Paul Appleby
Tenor

“The vocal star, however, is Paul Appleby … who soars effortlessly through the role’s high-lying demands.” (Richard Morrison, The Times, July 2016)

Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Georgina Wheatley +44 (0)20 3725 9185

Biography

Young American tenor Paul Appleby has already earned a strong reputation for his expressive acting, interpretative depth and versatility and has won praise for performances as Stravinsky’s Tom Rakewell (The Rake’s Progress), Handel’s Jonathan (Saul), Brian in Nico Muhly’s Two Boys and Mozart’s Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) among others. A graduate of both The Juillard School and The Lindemann Program, Appleby has worked regularly alongside James Levine at The Metropolitan Opera, most recently for his debuts as David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) and Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail).

Young American tenor Paul Appleby has already earned a strong reputation for his expressive acting, interpretative depth and versatility and has won praise for performances as Stravinsky’s Tom Rakewell (The Rake’s Progress), Handel’s Jonathan (Saul), Brian in Nico Muhly’s Two Boys and Mozart’s Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) among others. A graduate of both The Juillard School and The Lindemann Program, Appleby has worked regularly alongside James Levine at The Metropolitan Opera, most recently for his debuts as David (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) and Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail).

A versatile performer, Appleby is as comfortable on the concert platform or recital stage as he is on the grand stages of the world’s opera houses. The current season brings a number of debuts including at De Nationale Opera in Amsterdam as Belmonte under Jérémie Rhorer and at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as Tom Rakewell under Daniel Harding. A return to the Metropolitan Opera in Don Giovanni will be conducted by Fabio Luisi, and he joins David Zinman and the Bamberger Symphoniker for Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, and Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony in Haydn’s Creation

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Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Georgina Wheatley +44 (0)20 3725 9185

Reviews

“light and stylish, Paul Appleby is impeccable [as Bénédict]” (ConcertoNet, March 2017)

“Tenor Paul Appleby as Belmonte sang with the agility that one would hope to hear in Mozart and had a youthful and lyrical sound.” (Place de l'Opera, January 2017)

“Paul Appleby’s attractive voice…[gave us] a ‘Dalla sua pace’ graced by dynamic contrasts and an ‘Il mio tesoro’ in which the challenging long run was dispatched in one breath.” (Opera Magazine, December 2016)

“light and stylish, Paul Appleby is impeccable [as Bénédict]” (ConcertoNet, March 2017)

“Tenor Paul Appleby as Belmonte sang with the agility that one would hope to hear in Mozart and had a youthful and lyrical sound.” (Place de l'Opera, January 2017)

“Paul Appleby’s attractive voice…[gave us] a ‘Dalla sua pace’ graced by dynamic contrasts and an ‘Il mio tesoro’ in which the challenging long run was dispatched in one breath.” (Opera Magazine, December 2016)

“Paul Appleby made the hapless role of Don Ottavio a thing of tenorial beauty” (New York Times, October 2016)

“The best vocal performance of the evening came from Paul Appleby as Don Ottavio, who replaced the originally schedule tenor with a few weeks’ notice. His penetrating voice suited the role well, and he sang Ottavio’s two big arias with poise and elegance. His voice scaled up to the highest notes silvery smoothness and opened up with aching beauty. The tempo chosen was slow, and Mr Appleby caressed every phrase” (Bachtrack, October 2016)

“Paul Appleby, whose light, flexible tenor was ideal for this repertoire” (Opera Magazine, September 2016)

“Jonathan [is] tenderly sung by Paul Appleby” (BBC Music Magazine, September 2016)

“The vocal star, however, is Paul Appleby, a charmingly confused Bénédict, who soars effortlessly through the role’s high-lying demands.” (Richard Morrison, The Times, July 2016)

“so much of it sounds so good. D’Oustrac and Appleby generate a considerable sexual charge together and are gorgeous in their arias” (Tim Ashley, The Guardian, July 2016)

“Paul Appleby sings attractively in the pallid role of Bénédict” (Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, July 2016)

“Paul Appleby [is] a charmingly docile Bénédict.” (Richard Fairman, Financial Times, July 2016)

“Paul Appleby [is] irresistible in the title role – his generous tenor warmth makes entirely credible the way his defiant cynicism [is] gradually eroded to reveal [a] passionately beating heart.” (Independent, July 2016)

“Paul Appleby was a strong Belmonte” (Opera Magazine, July 2016)

“as Mr. Appleby showed throughout this impressive recital, which included works by Lachner, Schumann, Berlioz, Wolf and Villa-Lobos, he is that special singer who puts word first in performing songs…Mr. Appleby’s voice, simultaneously virile and vulnerable, proved ideal for the teeming expressivity of this song…[and] was in excellent voice.” (New York Times, March 2016)

“Appleby proved to be an extremely impressive performer throughout the evening both in terms of his vocal prowess and his acting abilities. He has a sweet, lyrical tenor voice but he is also capable of producing enormous vocal power and he has a wide and well differentiated dynamic range…Appleby gave a rapt and unforgettable performance of Ich wandelte unter den Bäumen. He sustained the line beautifully and brought a rich vocal colouring…and an expressive resonance to the high notes…The song crackled with energy and Appleby delivered a vocal tour de force while showing us his consummate acting skills…this was an excellent recital and Appleby is clearly a terrific performer and a name to watch out for in future.” (Seen & Heard, March 2016)

“The gifted young tenor Paul Appleby [shaped] the phrases with melting tenderness.” (New York Times, December 2015)

“He was at his best when [singing] at full voice, his natural power and amber tone ringing out.” (New York Classical Review, December 2015)

“Tenor Paul Appleby was impressive in his San Francisco Opera debut as the love-struck prince Tamino, warmly conveying his ardour for the princess Pamina with beautiful lyricism and a moving dramatic performance.” (San Francisco Examiner, October 2015)

“Tenor Paul Appleby made an impressively bold and ardent company debut as her prince, Tamino.” (Mercury News, October 2015)

“Appleby has a flexible Mozart tenor full of expression” (Bachtrack, October 2015)

“As Jonathan, Paul Appleby, a young American tenor fresh from Juilliard and small roles at the Met, made a most successful debut. In the first half especially he bore a heavy vocal load, dispatching it gracefully, with a pleasing and appropriately youthful sound, and he embodied the awkwardness of his emotional dilemma, torn between father and friend.” (Opera Magazine, September 2015)

“Jonathan is sung by the rising young American Paul Appleby [who has a] bright, pingy lyric tenor” (The Sunday Times, August 2015)

“The role of Jonathan is a tricky one, requiring clarity in the high notes, robustness low in the register and nobility in both: Paul Appleby duly delivered.” (Bachtrack, July 2015)

“[a] fine performance from Paul Appleby as Jonathan” (Financial Times, July 2015)

“The young American lyric tenor, Paul Appleby, brought a strong sense of interior drama to Jonathan” (Opera Today, July 2015)

“Musically this evening is well-nigh flawless. No praise too high for the singing of Appleby.” (The Independent, July 2015) 

“Paul Appleby, another first timer here, sang Jonathan with sincerity and commitment.” (Music OMH, July 2015)

“Paul Appleby was absolutely top notch as Tom” (Opera Magazine, July 2015)

“a cast led by a radiant Paul Appleby in the lead role…Mr. Appleby was in spectacular form as Tom. Floppy-limbed and animated by idle nervous energy, he was every inch the “shuttle-headed lad” described in the libretto. His roomy, relaxed tenor was a source of unalloyed pleasure, especially in crescendos in which it bloomed without any hint of strain or steel. If this performance is any indication, his turn next season as Belmonte in Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio” will be one to watch.” (New York Times, May 2015)

“Paul Appleby was engaging, his bright tenor conveying Tom’s shifting fortunes – whether his airy ‘Here I stand’ in the opening scene, petulance at Baba’s ceaseless chattering, defiance of Shadow in the graveyard, and finally his conviction that he is Adonis.” (Classical Source, May 2015)

“As Tom Rakewell, tenor Paul Appleby is simply brilliant, managing to negotiate a difficult score and give a credible performance of a character who goes from nonchalant young man to sinner and finally raving lunatic.” (Epoch Times, May 2015)

“As Tom, the thoroughly athletic Paul Appleby acquits himself well. Scampering about in the early sections and even leaping mercurially onto a table at one moment, he goes into the rake’s decline impressively.” (Huffington Post, May 2015)

“Appleby not only handled the immediate, low register challenges of “The woods are green”, but sang with mesmerizing tonal clarity and melodic elegance in the tremendous, brief aria “Love, too frequently betrayed.” Appleby was excellent in Tom’s vocal transformations from naïve to worldly, desperate, and, finally, tragic. He was also easy and light on his feet, moving with a young man’s air – a natural in the role.” (New York Classical Review, May 2015)

“Appleby excelled in several of his features, as in the act two spotlight, “Vary the song”, which consecrates a shift in Rakewell’s shallow desires." (The Guardian, May 2015)

“Paul Appleby sang lustrously, also tirelessly, and exerted as much sympathy as the callow title-role would allow.” (Financial Times, May 2015)

“Tenor Paul Appleby started the opera off with a youthful energy in the role of David. His vibrant tone brought charm and wit to what was ultimately a dull list of mastersinging rules.” (Examiner, December 2014)

“Paul Appleby stole every scene as a phenomenal David.” (Latinos Post, December 2014)

"Paul Appleby gave an excellent portrayal of David…[bringing] a pleasing tenor voice and a winning persona to the role." (Classical Source, December 2014)

"Paul Appleby, the exceptionally sprightly David, sang with welcome Mozartian suavity." (Financial Times, December 2014)

"Thirty-year-old Paul Appleby turned in a star-making performance as Brian, a troubled kid half his age, his Mozartian tenor ringing out with anguished authority." (James Jorden, New York Post, October 2013)

“Appleby, who already has Met credits, unfurled a strong lyric tenor with powerful high notes and a real sense of theater in his solo aria and spoken declamation.” (Lawrence Budman, South Florida Classical Review, February 2013)

“Particularly impressive was the gutsy, firm-toned Jeník of Paul Appleby.” (Martin Bernheimer, Opera, June, 2011)

“Mr. Appleby has certainly developed his own sonorous voice, which he skilfully used to present the song cycle for an enthusiastic audience at Alice Tully Hall…Mr. Appleby sang with a nuanced, expressive and bright-hued tenor.” (Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times, December 2010)

"To me, once Paul Appleby started singing, no one else had a hope of catching my attention. He IS everything a singer should be and HAS everything a singer should have: charisma, a fantastic voice, physical energy and strength, good looks, cheekiness and humor, flexibility, and above all else, an understated humility about his remarkable ability to convey intimate emotions. I was taken in by every note he sang." (Kala Maxym, Opera Insider, October 2010) 

"Mr. Appleby’s warm, strong yet subtle singing made every word a living presence." (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, May 2010)

"The show is stolen by Mr. Appleby, playing Rothschild, the good-hearted street musician." (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, November 2008)