Baritone John Brancy is on the verge of an exciting and diverse performing career, hailed by the New York Times as “a vibrant, resonant presence.” Brancy was recently awarded the Top Prize at the 2018 Lotte Lenya Competition in New York, Second Prize at the 2017 Wigmore Hall Competition in London and prior to that won the media prize in the 2017 Belvedere Competition in Moscow and the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition in 2015. He is also a past winner of the Marilyn Horne Song Competition.
Of special interest is Brancy’s recently released CD, A Silent Night: A WWI Memorial in Song, with keyboard collaborator Peter Dugan. Their work together has taken them to the Music and Beyond Festival in Ottawa, the Central Chamber Series in New York and most recently, to Alice Tully Hall as part of the Juilliard Alumni Recital Series. On the opera stage, he appeared as Albert in Stadttheater Klagenfurt’s production of Werther and followed with a reprise of Malatesta in Don Pasquale, this time for Landestheater Vorarlberg in Bregenz. For Saint Thomas Church in New York, he was heard in Brahms’s Requiem.
This summer, Brancy will be a featured soloist at the 2018 Carmel Bach Festival in Carmel, California, and returns to the Kennedy Center to perform his recital “Armistice: The Journey Home” with Vocal Arts DC. Next season, Brancy appears as the baritone soloist in Messiah with the Victoria and Johnstown Symphonies, as well as with Musica Sacra under the baton of Kent Tritle at Carnegie Hall.
During the 2016-2017 season, the New Jersey native made important debuts at Florida Grand Opera singing the title role in Eugene Onegin, Clarion Music Society as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, for Opera Omaha as the Steward in Dove’s Flight, and Opera National de Lorraine as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos. Recent highlights have included his debut with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera Tour as Malatesta in Don Pasquale, his Opera Theatre of Saint Louis debut as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Pacific Opera Victoria and Dancaire/Morales in Carmen for Opera Frankfurt. He returned to Carnegie Hall in recital as part of the “Evening of Song Series,” and his concert engagements have included the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Edmonton Symphony, St. John’s College Concert Series, Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, and Opera America’s 2016 Emerging Artist Recital Series in conjunction with the Jensen Foundation.
Brancy has been engaged by Semperoper Dresden, Edmonton Opera, Paris’s Théaâtre du Chatelet, Opera Saratoga, and Opera San Antonio in works ranging from Tobias Picker’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox to Dandini in La Cenerentola to John Adams’s I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky. His concert engagements included his debut with Musica Sacra in Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall, where he has also performed a recital with pianist Ken Noda. Further recital credits include 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 in collaboration with pianist Peter Dugan. He has also appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, Boston Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Brooklyn Art Song Society and the symphonies of Regina and Saskatoon. Brancy holds a graduate degree from the Juilliard School in New York.
|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|
“John Brancy, the star of a stratospheric competition… On a vocal level, schematically, Brancy is a Gerald Finley in his 30s.”
[2018 Concours musical international de Montréal] Christophe Huss, Le Devoir
“Among the top-prize winners was the 29-year-old John Brancy, who filled the Eastman School of Music’s Kilbourn Hall with a buttery baritone voice that seemed equally at ease in opera and in music from Broadway’s golden age.”
[2018 Lotte Lenya Competition, Kurt Weill Foundation] Joshua Barone, The New York Times
“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
WINNER, 2018 LOTTE LENYA COMPETITION
JOHN BRANCY wins the biggest prize at the Kurt Weill Foundation’s Lotte Lenya Competition, 2018. His repertoire included “Uzhel ta samaja Tatiana” from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, “This is New” from Weill/Gershwin’s Lady in the Dark, “Awaiting You” from Guettel’s Myths and Hymns and “Soliloquy” from Rodger/Hammerstein’s Carousel. See the press release and his performance video in links below.
A GERMAN REQUIEM AT ST. THOMAS CHURCH
JOHN BRANCY joins the St. Thomas Church Concert Series as a soloist in their upcoming production of A German Requiem. Performances on March 22, 2018 at the St. Johns Church, New York.
2018 Coucours musical international de Montréal — Aria semi-finals
From 42:36, “It is enough! O Lord, now take away my life” from Elijah by Mendelssohn
50:41, “Look through the port, Billy Budd” from Billy Budd by Benjamin Britten
2018 Lotte Lenya Competition
2017 International Belvedere Competition Finals