John Brancy is an ascendant talent in the opera world, bringing his unbridled dynamism and mellifluous voice to prestigious venues across the globe. Hailed by the New York Times as “a vibrant, resonant presence,” Brancy wows audiences big and small, equally deft in large opera productions, symphonic concerts and intimate recitals. He is a fervent champion of new music, a skilled actor on the stage and screen, and an entrepreneur striving to develop new and exciting ways to reinvent Opera and classical music for the 21st century.
Brancy won notable, international awards in 2017, including Second Prize at the Wigmore Hall Song Competition in London and the Media Prize in the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Moscow. Past victories include First Prize in the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition in 2015, First Prize in the Marilyn Horne Song Competition in 2013, the Grand Prize and Career Grant from the Sullivan Foundation in 2012 and 3rd prize in the Montreal International Music Competition in 2012.
Gerald Finley was recently quoted in Opera News saying, “I look at John Brancy, a young artist who’s got his teeth in it, who loves the challenge of art song.” In May 2017, Brancy and keyboard collaborator Peter Dugan released “A Silent Night: A WWI Memorial in Song,” a timely album of art songs by composers who lived through, fought during, and died in World War I. The duo premiered this official WWI Centennial Commission program on their first professional recital tour together, including appearances at the Kennedy Center, University of Chicago Presents, Carnegie Hall, the Joye in Aiken Festival in South Carolina, the NY Historical Society, and the Music and Beyond Festival in Ottawa, Canada.
This 17/18 season, Brancy made his Austrian debut appearing as Albert in Stadttheater Klagenfurt’s new production of “Werther” under the baton of ascendant conductor Lorenzo Viotti. Brancy will also reprise the role of Malatesta in Landestheater Voralberg’s new production of “Don Pasquale” in Bregenz. Brancy will go on to sing Brahms’ Deutches Requiem at Saint Thomas Church in New York City on March 22nd 2018, and he and Dugan have been invited to make their Alice Tully Hall recital debut with the premiere of “Armistice: The Journey Home” for the Juilliard Alumni Recital Series on April 5th 2018. Additionally, Brancy will be a featured soloist at the 2018 Carmel Bach Festival in Carmel, California, as well as the baritone soloist in “Carmina Burana”, at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.
Brancy graced many stages during the 2016-2017 season. He made important debuts with prestigious companies such as Florida Grand Opera (the title role in “Eugene Onegin”), Clarion Music Society (Papageno in “Die Zauberflöte”), Opera Omaha (the Steward in Jonathan Dove’s “Flight”), and Opera National de Lorraine (Harlekin in “Ariadne auf Naxos”). In recital, he returned to Carnegie Hall as part of the Evening of Song Series, and his concert engagements included performances with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Kansas City Symphony, Tucson Symphony, St. John’s College Concert Series, Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, Artist Series of Sarasota, and Opera America’s 2016 Emerging Artist Recital Series in conjunction with the Jensen Foundation.
Previous highlights include debuts with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera Tour (Malatesta in “Don Pasquale”), Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (Harlekin in “Ariadne auf Naxos”), Pacific Opera Victoria (Demetrius in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”), and Oper Frankfurt (Dancaire/Morales in “Carmen”). Brancy has also been engaged by Dresden Semperoper, Edmonton Opera, Paris’ Theatre du Chatelet, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Opera Saratoga, and Opera San Antonio in works ranging from Tobias Picker’s “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” (title role) to “La Cenerentola” (Dandini) to John Adams’ “I was looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky.” Additional Concert appearances include Musica Sacra in Handel’s “Messiah” at Carnegie Hall; the New York Festival of Song with pianist Steven Blier; the Kennedy Center with Vocal Arts DC; the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago; and Société d’art vocal de Montréal with pianist Peter Dugan. Symphony credits include the San Francisco Symphony, Boston Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Brooklyn Art Song Society, the Regina Symphony, and the Saskatoon Symphony.
Brancy holds a bachelor’s degree and graduate diploma from the Juilliard School in New York City.
|Adams||Mike the Rookie Cop||I WAS LOOKING AT THE CEILING AND THEN I SAW THE SKY|
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
|Charpentier||Apollon||LA DESCENTE D’ORPHÉE AUX ENFERS|
|Janacek||Harasta||THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN|
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
|Picker||Fantastic Mr. Fox||THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX|
|Puccini||Sonora||LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST|
|IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA
|Strauss||Harlekin||ARIADNE AUF NAXOS|
“Not surprisingly the title character has the toughest role in this opera. Certainly not because of the vocal demands, unusually this time, quite the opposite. The snippets he gets must make us maintain focus on him until he releases an enormous suppressed sound (using Tatyana’s music) as he tries to find a purpose. John Brancy has the essential combination of talents to keep an audience gripped.” [Eugene Onegin, Florida Grand Opera]
Jeff Haller, ConcertoNet.com
“With this all-new staging of Fantastic Mr. Fox, Opera San Antonio has signalled its intention to brook no compromises. There were none to speak of in the youthful cast, led by the bright, stirring baritone and dashingly athletic presence of John Brancy in the title role.”
Mike Greenberg, Opera News
“The standout of the performance of the night, however, was by John Brancy, a 24 year-old baritone who recently completed a graduate diploma at Juilliard and has already made his professional debut with Dresden Semperoper. Brancy’s impeccable timing, dynamic physicality, and robust voice made him an ideal Papageno.”
Edmond Johnson, Opera News
“…the baritone John Brancy, was a vibrant, resonant presence…”
The New York Times
“As Harasta, John Brancy brought to bear a strong baritone and a bad-boy swagger, projecting his sound effortlessly even in a quiet, reflective section.”
“But the greatest moments came when Brancy joined the musicians. He is a baritone of refined taste, and his readings of favorites such as Franz Schubert’s Erlkönig D. 328 would fare well even when compared to those by legendary 20th century lieder interpreters. He had everything: clear diction, dramatic flair and a beautifully burnished tone… One surely hopes that The Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach will bring artists of Brancy’s stature for more Liederabend.”
Marcio Bezerra, Palm Beach Daily News
“The American baritone John Brancy has an impressive CV, with many prestigious competition prizes and his confidence and winning stage presence were ideal for Malatesta, as was his forthright, easily produced baritone…. Brancy received deservedly enthusiastic applause for their patter duet.” [Don Pasquale, Glyndebourne Tour, Lewes]
Melanie Eskenazi, MusicOMH
“John Brancy’s Dandini was suave, funny and cool, his high-lying baritone also able to negotiate Rossini’s fiorature.” [Cenerentola, Opera Saratoga]
Robert Levine, Bachtrack
“Vocally, the evening belonged to the three baritone leads: … Brancy has a creamy, attractively coloured voice and a relaxed, loose-limbed attitude.” [Le nozze di Figaro, Opera Lyra]
Natasha Gauthier, Ottawa Citizen
“John Brancy’s Figaro is a delight with his velvety baritone, and magnetic charm though he also stands out for his impressive ease on stage.” [Le nozze di Figaro, Opera Lyra]
Chrissy Steinbock, Apt613
“None of this would have worked, of course, had Brancy and Dugan not been able to perform it so consummately well. Brancy has a warm, vivid baritone with a lot of color…But the goal of a recital is not originality as much as making a statement as an artist. And at this, Brancy and Dugan succeeded superbly.” [Vocal Arts DC recital]
Anne Midgette, Washington Post
“Baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan performed a glorious tribute to World War One’s centennial, that was as stirring as it was illuminating in their recital debut at Kennedy Center last night…The audience was anything but silent after this perfect ending to a near-perfect evening by the sonorous, rich baritone and the splendid pianist — two very engaging 2013 Juilliard graduates.” [Vocal Arts DC recital]
Marsha Dubrow, Examiner
“John Brancy… he was steady and exultant in “The trumpet shall sound.”
Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times
“This cast was strong from foxhole to farmyard, the roster sensibly stacked with singers who had performed this season in the San Antonio production. Among them was John Brancy, in nimble and vivid voice as Mr. Fox…”
Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe
“Baritone John Brancy demonstrated a natural affinity for lieder style, fine German diction and a suave, understated manner that could also heat up on occasion. Two Korngold selections proved his interpretive range. His witty implications, delivered with refined timbre, enlivened Zemlinsky’s “Das bucklicht Männlein” Brancy’s lyrical warmth and subtle line were particularly effective in the same composer’s “Und hat der Tag all’ seine Qual.”
David J. Baker, Opera News
“Brancy has an easy virility to his singing that gave even the most sentimental lines an unselfconscious naturalism, while Brugger’s velvety voice possesses a mezzo color that carries the intimacy these songs needed, speaking directly to the listener.” … “Brancy sang the composer’s (Wolf) impressionist Nachtzauber, and was mesmerizing.”
David J. Baker, Opera News