Weston Hurt

 

http://www.westonhurt.com/

This season baritone Weston Hurt makes his role debut as Valentin in Gounod’s Faust in a return to New Orleans Opera, and makes his company debut at Tulsa Opera as Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca. He returns to Seattle Opera in his signature role of Germont in Verdi’s La traviata, and inaugurates the Berkshire Opera Festival as Sharpless in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. When not onstage himself, Mr. Hurt will mentor students at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and Loyola University New Orleans in Louisiana.

Recent opera engagements have included his role debut as the title character in Nabucco at Seattle Opera, his debut with New Orleans Opera as Germont in La traviata, his house and role debut with Houston Grand Opera as Scarpia in Tosca, his role debut as Iago in Otello with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, and a return to Seattle Opera in another role debut as Talbot in Maria Stuarda. He has also appeared as Renato in Un ballo in maschera with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, the title role of Rigoletto with PORTopera and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, Germont in La traviata at the Seattle Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Atlanta Opera, Ford in Falstaff at the Seattle Opera, Portland Opera, and Virginia Opera; Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at the Boston Lyric Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, New York City Opera, Atlanta Opera, and Opera Grand Rapids; Schaunard in La bohème at the Dallas Opera, Peter in Hansel and Gretel at the Portland Opera; Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor at Portland Opera, the Arizona Opera and Austin Lyric Opera; the Count in Le nozze di Figaro at Michigan Opera Theater, Frank in Die tote Stadt at the Dallas Opera, the New York City Opera and with Odyssey Opera; Baldassare in L’Arlesiana with the Opera Orchestra of New York, and a performance of Der ferne Klang with the American Symphony Orchestra in Avery Fisher Hall.

Also a prolific concert singer and recitalist, Mr. Hurt has performed in recitals sponsored by the prestigious Marilyn Horne Foundation in the United States, and has also performed in concert internationally, including a South American tour of performances of the Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem. Recent engagements have included appearances with the Nashville Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, and the Oratorio Society of New York in Carnegie Hall. His large repertoire includes such works as the Handel Messiah, the Fauré Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, the Bach Mass in B minor and Magnificat, the Mozart Mass in C minor and Coronation Mass, the Haydn Paukenmesse, and the Britten War Requiem, which he sang at Carnegie Hall.

A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard Opera Center, Mr. Hurt has received many notable vocal awards, including 1st place and the People’s Choice Award from the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, the Vienna Prize from the George London Foundation, and 1st Place in the 2003 Oratorio Society of New York Competition, as well as various awards from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Competition, Liederkranz Foundation, Metropolitan Opera National Council, Opera Index, and Palm Beach Opera Competition, and two career grants conferred by The Santa Fe Opera.

Berkshire Opera Festival – Madama Butterfly

There was something about Weston Hurt’s performance that made one miss him when he left the stage – a deep humanity conveyed by his magnificent voice, rich and dark below, lyrical with tawny highlights in the upper middle and upper ranges, and his totally committed acting. Hurt’s perceptive and elegant phrasing, his thoughtful interpretation of the text, and perfect diction made me want to hear him sing Lieder – the greatest Lieder.”

Michael Miller, The Berkshire Review

Seattle Opera – Maria Stuarda

Supporting roles were exceptionally well taken by Weston Hurt (an empathetic Talbot) and Michael Todd Simpson…”

Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times

“Representing the portion of the English nobility who were deeply troubled by England’s break with universal Catholicism, Hurt’s portrayal of Talbot was sympathetically drawn and well-sung.”

William BurnettOpera Warhorses

“Weston Hurt created a wonderfully empathetic Talbot, whose pleas for mercy went by the wayside.”

James Bash, Northwest Reverb

“American baritone Weston Hurt was an elegant and musical Talbot, featuring a nicely delivered vocal line.”

Carlos J. Lopez, Opera World

Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras – Otello

Act II largely belongs to Iago… Baritone Weston Hurt powerfully seized on his most dramatic solo, making us realize that though Iago has very specific reasons for hating Otello, he is also malignant by nature. Hurt convincingly encompassed, vocally and dramatically, the full gamut of the character’s pronouncements, from the hectoring high points of the credo to the sotto voce insinuations in Otello’s ear. The clever villain easily manipulates Otello, redirecting his wrath, and the two conclude the Act with a mighty joint appeal to the god of vengeance… O’Neill, Hurt, and the orchestra were electrifying.”

Geoffrey Wieting, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Houston Grand Opera – Tosca

Baritone Weston Hurt, as Baron Scarpia, made the most of his rich, sonorous baritone. His characterization was unusual and intriguing: at times, he turned the opera’s villain inward, making him a man of introspection, not just a man of action..”

Colin Eatock, Eatock Daily

New Orleans Opera – La traviata

More than one production of “La Traviata” has turned on the performance of Germont, and here Weston Hurt demonstrated anew that few things in operatic life can be as delicious as an encompassing baritone. Germont is a selfish lout, a papa with scant fatherly grace. He is, simultaneously, a character whose presence tends to make whatever surrounds him superfluous. Hurt did vocal justice to big Germont challenges such as Act Two’s “No, non udrai rimproveri” and Act Three’s “Di sprezzo degno,” which any worthy Germont must carry off. Beyond those, Hurt managed the sizable feat of engendering eventual sympathy for the conspicuously anti-sympathetic character..”

Andrew Adler, New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Bel canto honors of the evening undoubtedly went to baritone Weston Hurt as an unusually sympathetic Germont père. An artist of noble stature and bearing, Hurt understood not only this complex character but also the true sense of Verdian style that the music requires. “Di Provenza” was the supreme vocal highlight of the performance and earned the artist a well-deserved ovation.”

George Dansker, Opera News

“Weston Hurt was an impressive Germont père, his baritone steady and mellow.”

Jack Belsom, Opera Magazine

Seattle Opera – Nabucco

Weston Hurt is famous for his diction and his sympathetic reading of the characters he portrays. His Nabucco’s physical bearing exuded regal authority up to the moment he was thunderstruck and from the moment when his reason was restored to him, and his time of trial was truly poignant.”

William Burnett, Opera Warhorses

“The cast sings uniformly strongly, with Weston Hurt in the title role and Jamie Barton as his daughter Fenena standouts for timbral beauty.”

Gavin Borchert, Seattle Weekly

“Weston Hurt delivered an authoritative, thundering Nabucco.”

Gemma Wilson, City Arts of Seattle

Boston Lyric Opera – La traviata

Weston Hurt gave the strongest performance of the evening as Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s father. Hurt was obviously given the vocal gift of a gorgeous baritone, which is golden, weighty, and clear. One would assume he also encountered the gift of a remarkable teacher, because his performance was faultless — stylistically on the money, dramatically committed, and displaying a vocalism that was perfectly even from the top to the bottom of his range.”

Kalen Ratzlaff, Opera News

“The most consistently satisfying of the principles was Weston Hurt as Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont. He brought an appropriately tender and sympathetic tone to the long second act duet, in which the elder Germont convinces Violetta to sacrifice her love for Alfredo. He also brought a more full-bodied and passionate sound to the elder Germont’s few outbursts, and, importantly, knew how to press the conductor forward in those moments, as per the Italianate musical language.”

Angelo Mao, Boston Classical Review

“Weston Hurt as Alfredo’s father, here a war veteran who’s lost his right arm, is less overbearing than usual for this role, and he sings “Di Provenza il mar” so rapturously, it’s a wonder Alfredo doesn’t move back to the family home in Provence.”

Jeffrey Gantz, The Boston Globe

PORTOpera – Rigoletto

Weston Hurt’s Rigoletto was strongly sung and acted: the American baritone was powerful in his mockery of the Duke’s victims and especially convincing in his obsessive concern for Gilda, culminating in a tenderly sung “Piangi, fanciulla” after she has been seduced by the Duke. ”

Cornelia Iredell, Opera News

“Baritone Weston Hurt played Rigoletto like the complex character he is, a mixture of vicious foolery, resentful boot-licking, paternal love and superstition. It is his faith in the power of a curse that drives the action, and in his attempts to control Gilda, there is a hint of something more sinister than fatherly love.”

Christopher Hyde, Portland Press Herald

Dallas Opera – Die tote Stadt

As the voices of sanity, Katharine Tier and especially Weston Hurt (Frank) sang with depth and subtlety. Frank, the steady guide, warns Paul that he has been wasting his time on dreams and phantoms (“Du bist ein Träumer, / bist ein Geisterseher…. Du schwärmst für ein Phantom”). Hurt’s resonant baritone here conveyed sadness and helpfulness.”

Willard Spiegelman, Opera News

“When baritone Weston Hurt is onstage as Paul’s friend, his rich, resonant voice undergirds the mystery of the piece.”

Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice

“There are two secondary characters that also require great vocal heft and solid techniques. Weston Hurt is marvelous as Paul’s best friend, Frank. He is more of a Verdi baritone than a Wagnerian singer, but this performance certainly speaks well for his continued presence in this repertoire. He is effective in portraying Paul’s “only foot in reality” as well as the evil traitor (he seduces Marietta) that he becomes in Paul’s feverish dream. ”

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones

“Baritone Weston Hurt and mezzo-soprano Katharine Tier likewise turned in impressive performances in the secondary but also forbiddingly difficult roles of Frank and Brigitta, respectively. The complexity of the orchestra part and the huge vocal challenges of the piece are probably the main reasons that Die tote Stadt has been neglected in America, making this Dallas production all the more significant.”

Wayne Lee Gay, D Magazine

“The rest of the ensemble was equally strong. The difficult role of Frank is played by Weston Hurt. He’s the caring friend who also falls for Marietta’s charms and therefore became Paul’s rival. Hurt expresses this conflict so realistically the audience easily sympathizes with him. He uses his beautiful baritone instrument to its full extent, and his singing quality not only services the score but illuminates his emotional state. He is enthralling.”

Mark-Brian Sonna, The Column

Portland Opera – Luci di Lammermoor

Weston Hurt‘s Enrico was played with cool, calculating cruelty. Enrico’s a weird character, his obsession with revenge and avoiding his own ruin can be paired with a sort of incestuous vibe for Lucia, but Hurt chose instead to show a brother who really never liked his sister much anyway. Hurt was in fine voice, too, carrying his part with aplomb and fierceness. His bulk was magisterial and believable in more ways than one.”

Lilith Saintcrow, Ragged Feathers

Virginia Opera – Falstaff

Weston Hurt excelled as the semi-villain Ford who ends up looking nearly as foolish as Falstaff in the end, and his diction and phrasing, were both letter perfect. ”

Terry Ponick, Washington Times

Atlanta Opera – La traviata

Baritone Weston Hurt sang the role of Giorgio Germont with wonderful proficiency and warmth. He negotiated the upper reaches of “Di Provenza” with utter ease, and his singing complemented Dunleavy’s throughout their lengthy duet.”

Stephanie Adrian, Opera News

Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras – Rigoletto

Weston Hurt’s attractive baritone made for a satisfying and musical jester here, with a fine legato and a strong emotional investment.”

David Shengold, Opera News

“Portrayed with pathos and nuance by baritone Weston Hurt, Rigoletto stole most of the scenes he was in, and provided a believable father figure for Anya Matanovic’s radiant Gilda. Weston Hurt often sang these passages [Rigoletto’s duet with Sparafucile and the extended monologue “Pari samo”] seated, or on his knees, which made his arioso and difficult recitative the most moving and expressive part of the Act. After hearing Gilda’s tragic confession of love for the Duke, Rigoletto responded with a heart-rending cabaletta “Sì, vendetta,” which received the longest and most resounding ovation of the evening.”

Laura Prichard, Boston Musical Intelligencer

Boston Lyric Opera – Madama Butterfly

But perhaps the finest singing of the night came from baritone Weston Hurt, who opted for subdued dramatic restraint as Sharpless, Pinkerton’s hapless American friend, but whose confidently powerful vocal lines easily cut through even the richest of Puccini’s textures.”

Thomas Garvey, The Hub Review

“Among many BLO debuts, there was much good singing. As Sharpless, the American consul and the opera’s consience, Weston Hurt was equally outstanding, combining restrained acting, beautiful Italian, and a fluid easy baritone. ”

Matthew Guerreri, Boston Globe

“Weston Hurt’s Sharpless perfectly embodied the consul’s kind, cautious, but ultimately ineffectual character.”

Angelo Mao, Boston Classical Review

“Baritone Weston Hurt was marvelous as Sharpless, the sympathetic American Consul. His sound was beautifully clear and focused, with golden tints, and his approach to text was almost casually conversational, making what is actually a rare skill look easy. One hopes this will be the first appearance of many with the company for this gifted singer.”

Kalen Ratzlaf, Opera News

Lyric Opera of Kansas City – Madama Butterfly

Fine voices in this production include baritone Weston Hurt, who delivers an impeccable supporting performance as Sharpless.”

Robert Trussel, Kansas City Star

Weston Hurt’s Sharpless was the moral compass of this story, and his expressive face and exceptional baritone convincingly transferred the character’s conflicting emotions.”

Sarah Tyrrell, KC Metropolis

Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras – Brahm’s Requiem

Soprano Ana María Martínez and baritone Weston Hurt, who joined the ensembles, are significant forces to contend with, particularly in the substantial parts in the Requiem. …her voice paired nicely with Hurt’s lyrical baritone that, although rich and resonant (truly a joy to hear), maintained a much-needed precision and direction, the absence of which too-often obfuscates Brahms’s dramatic solo line.”

Sudeep Agarwala, Boston Music Intelligencer

Portland Opera – Hansel and Gretel

Soprano Elizabeth Byrne sang the Mother with Wagnerian power and Straussian intensity. Baritone Weston Hurt, as the Father, matched her force and had the cast’s clearest diction in David Pountney’s English version.”

Mark Mandel, Opera News

PORTOpera – Hansel and Gretel

Weston Hurt, who sang Peter, the father, was a presence even before he stepped on stage. He began his solo from off-stage, but his powerful baritone voice carried throughout the hall. Once on stage, I couldn’t look away. He was expressive in voice and in body. His first drunken interaction with Maria Zifchak, who sang Gertrude, the mother, was so casual, funny, and callous, just the way a husband would converse with his wife after a few too many sips from the jug.”

Emily Parkhurst, Classical Voice of New England

“Weston Hurt’s Peter was sung in a fervent, virile baritone.”

Adam Wasserman, Opera News

Seattle Opera – Falstaff

Weston Hurt imbued the jealous husband with just the right touch of fury, making Ford’s attempts to stifle his green-eyed monster while pulling his own con on Falstaff all the funnier. Even better, Hurt has a baritone as mellifluous as the best tenors.”

Maggie Larrick, Queene Anne & Magnolia News

Seattle Opera – La traviata

“Weston Hurt’s company debut in the role came as balm to ear, eye and mind. His ability to find the humanity underlying this initially convention-bound father made much better sense of the softening that transforms him in the opera’s later scenes.”

Bernard Jacobson, Seattle Times

Dallas Opera – La bohème

Weston Hurt as Schaunard commanded the first scene with a clear, sizeable baritone and clever comedic timing — more substantial, legato filled roles will suit his Italianate sound.”

Paul Wooley, ConcertoNet

Atlanta Opera – Madama Butterfly

As Sharpless, Weston Hurt distinguished himself as a self-possessed singer, never pressing the voice or sacrificing vocal beauty for the sake of volume.”

Stephanie Adrian, Opera News

Arizona Opera – Lucia di Lammermoor

Weston Hurt was a glowering bully for whom the weak minded Lucia was no match. He sang with vigorous dark tones and energized his lines with conviction.”

Maria Lockin, Music & Vision

“Director Kristine McIntyre brought out the gothic darkness of Donizetti’s tale by allowing the singers to develop their characters beyond the libretto. It was artistically commendable, with a dignified humanity that invited us to be voyeurs to someone else’s heartbreak, with a superb cast of singers that included the commanding baritone Weston Hurt in the role of Enrico.”

Cathalena Burch, Arizona Daily Star

Bard Music Festival – Recital

“American baritone Weston Hurt gave a lovingly prepared, deeply moving account of George Butterworth’s Six Songs from a Shropshire Lad, a setting of selections from A. E. Housman’s celebrated collection of poems, in its way as much of an English institution as Land of Hope and Glory. Hurt’s baritone voice, with its leathery depths and tawny highlights, is a superbly balanced instrument, and he presented the cycle with dignity, taking full responsibility for its seriousness, with disciplined phrasing and sensitivity to its changes of mood. Of all the performances I heard at the Elgar Festival, I found this the most affecting.”

Michael Miller, Berkshire Fine Arts

New York City Opera – Die tote Stadt

“Weston Hurt was rock solid as Frank.”

Fred Kirshnit, The New York Sun

COMPOSER OPERA ROLE
Bellini I puritani Riccardo
Braunfels Die Vögel Wiedhopf
Britten Peter Grimes Balstrode
Cilea L’arlesiana Baldassare
Donizeti Lucia di Lammermoor Enrico
Donizetti Maria Stuarda Talbot / Cecil
Humperdinck Hansel and Gretel Peter
Korngold Die tote Stadt Frank / Fritz
Leoncavallo Pagliacci Tonio
Montemezzi L’amore dei tre re Manfredo
Puccini La bohème Marcello
Puccini Madama Butterfly Sharpless
Puccini Tosca Scarpia
Rossini Guillaume Tell Guillaume Tell
Shreker Der ferne Klang Der Graf / Rudolf
Verdi Un ballo in maschera Renato
Verdi Don Carlo Rodrigo
Verdi Falstaff Ford
Verdi Macbeth Macbeth
Verdi Nabucco Nabucco
Verdi Otello Iago
Verdi Rigoletto Rigoletto
Verdi Simon Boccanegra Simon Boccanegra
Verdi La traviata Germont
Verdi Il trovatore Count di Luna
Wagner Tannhaüser Wolfram
Concert Work
Bach St. Matthew Passion Baritone Solo
Bach Mass in b minor Baritone Solo
Beethoven 9th Symphony Baritone Solo
Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem Baritone Solo
Brahms Magelone Lieder Baritone Solo
Britten War Requiem Baritone Solo
Dvorak Te Deum Baritone Solo
Fauré Requiem Baritone Solo
Handel Messiah Baritone Solo
Haydn Paukenmesse Baritone Solo
Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen Baritone Solo
Mahler Symphony No. 8 Baritone Solo
Mendelssohn Elijah Baritone Solo
Moravec Songs of Love Baritone Solo
Mozart Mass in c minor Baritone Solo
Mozart Requiem Baritone Solo
Orff Carmina Burana Baritone Solo
Rachmaninoff The Bells Baritone Solo
Strauss Taillefer Baritone Solo
Vaughan Williams Hodie Baritone Solo
Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony Baritone Solo
Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music Baritone Solo

  • sotraviata2

  • sotraviata1