Brett Polegato’s artistic sensibility has earned him the highest praise from audiences and critics: “his is a serious and seductive voice” says The Globe and Mail, and The New York Times has praised him for his “burnished, well-focused voice” which he uses with “considerable intelligence and nuance.” He appears regularly on the world’s most distinguished stages including those of Lincoln Center, La Scala, Concertgebouw, Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Teatro Real, Roy Thomson Hall, Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, and has collaborated with conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Daniele Gatti, Andris Nelsons, Bernard Haitink, Seiji Ozawa, Jeffrey Tate, Marc Minkowski, and Martyn Brabbins. He can be heard as soloist in the Grammy Awards’ Best Classical Recording of 2003 – Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (Telarc) with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Robert Spano.
Brett’s 2016/2017 season began by creating the role of Father Thomas Nangle in John Estacio’s new opera, Ours, for Opera on the Avalon. He then appeared as Paolo in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra with Pacific Opera Victoria, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde for Opera di Roma, the baritone soloist in Jeffrey Ryan’s Afganistan: Requiem for a Generation with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Jesus in Elgar’s The Apostles with the Pax Christi Chorale in Toronto. June finds him once more in concert with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and his season concludes at the Festival de Lanaudière, where he will make his role debut as Amfortas in Wagner’s Parsifal under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Brett began his 2015/16 season in a gala concert with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra to open the new Bella Concert Hall at Mount Royal University. He then returned to Seattle Opera, where he sang Zurga in Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles, and performed a gala concert with the Niagara Symphony to open the Partridge Concert Hall in St. Catharines. Brett then appeared with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of Messiah, the Canadian staged premiere of Korngold’s Die tote Stadt as Frank and Fritz for Calgary Opera, a recital with the Eybler Quartet in a new chamber transcription of Schumann’s Liederkreis, Op. 39 and in recital at the Royal Conservatory of Music in a programme entitled, Le travail du peintre. He concluded his season with Paris performances of Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
One of today’s most sought-after lyric baritones on the operatic stage, Brett has made a name for himself in a number of dramatic roles, most notably the title roles in Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin (Canadian Opera Company, New Israeli Opera, Grange Park Opera, Vancouver Opera). In the fall of 2010, he sang the title role in Berg’s Wozzeck at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow for a production directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov and conducted by Teodor Currentzis. He has appeared frequently in the title role of Pelléas et Mélisande, including new productions at the Strasbourg’s Opéra National du Rhin, the Leipzig Opera conducted by Marc Minkowski, and in Munich with Marcello Viotti. Pelléas was also the role which marked his Paris Opera debut in September of 2004. Another signature role includes Il Conte Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, which he has sung to great acclaim for companies that include New York City Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal and Norwegian Opera in Oslo. Brett has appeared with the Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra de Genève, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opéra National de Toulouse, Teatro Real in Madrid, Saito Kinen Festival, Florence’s Maggio Musicale, Vlaamse Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera and Calgary Opera in over 50 roles, including Starbuck (Moby Dick), Lieutenant Audebert (Silent Night), Rodrigo (Don Carlo), Ford (Falstaff), Oreste (Iphigénie en Tauride), Zurga (Les Pêcheurs de Perles), Yeletsky (Pique Dame), Valentin (Faust), Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), and Marcello (La bohème).
Equally at ease on the concert and recital stages, Mr. Polegato made his Carnegie Hall recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in May 2003 with pianist, Warren Jones. He returned the following year with the Atlanta Symphony to reprise their Grammy Award winning performance of A Sea Symphony, and again in 2012, as soloist in Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast. He is a frequent guest artist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared with most every major U.S. and Canadian orchestra. In 2012, he garnered critical acclaim as soloist in Zemlinsky’s Lyrische Symphonie with conductor, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and for his interpretation of the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah for the Elora Festival. In 2005, he made his highly-acclaimed debut with the Cleveland Orchestra, in a programme which included Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs and Fauré’s Requiem. He has appeared as soloist with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra in Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast at Wolf Trap, the Chicago Symphony in the U.S. premiere of Saariaho’s Cinq Reflets, the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Mahler orchestral lieder, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Toronto Symphony in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn, and the Calgary Philharmonic in John Adams’ The Wound Dresser. In 2002, he returned to the London BBC Proms for a concert performance of Ravel’s L’heure espagnole with Gianandrea Noseda conducting, and rejoined the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem. He has performed Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony and Sir Andrew Davis, and with the Handel & Haydn Society under Andrew Parrott.
Polegato’s discography shifts as seamlessly through genres as his live appearances. In addition to the Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony, his recordings include the Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem (ASO Media), Ben Moore’s Ode To A Nightingale (Delos), his critically praised solo disc, To A Poet, with pianist Iain Burnside (CBC Records) and a live period-instrument performance of Messiah with the Handel & Haydn Society (Arabesque Recordings). With the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra he has recorded Bach’s Coffee and Peasant Cantatas (Analekta-Fleur de Lys) and, most recently, Handel’s Messiah. In March 2000, CBC Records released a disc entitled Opera Encores that joined him with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra led by Richard Bradshaw. His opera recordings include Emmerich Kálmán’s Die Herzogin von Chicago (Decca) with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Gluck’s Armide with Les Musiciens du Louvre (Deutsche Grammophon’s Archiv label). Brett finished first among the men at the 1995 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
|Bizet||Zurga||LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES|
|Debussy||Pelléas/Golaud||PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE|
|Donizetti||Dr. Malatesta||DON PASQUALE|
IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE
|THE END OF THE AFFAIR
|Korngold||Frank/Fritz||DIE TOTE STADT|
|Levy||Peter Niles||MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA|
|Messaien||Frère Léon||ST. FRANÇOIS D’ASSISE|
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
|Poulenc||Le mari||LES MAMELLES DE TIRÉSIAS|
|Purcell||Aeneas||DIDO AND AENEAS|
|IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA
TRISTAN UND ISOLDE