“Christopher Ventris produces a fresh, blossoming tenor, a Siegmund at the height of his vocal powers.”
The foundation of Christopher Ventris’ enduring position as one of today’s leading Heldentenors is his outstanding reputation in two pivotal roles: from an acclaimed Bayreuther Festspiele debut as Parsifal in Stefan Herheim’s new production (Daniele Gatti), he went on to give innumerable appearances in the role including at Wiener Staatsoper (under both Franz Welser-Möst and Semyon Bychkov), Bayerische Staatsoper (Kent Nagano), Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Bernard Haitink), Opéra national de Paris (Hartmut Haenchen), San Francisco Opera (Donald Runnicles) and at Opernhaus Zürich (Haitink), a performance which was immortalised on DVD. As Siegmund (Die Walküre), Ventris has appeared at Wiener Staatsoper (Sir Simon Rattle), Bayreuther Festspiele, (Marek Janowski), Semperoper Dresden (Christian Thielemann), Washington National Opera (Philippe Auguin), Dutch National Opera (Marc Albrecht) and he features on a live recording from Wiener Staastoper (Thielemann).
The 2018/19 season brought Ventris’ much anticipated role debut as Tristan in Wagner’s epic Tristan und Isolde, performed in a new production at Théâtre de la Monnaie under Music Director Alain Altinoglu, which was met with great acclaim: “In the love duet, he sang with honeyed warmth, blending handsomely with Isolde and the orchestra below …”. Further semi-staged performances followed last season in Copenhagen, under Lothar Koenigs for Royal Danish Opera. Ventris also joined Philippe Jordan at Salzburger Festspiele in the title role of the lesser-performed Rienzi, made his role debut as Tannhäuser under Sir Mark Elder at Opéra national de Paris, and appeared as Lohengrin at Grand Théâtre de Genève, Teatro Real Madrid and The Dallas Opera.
While Wagner’s music has played a key role in the development of his international career, Ventris’ repertoire flexibility has been important to his enduring success: he has been seen as Peter Grimes at Opernhaus Zürich and Deutsche Oper Berlin, Florestan (Fidelio) at Washington National Opera, Sergei (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) in Geneva, Madrid, London and Brussels, and Jimmy Mahoney (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny) at Berliner Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zürich and Wiener Staatsoper. Števa in Janáček’s Jenůfa marked his debut at the Metropolitan Opera and he more recently sang Laca in Dmitri Tcherniakov’s new production at Opernhaus Zürich. Max (Der Freischütz) marked his debut at Teatro alla Scala, he appeared as Pfitzner’s Palestrina at Bayerische Staatsoper and one of his many roles at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden was Manolios in Martinu’s The Greek Passion. His role debut as Prince Andrey Khovansky (Khovanshchina) at Wiener Staatsoper conducted by Semyon Bychkov, was subsequently seen at London’s Royal Albert Hall as part of the 2017BBC Proms and he returned to the Metropolitan opera in the 2019/20 season in his role debut as Tambour-Major (Wozzeck), conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and in William Kentridge’s acclaimed production.
In the current season, Christopher Ventris returns to Opernhaus Zurich as Jimmy Mahoney in Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonnyunder Thomas Søndergård.
“Christopher Ventris’ Parsifal remains a confident and accomplished piece of dramatic vocalism, convincing on every level.”
(George Hall, Opera Magazine, February 2018)
“Jimmy’s aria (the night song) sung by the impressive Christopher Ventris is a highlight of the evening”
(Zürichsee Zeitung, November 2017)
“Christopher Ventris was best in the cast in dealing with the change between singing and speaking and the demands of [Mahagonny. As Jimmy Mahoney] he demonstrated his tenor’s powerful, steadfast core, and always succeeded in carrying his melodies over the large orchestra.”
(Musik & Theater, November 2017)
“The vocal star, above all, [was] Christopher Ventris with his burnished Wagner/Britten tenor”
(Seen and Heard, November 2017)
“Christopher Ventris sang the rugged lumberjack Jimmy Mahoney with confidence and conviction. His silvery tone around lyrics at his simply-staged trial were as heart-breaking as they were perfectly paced.”
(Bachtrack, November 2017)
“Christopher Ventris’ magnificent Wagnerian tenor makes the haunting night song of Jimmy Mahoney [a highlight of the opera].”
“Christopher Ventris demonstrated great vocal and dramatic mastery of the role [of Jimmy Mahoney], requiring his Heldentenor strength but without showing any heroism or evoking pity…Ventris maintained a slender tone whilst skilfully placing flashes of vocal colour in just the right places.”
“Christopher Ventris repeated his convincing portrayal of Parsifal and sang with secure tone.”
(Opera Magazine, April 2017)
“It is easy to understand why Christopher Ventris has become a much sought-after Parsifal: his handsome timbre is both youthful and heroic, and the ease with which he appears to project his voice is admirable.”
“Ventris has sung the title role all over the world, and remains one of its finest exponents. Never one to shout or bark, he phrases intelligently and still packs a mighty punch vocally, and matched Lang in their second act confrontation splendidly. His redemption of Amfortas brought a lump to the throat.”
(Music OMH, December 2016)
“Christopher Ventris is a passionate Parsifal and probably the best there currently is. With his range of colours he approaches perfection.”
(Opera Gazet, December 2016)
“Christopher Ventris snag an imposing Max, [with] his radiant, brilliantly secure, and powerful heroic tenor”
“Christopher Ventris as Siegmund was vocally impeccable”
(Die Presse, February 2016)
“Christopher Ventris, who gave an exciting performance as Peter Grimes in Berlin two days earlier, is a great actor and sings Siegmund with a bright tone, precise diction, demonstrating great ease with the score”
(Altamusica, February 2016)
“Christopher Ventris is a particularly attractive Siegmund. His voice is beautifully coloured, and he conducted himself with ease”
(Forum Opéra, February 2016)
“Peter Grimes was played by British tenor Christopher Ventris, who gave a remarkable interpretation of this tormented, violent character. His voice suits the role, and he overcame the difficulties of the score”
(Seen & Heard, February 2016)
“The central focus of the soloists was Christopher Ventris’ lyrical, almost bel canto-like Parsifal. He brought a youthful voice and passionate interpretation to the role.”
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