Artist in Residence: Eugene Brancoveanu
The Romanian born baritone's virile voice and superior stagecraft have earned him critical acclaim in both North America, Europe, Israel and Japan. Following recent performances of San Francisco Opera's The Little Prince, the San Francisco Chronicle lauds the performances as being "led by extravagantly gifted baritone Eugene Brancoveanu, as the Pilot. With his unforced charisma, vocal clarity, and tonal heft, Brancoveanu managed the tricky feat of doing most of the show's heavy lifting..."
His recent credits include Ned Keene, in Peter Grimes, in a return to SF Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas, a first appearance as Rigoletto and Der Kaiser in Victor Uhlmann's Kaiser von Atlantis for Festival Opera to great critical acclaim. In the sumer of 2014 he returned to Mendocino Music Festival, in a new production as Don Giovanni which he also directed. A feat that he repeated for Bizet's Carmen singing Escamillo for Livermore Opera, as well as Marcello in La Boheme in 2013. For the same role he was awarded the Tony Award in Puccini's La Boheme on Broadway, directed by acclaimed Hollywood director Baz Luhrmann. He also received the Los Angeles Ovation Award for the same role.
Between 2005-2012 he originated the role of young Boris in MTT's The Thomashefskys with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas. A national tour followed which took him to sing with the Chicago Symphony, Tanglewood Music Festival, Carnegie Hall, San Francisco Symphony and the Boston Symphony. He can also be seen in the same role on PBS TV directed by Gary Halvorson which was also released on PBS Video and Netflix. His continued affiliation with LA Philharmonic saw him return as Creon for Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex under Sallonen and Sellars, with whom Mr. Brancoveanu sang the title role in Shostakovich's newly discovered opera, Orango, which marked its world premiere at LA Philharmonic and was recorded for Deutsche Grammophon.
He appeared as soloist in Carmina Burana and Mozart's Requiem with the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra. And made his Sun Valley Music Festival Debut under Alasdair Neale, singing Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, and continues his extensive recital career as solo recitalist for the Schwabacher recitals and the prestigious San Francisco Young Masters Series.
He was the featured soloist with the Santa Cruz Orchestra in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and impressed audiences and critics alike in Carmina Burana and Faure's Requiem with Spokane Symphony Orchestra. A place that he also performed with Sacramento Symphony and Marin Symphony together with Brian Asawa.
Other highlights include the role of Scapin in Gluck's rarely performed comic opera L'ile de Merlin for Spoleto Charleston, directed by David Alden, Marcello in La Boheme and Lancelot in Camelot with Virginia Opera.
He sang the role of Gonsalvo in the American Premiere of Franz Schreker's Die Gezeichneten which is part of James Conlon’s effort to publish Jewish composer's work which were banned during the Nazi's reign in Germany.
It was recorded for Decca Classics and broadcast live on NPR Classics.
Soon after he sang Yeletzky in Pique Dame with the Israeli Opera Tel Aviv, conducted by Carol Lynn Wilson was followed by him singing Tomsky in the same opera under Seiji Ozawa in Matsumoto Japan.
An appearance in Opera Parallel's production of Orphee in the title role, and a return to San Francisco Opera as Belcore in L'elisir d'amore, Karnak in Lalo's Le Roi d'Ys with the American Symphony Orchestra at Lincoln Center, Count in Le Nozze di Figaro with Livermore Valley Opera. Other highlights include his New York City Opera debut as Pandolfe in Cendrillon, soloist in Brahm's Requiem with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra as well as San Francisco Choral Societies production of the same piece at SF Davies Hall.
He held a prestigious appointment as an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera for two seasons, directly following his critically acclaimed summer 2004 performances of Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia with the company's Merola Opera Program in which Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco chronicle noted "Eugene Brancoveanu as Tarquinius boasts a phenomenally resonant voice which he manages with wondrous ease and assurance."
As an Adler fellow (05-06 with San Francisco Opera he performed Sivano in Un ballo in maschera, Marco Amiliato, Marullo in Rigoletto, Stephen Lord; Morales in Carmen, George Cleve; Frank in Die Fledermaus, Donald Runnicles; Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia and the Innkeeper and the Captain in Manon Lescault also under Donald Runnicles. Later that season he sang the lead role, Boris, in Shostakovich's Moskau, Tscherekomuschki at Staatstheater Stuttgart.
Other career highlights include performing the role of Nicomedes in the rarely heard Lou Harrison opera, Young Caesar, for Opera Parallele; the title role in Le nozze di Figaro with the International Music Festival in Gut-Immling, Germany; and the title role in Philip Glass's Orphee with the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg under Dennis Russell Davis.
Mr. Brancoveanu numerous performances with the Romanian State Opera include the Count in Le nozze di Figaro, the title role in Don Giovanni, Silvio in I Pagliacci, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Escamillo in Carmen, and Uberto in La serva pedrona as well as Ottone in Incoronazione di Poppea.
Mr. Brancoveanu is a graduate of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, the Academia de Musica Cluj Romania and the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. He is also a recent winner of the National Young Opera Singer Competition in Leipzig, the International Music Award in Loenberg, and the International Opera contest "Ferruccio Tagliavini", under the patronage of the late Dame Sutherland. In addition he was among the winners of last years Nedra Zachary foundation opera contest in Los Angeles.