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Check out Blake’s performance of Iago in Rossini’s Otello with Loft Opera here

“The most convincing tenor was that of Blake Friedman as Iago, whose voice has a plummy fullness and dusky hue.  His duet with Otello was taut and exciting…”

-Corinna da Fonesca-Wollheim, The New York Times

“Blake Friedman offered a vast range and crisp, meaningful diction as an ambiguously malevolent Iago.”

-James Jorden, The New York Observer

“Tenor Blake Friedman makes of Iago a creature of compellingly watchable contrasts – at times bewitching in catlike stillness; at others striking out with bright vocal brashness, or seducing with tones of purple-chocolate succulence. Compact of build, sleek and nimble, a treacherously handsome crocodile-dandy in black velvet blazer and rainbow cravat – it’s a delightfully wicked and memorable character creation.”

-Charles Geyer, La Scena Musicale

“Blake Friedman was an exceptionally diabolical Iago. Underplaying the outright malevolence of the role, his face remained placid, almost serene, throughout the evening. His manner was unctuous; his costume was ill fitting. His Iago haunted the stage, accentuating a queasy, almost sociopathic component to the character’s psyche. But most importantly, his pliant tenor sailed easily through the role’s difficult music.”

– Patrick Clement James, Parterre

“Meanwhile, as Iago, Blake Friedman was snake-like in his gaze and singing. More restrained than his tenorial counterparts, he kept his voice in the lower register throughout the night, emphasizing the darker nature of the character. When he did show off his upper range, it was during his duet with Otello, expressing the character’s triumph and overall power over the proceedings. He confidently walked about the stage, often in the background, emphasizing his manipulative nature.”

-David Salazar, OperaWire

“As the man who drives Otello to insanity, Friedman’s Iago is easy to despise. He has a rich tenor, yet still manages to keep the smirk on his face while singing.”

-Alicia Kort, Paste Magazine 

Blake Friedman was a sensational Iago, with a fluid, warm and beautiful sound, which made his innate evilness all the more treacherous. His acting, though, left absolutely no doubt about his character being the villain and mastermind pulling all the strings to trigger the drama. He was a real smooth operator with his blond hair slicked back and his double-breasted suit and ascot always looking the part. Apparently channeling Steve Bannon, Friedman carried himself with deliberately slow and calculated movements, which he endowed with a sardonic, unctuous mellifluousness. His stage presence was so commanding that it was impossible to take your eyes off him every time he was on. Vocally, one of his most memorable moments was the duet with Otello in Act II (L’ira d’avverso fato), one of those delicious and exhilarating battles of tenors that make this opera so enjoyable.”

Allegri con Fuoco