Now living in New York City, Blake Friedman is originally from Chicago, Illinois. Blake’s most recent appearance as Iago in Rossini’s Otello with LoftOpera earned him great praise for “his vast range and clear diction” (NY Observer) and “pliant tenor” (Parterre). The New York Times said, “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…”(The New York Times). Other notable New York City performances include: Tenor Soloist in the Liebeslieder Walzer with New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center, Tenor Soloist at Avery Fisher Hall (Geffen Hall) in Mozart’s Vespri Sollemnes de Confessore, and Singer in Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart (BAM Fisher). Blake also served as the Resident Tenor for American Opera Projects Composer’s and the Voice Symposium. As resident tenor of C&V, Blake had the privilege of having multiple compositions written specifically for his voice and the opportunity to workshop and world premiere these new works at The South Oxford Space in Brooklyn, the home of American Opera Projects, and at the National Opera Center.
Blake has been seen on the operatic, concert, and theatrical stages and garnered praise for his “silken and strong” (Tampa Bay Times), “fresh lyric tenor” (OperaNews Online), “moving dynamic nuances” (The Berkshire Edge) and “climactic high notes”. (Q on Stage). His operatic performances include Conte Almaviva in Barbiere di Siviglia (St. Pete Opera), Nemorino in L’Elisir D’Amore (St. Pete Opera, New Rochelle Opera), Alfredo in La Traviata (Long Island Opera), Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi (Ash Lawn Opera), Pang in Turandot (St. Pete Opera), Rodolfo in La Boheme (Bronx Opera, Ash Lawn Opera), Jimmy O’Keefe in Later the Same Evening (Manhattan School of Music, Albany Records), and Marzio in Mitridate (Little Opera Theatre of NY).
Apart from his operatic endeavors, Blake has performed numerous oratorio, concert, and theatrical works throughout the United States. His concert performances include Nicolas in Britten’s St. Nicolas (Canterbury Choral Society, NYC), Bach’s B-Minor Mass (Canterbury Choral Society, NYC), The Evangelist in Bach’s The Passion According to St. Matthew (Canterbury Choral Society, NYC), Handel’s Messiah (Tampa Oratorio Singers), Bach’s Magnificat (Key Chorale), Beethoven’s Mass in C Major (Key Chorale), Uriel in Haydn’s The Creation (Gregory Kunde Chorale), Mozart’s Requiem (Astoria Symphony), Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass (Astoria Symphony), and Handel’s Ode on St. Cecilia’s Day (Gregory Kunde Chorale). He also notably performed the North American Premiere of a new adaptation of The St. Matthew’s Passion written by Eastern Orthodox Arch Bishop Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev with the Salome Chamber Ensemble and New York Virtuosic Singers at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York City, attended by the Arch Bishop himself.
At the theatre, Blake has appeared as Tony Candolino in Masterclass with The Human Race Theatre at The Loft Theatre in Dayton, Ohio; Theo Van Gogh in Van Gogh’s Ear presented by Ensemble for the Romantic Century in association with The Clark Institute in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; and Singer in Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart with Ensemble for the Romantic Century.
Blake’s awards and honors include a Career Bridges Grant from The Schuyler Foundation (2014), Winner of The American Prize: Friederich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Art Song Competition (2011), Honorable Mention in The Rochester Oratorio Society Classical Idol V Competition (2011), a Palm Beach Opera Guild Encouragement Award (2011) and Honorable Mention in the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition (2010). He has also placed as a finalist in The Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition (2013), The Arkadi Foundation Classical Idol Competition (Top 10, 2013), and The New York Lyric Opera Theatre Vocal Competition (2010). Blake holds both a Master of Music and Professional Studies Degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he was the recipient of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Scholarship Award/Richard Rodgers Scholar and received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Eastman School of Music where he was the recipient of a Howard Hanson Scholarship.