Tombe degli avi miei: Lucia di Lammermoor (Gaetano Donizetti)
Aaron Blake, tenor
Maria Nitkin, piano
The recipient of a 2017 George London Foundation Award, tenor Aaron Blake has earned international recognition for his performances in repertoire ranging from Martinu to Rossini. In 2022, he was recognized by the recording academy for his role as the High Priest of Amon in The Metropolitan Opera’s Grammy Award Winning Album of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten. His creation of the role of Timothy Laughlin in the Cincinnati Opera world premiere of Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce’s Fellow Travelers brought both critical and international acclaim. The live recording of these performances was captured on the Cincinnati Symphony Fanfare Label and was released in 2017 where it was named one of the top 10 classical recordings of the year by New Yorker Magazine. In addition, Mr. Blake made a critically acclaimed debut with New York City Opera in Peter Eötvös’ operatic adaptation of Angels in America. During the 2022-23 season, Mr. Blake will make his Canadian debut as Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles and his Italian debut in recital with pianist Maria Nikitin at Santa Cecilia in Rome. He also covers the role of Henry in Die Schweigsame Frau with Bard Summerscape, performs a concert of arias, songs, and duets at Walt Disney Concert Hall and covers Don Ottavio in the Met’s new production of Don Giovanni.
Mr. Blake began his 2021/2022 season with a return to the Cincinnati Opera as Il Conte Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, followed by a concert of operatic duets, arias, and Neapolitan Songs with the Los Angeles Symphony. He then returned to The Israeli Opera to open their season as Tamino in Barrie Kosky’s critically acclaimed production of Die Zauberflöte and made his role debut as Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata with the Jerusalem Opera. He continued his season at the Komische Oper Berlin as Tamino and made his recital debut with the Crystal Valley Recital Series. He also covered Tamino with the Houston Grand Opera, and in the spring of 2022, Mr. Blake made his debut with the Des Moines Metro Opera as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, and returned to the Metropolitan Opera as the High Priest of Amon in Akhnaten.
During the COVID19 pandemic Mr. Blake created and produced the video series Tosti Tuesdays, with his longtime collaborator Cris Frisco. The video series chronicled the songs of Tosti and his contemporaries throughout 25 episodes, which received thousands of views via online platforms and social media. He also joined White Snake Projects for their virtual production of Death by Life: an homage to George Floyd through celebrating the lives of incarcerated persons and demonstrating the incredible ability of human beings to change for the better.
2019-2020 season engagements for Mr. Blake included his German and European debut as Michel in Bohuslav Martinu’s Julietta with Oper Frakfurt and a return to the Metropolitan Opera as The High Priest of Amon in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten. He made his Walt Disney Concert Hall debut with the LA Symphony in a concert of Duets and Arias with soprano Stefania Dovhan and later in the season returned with the LA Symphony for a concert of Holiday Favorites and Arias. He debuted at The Israeli National Opera as Il conte Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte at the Komische Oper Berlin. He was slated to make his debut with Opéra de Montréal as Tamino and return to the Cincinnati Opera for their 100th Anniversary with performances of Il barbiere di Siviglia opposite mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard.
In the 2018-19 season, Mr. Blake returned to the Metropolitan Opera for Dialogues des Carmélites and made his debut in the company’s Summer Recital Series at Brooklyn Bridge Park with Nathan Gunn and Ying Fang. He made his role debut as Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Tulsa Opera. Mr. Blake created the Role of Mila in Andrea Clearfield’s Mila, Great Sorcerer with the Prototype Festival. He also reprised his role of Tamino with The Komische Oper Berlin on tour in Australia and New Zealand earning him a Helpmann Award nomination for best male artist. He made his Mostly Mozart Festival debut at Lincoln Center in the same role in July of 2019 and made his Bangor Symphony debut as Candide, returned to Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra as Michel in the US Premier Bohuslav Martinu’s The Key of Dreams and for a concert of Sacred Music with John Rutter conducting.
He has performed leading roles with Cincinnati Opera as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Pan in La calisto, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte; Komische Oper Berlin and Minnesota Opera as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte; Utah Opera as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Fenton in Falstaff, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, and Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore; Tulsa Opera as Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles, as a guest on their 70th Anniversary Gala and Il conte Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia; The Dallas Opera as Romeo in Roméo et Juliette; Opera Orchestra of New York as Ugo in Donizetti’s Parisina d’Este; Washington National Opera in Anna Bolena; and the Metropolitan Opera where he debuted in La traviata.
Mr. Blake’s recent engagements saw his return to the Metropolitan Opera for Les contes d’Hoffmann and The Merry Widow. He performed the role of Tamino with the Komische Oper Berlin on tour in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Osaka and made debuts with the American Symphony Orchestra singing Fleishman’s Rothschild’s Violin at Carnegie Hall, and as the title role of Candide with the Atlanta Symphony-Alliance Theater in a production celebrating the Leonard Bernstein centennial.