singing Leporello had the audience laughing out loud almost throughout. It was fabulous."

-Bachtrack

LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, SEMPEROPER DRESDEN

"Evan Hughes acted well as Figaro swaggering around as if he owned the stage, a persona matched by his equally confident singing."

- Seen and heard international

"...Aus der Besetzung ragt Evan Hughes als agiler Titelheld im eleganten schwarzen Gehrock mit starker Präsenz und jungmännlich-virilem Timbre heraus. Prächtig singt er seine Arien..."

(...From the cast, Evan Hughes stands out as an agile title hero in an elegant black frock coat with a strong presence and virile-virile timbre. He sings his arias magnificently...

-Opera Lounge, Germany

MET CHAMBER ENSEMBELE/ CARNEGIE HALL

 

Bass-baritone Evan Hughes was exactly on target with the works varied expressions. Hughes gave a performance that would greatly have pleased Elliott Carter, much as it did those of us lucky enough to be in attendance. Levine’s leadership was well balanced and assured. The MET Chamber Ensemble’s players, particularly the winds, made a fine impression.

-Opera News

BOSTON LYRIC OPERA, LE NOZZE DI FIGARO

"Bass-Baritone Evan Hughes made his BLO debut as a dashing, determined Figaro, swaggering through confident arias with superb vocal and physical presence."

-Boston Globe

"Making his Boston debut, Evan Hughes was a superlative Figaro.  His sturdy bass-baritone was perfectly focused, even, and sizable in scale. He tossed off his arias with ease, and appeared to have far more in vocal reserve.  He is tall and slim, and cuts a handsome stage presence.  This is one real find the company would do will to re-engage as often as possible."  

-The Edge Boston

"Across the board, the recitative (sung dialogue) from all singers was well-prepared, fluid, and funny.  Evan Hughes, a wily Figaro, has a bold and capable bass-baritone voice befitting the audacity of the character and possessed a lively energy.  He and Emily Birsan have honed a real onstage chemistry."

-The Theater Times

 

"Any production of this opera demands singers who can act, and in that regard the composer would have been quite pleased indeed.  Hughes and Birsan (Susanna) made a believable couple who could deliver musically and convey the lightness and poetry of the piece with genuine musicality and sparkling presence."

-South Shore critic

 

"Both leads showed fine, well-matched voices and lithe Mozartian instincts."

-Boston musical intelligencer 

 

WASHINGTON CONCERT OPERA

 

"A commanding presence both vocally and physically as Oroe, the High Priest of the Magi, young bass-baritone Evan Hughes brought muscle and nuance to the considerable range of his music. Beginning with a sinewy account of the recitative ‘Si, gran Nume, t’intesi’ in the opera’s Introduzione, he proceeded to a fiery voicing of Oroe’s lines in the quartetto with Semiramide, Assur, and Idreno, 'Di tanti Regi, e popoli.' In Act Two, his scene with the chorus, ‘In questo augusto soggiorno arcano,’ was sung with blazing intensity. The zeal with which Hughes’s Oroe incited Arsace to exact revenge on Assur was viscerally conveyed by the flinty grandiloquence of his singing. Hughes sounded as though he could have sung Assur on a moment’s notice, but his Oroe was the sonorously-sung dramatic spine of the performance." 
-Voix des Arts 

 

LA PHILHARMONIC

 

There was a surprising luxury casting among the smaller parts. Kelley O'Connor (who had brilliantly starred in the L.A. Phil's production of John Adams' "The Gospel According to the Other Mary") found a fuller character in Violetta's demimonde friend, Flora, than one typically encounters in a full production of the opera. Evan Hughes, best known for daring contemporary music (as is O'Connor), was imposing as the Baron Douphol, who duels with Alfredo.

-Mark Swed, LA TIMES

 

SANTA FE OPERA

 

Don José’s lieutenant, Zuniga, was impressively rendered by Evan Hughes, whose bass-baritone was so rich, round, and clear that one regretted not hearing more of him. -Santa Fe New Mexican

…….

"Evan Hughes stands out as a confident, big-voiced Zuniga." -SF Reporter

……

"Evan Hughes’ Zuniga was deliciously sinister…" -NY Times

……..

"Evan Hughes is notable for his portrayal of the sleazy Lieutenant Zuniga, a would-be Lothario who, in the process of Carmen’s escape from jail, ends up himself imprisoned with his trousers around his feet."

……….

"Don Fernando, the prime minister, just pops in briefly at the end to personify the forces of justice, but bass-baritone Evan Hughes made it his second attention-getting “small part” of the season, sounding every bit as alluring as he did when he sang Zuniga in Carmen and making one yearn to hear him in a lieder recital."

 

BBC CITY HALLS

 

THE GUARDIAN UK, Kate Molleson, (BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra)

“Bass-Baritone Evan Hughes sang with warmth and gravitas.”

 

COSI FAN TUTTE, LINCOLN CENTER

 

OPERA NEWS, F. Paul Driscoll

“The two standouts were Canadian Mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta, as Dorabella, and Californian Bass-Baritone Evan Hughes as Don Alfonso. Hughes Demonstrated impressive suavity in ensembles and well-timed edge in his recitatives, creating a character believably older and wiser than those of his fellow mozartians.  

 

Photo by Leela Cyd Ross