Reviews

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Photos and reviews from Morning Star with On Site Opera

“Blake Friedman’s full tenor, slightly dark but with a buttery top, makes him a perfectly slick Irving—he crooned nicely in “O Morning Star,” the love song he writes to woo Fanny.” – New York Classical Review

“Blake Friedman lending a bright and easy tenor to the role of composer Irving Tashman” –Parterre

“As Irving Tashman, the songwriter beloved by one of the girls, tenor Blake Friedman had one of the opera’s early high points, “O Morning Star,” which glides across the ear with a big-band vibe.” – MusicalAmerica

“tenor Blake Friedman delivered offhanded comedy as a ne’er do well songwriter.” – Classical Voice America

“terrific tenor Blake Friedman” – Voce di Meche

“tenor Blake Friedman who not only could croon but sang with ringing tone” – Seen and Heard International

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Photo by Siobahn Sung

 

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

Reviews of Bach B-Minor Mass with Choral Artists of Sarasota

“Blake Friedman, tenor soloist in last year’s Verdi Requiem, sings with a clear, clean sound that is ideal for Baroque music, and the “Benedictus” with flutist Francesca Arnone  was a musical and emotional highlight.”

-Your Observor

“Saving the best for last, were two movements that could have brought tears to your eyes for their beauty. The tenor solo in the Benedictus alone is poetry, and Friedman captured the pathos perfectly.”

-The Herald Tribune

“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

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Review: ‘Elixir of Love’ is less sweeping than many operas, but more fun than most

“the top of his range, which Friedman handled effortlessly”

Masterclass with The Human Race Theatre

‘Master Class’ Review – Human Race Theatre Company

“As confident tenor Anthony Candolino, the charming, sunny Blake Friedman, who appeared as tenor soloist in “Liebeslieder Walzer” with New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center, dynamically interprets a portion of Puccini’s “Tosca,”

 

AOP-NYU Writers Workshop

BWW Opera Review: PARK AND BARK – The Next Generation, from NYU and AOP

“The productions were helped enormously by the thoughtful work of the four singers involved, bass Sam Carl and tenor Blake Friedman, along with mezzo Heitzel and soprano Watkins, who all showed great flair in roles that called on their ardent singing as well as comedic as well as dramatic abilities.”

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Review of Van Gogh’s Ear with ENSEMBLE FOR THE ROMANTIC CENTURY

The Berkshire Edge: REVIEW: Ensemble for Romantic Century unlocks mysteries of Van Gogh and Nature

Illustration by Carolyn Newberger

“Blake Friedman, performed Beau Soir with tenderness, delicacy, and a sense of emotional sympathy.

Here is the distinguished German baritone, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, performing Beau Soir. Although there is nothing to criticize in this magnificent performance, it is well to note that Friedman’s French diction is far more intelligible.”

“The other musically illuminating highlight of the evening, summoning not just a sense but an identification with Van Gogh’s conflicted emotions and lofty aspirations, was a performance of Faure’s song, Prison, Op. 83, No. 1, sung once again, with perfect French and moving dynamic nuances by Blake Friedman”

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Review of Impresario Now! with WENDY TAUCHER DANCE OPERA THEATER

MVPBS: Opera Theater company tours “Impresario Now!”

“The bold and funny, Blake Friedman, sounds out by giving somehow charming character to the slimy sort that was his role in “Impresario Now!,” with a strong, husky vocal performance that will not soon be forgotten – an outstanding tenor, indeed!” 

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Review of Il Barbiere di Siviglia with ST. PETERSBURG OPERA

Tampa Bay Times: St. Petersburg Opera delights with its take on ‘Barber of Seville

“Tenor Blake Friedman takes on the role of Almaviva, and though his voice is silken and strong, he shines brightest in his comedy chops (you’d be forgiven for thinking of an operatic Jack Black).”

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Review of Le Nozze di Figaro with HUBBARD HALL OPERA

“Blake Friedman, who plays the dandy Basilio, has a fine Italianate tenor and although his aria is usually cut, it was nice to be able to hear that voice shine in this production.” – Berkshire Fine Arts

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Reviews of Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart with ENSEMBLE FOR THE ROMANTIC CENTURY

“tenor Blake Friedman joins the musicians with his powerful vocals.” – Jenny Thompson, Eye on Dance

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“sung beautifully by tenor Blake Friedman… Mr. Friedman appears as an elusive object of attraction.” – Cecly Placenti and Jerry Hochman, Critical Dance

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“world-class… lovely” -Weston Clay, Theatre is Easy

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“Blake Friedman is skilled as the tenor.” – Marcina Zaccaria, Theater Pizzazz

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Reviews of The Rivals with BRONX OPERA

Riverdale Press: Bronx Opera sings life into Mechem comedy, ‘The Rivals’

The Rivals, Riverdale Press

“compelling”

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Rivals Revel in Fun, Outer Stage

“the over-the-top-in-a-fun-way Blake Friedman”

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 Reviews of Mitridate, re di Ponto with LITTLE OPERA THEATRE OF NEW YORK

“Blake Friedman made a sleazy, boo-hissable Roman, and impressed me with the strength and agility of his bright voice. He sang the murderous “Se di regnar sei vago” with great panache…” – Opera Obsession

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Reviews of Later the Same Evening with MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC

Opera News:
Review of Later the Same Evening

Later the Same Evening

“Among the men, Blake Friedman, as the young man from Virginia, made the strongest effect. Not only did he have the best-written role, but the character’s zestful nature lived in the very tone of his fresh lyric tenor.”

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Reviews of MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC Scenes Program

Mondo[Q]:
Manhattan School Examines the Musicking of the Bard of Avon

“Friedman’s interpolated climactic high notes were welcome.”

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