Canadian tenor Andrew Haji is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after voices on both the operatic and concert stage. Winner of the Grand Prix at the 50th International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and the Montreal International Music Competition’s Oratorio Prize, Haji recently performed Bach’s Matthäus Passion with Pinnock and the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Messiah for the Toronto Symphony – Debus conducting. Further appearances during the 2018/2010 season included Rodolfo in La bohème and Cassio in Otello for the Canadian Opera Company (COC), Bach’s Mass in B Minor for the Amadeus Choir and Alfredo in Die Fledermaus for Saskatoon Opera. His coming season begins with Alfredo in La Traviata for Vancouver Opera, followed by Messiah for the Edmonton Symphony, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 for the Victoria Symphony and Berlioz Messe Solennelle for the Belgrade Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony and a tour with the Winnipeg Symphony of the Netherlands, all conducted by Daniel Raiskin.
In 2017/2018, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern winner was heard as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore in Toronto for the COC and for Vancouver Opera, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for the Toronto Symphony, Messiah for the Grand Philharmonic Choir of Kitchener Waterloo and the opening night gala at the Elora Festival. Haji is an alumnus of the COC Ensemble Studio and on the mainstage at the Four Seasons Centre he has been heard as Alfredo in La traviata and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. During his time as a member of the Ensemble Studio, his leading roles included Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Ferrando in Così fan tutte.
The Salzburg Festival featured Haji in its 2017 production of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia, his festival debut. For the Wexford Festival he starred as Hélios in Félicien David’s Herculanum and for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème. The music of Beethoven and Handel claimed his attention in performances with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony and the Grand Philharmonic Choir.
Selected recent and upcoming concert engagements include performances of Haydn’s The Creation, Verdi’s Requiem, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, and Mozart’s Requiem, Mass in C Minor, and Coronation Mass.
Andrew Haji holds both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music where he performed in productions of Les mamelles de Tirésias, Don Giovanni, Candide, Il mondo della luna and Rob Ford—The Opera, among others. He was invited to participate in young artist programmes at the Salzburg Festival Young Singers Project, the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, the Music Academy of the West and Accademia Europea dell’Opera where he was influenced by some of the world’s finest musicians. A native-born Ontarian, he has received awards from the Marilyn Horne Song Competition in Santa Barbara and the COC’s annual Ensemble Studio Competition.
“One of the dual stars of the production is tenor Andrew Haji, who brought a good sense of youthful impetuousness to the part of Alfredo.
Haji charmed everyone in his first VO performance last year in Donizetti’s bel canto masterwork The Elixir of Love. He continues to charm with his relaxed stage presence and seemingly effortless vocal style. He is definitely a young singer to watch.” [La traviata, Vancouver Opera] David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun
“And what a voice tenor Haji packs into his peripatetic frame! As Alfredo, he projects his serried affects – tenderness, conviviality, jealousy, petulance, remorse – all with such force that we often find him rocking (somewhat distractingly) from foot to foot for extra catapult leverage. He’s at his best when stationary, e.g. seated at a gambling table or offering a toast from a balcony.” [La traviata, Vancouver Opera] Lincoln Kaye, Vancouver Observer
“As Rodolfo, [Andrew Haji’s] bright, sweet, clarion tenor sounded gorgeous, his unaffected and sincere stage persona engaging.” [La bohème, Canadian Opera Company] Joseph So, Ludwig van Toronto
“Tenor Andrew Haji sounds better and better every time I hear him. His ringing high notes were the stuff of goosebumps.”
[Elora Festival Opening Night, 2018] Toronto Star, John Terauds
“Le ténor canadien Andrew Haji nous a offert de beaux instants avec une belle voix portée avec aisance dans les aigus. L’homme s’installe, et il chante… Tout simplement ! La technique est là et semble disparaître au profit de l’intériorité du rôle interprété. Haji sait partager sa joie de chanter même dans les airs plus sombres. Une montagne de talent et d’expressivité, tout empreinte de fragilité dans son Furtiva lagrima (Donizetti). Un artiste à suivre…”
[2018 Concours Musical International de Montréal] Ludwig van Montréal, Michel Joanny-Furtin
“His rendition of the uber famous tenor party piece, “Una furtiva lagrima” was the evening’s musical highlight. His familiarity with the aria allowed him to utilise stylistically appropriate rubato, expanding and contracting the tempo to create an emotionally rich portrait of a man who realises his longed-for Adina might actually love him.”
[L’Elisir d’Amore, Canadian Opera Company] Opera News Magazine, Gianmarco Segato
“But mostly, VO’s version highlights the music. Haji creates a hugely sympathetic, naive Nemorino, and his famous second-act aria—“Una furtiva lagrima”, the one almost everyone’s come to hear—is fittingly unshowy. Punctuated by its unlikely bassoon, it’s unrushed, beautifully modulated, and vulnerable, as mellifluous as it is moving.”
[L’Elisir d’Amore, Vancouver Opera] Straight.com, Janet Smith
“Then there’s Andrew Haji as the gauche but endearing Nemorino. Haji’s prepared to act up a storm while delivering music that makes daunting technical demands. As with Fang, the freshness of his sound, and the easy sincerity of his stage presence, take a stock tale of village romance to an elevated level.”
[L’Elisir d’Amore, Vancouver Opera] Vancouver Sun, David Gordon Duke
“The singer who inhabited his role most naturally was Haji. He played Nemorino earnestly, not for laughs, and the laughs came easily. He delivered one of the most famous tenor arias of all time, Una furtiva lagrima, smoothly and without fuss.”
[L’Elisir d’Amore, Canadian Opera Company] The Globe and Mail, Lydia Pervoic
“Haji gives a warm, sympathetic performance as Nemorino and beautifully delivers the opera’s most famous aria, Una Furtiva Lagrima.”
[L’Elisir d’Amore, Canadian Opera Company] NOW Magazine, Christopher Hoile
“Singing one of opera’s most famous tenor arias, there is a lot of anticipation thrust on the singer taking on the role of Nemorino. Luckily, Andrew Haji’s impressive voice is just the right fit for the swooning lover. Haji forces us to feel awfully sympathetic for his Nemorino and there is not a moment we aren’t rooting for him…. His “Una furtiva lagrima” was the highlight of the evening. You could hear a pin drop, the crowd was listening so attentively. Haji’s singing checks all of the boxes – a sincere commitment to emotional communication, stable and beautifully navigated coloratura, and resonant dynamic dexterity. I have a feeling he will be singing this role for a long time to come.”
[L’Elisir d’Amore, Canadian Opera Company] Broadway World Toronto, Taylor Long
MESSIAH AND “A LIGHTLY CLASSICAL CHRISTMAS” WITH THE EDMONTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Andrew celebrates the Holiday Season in Edmonton this year. From December 6 through 8, he sings Handel’s Messiah in three performances; on December 10, he brings more good tidings in the concert “A Lightly Classical Christmas.” winspearcentre.com (Messiah, December 6 and 7) | winspearcentre.com (Messiah, December 8) | winspearcentre.com
LA TRAVIATA WITH THE VANCOUVER OPERA
Andrew joins the Vancouver Opera for La traviata as Alfredo Germont from October 17 through 27, 2019. vancouveropera.ca
2018 Concours musical international de Montréal
“Je crois entendre encore” from Les pêcheurs de perles by Bizet (1:44:09), “Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön” from Die Zauberflöte by Mozart (1:48:11)
“Ye people, rend your hearts… If with all your hearts” from Elijah by Mendelssohn (47:44)
50th International Vocal Competition ‘s-Hertogenbosch (2015)
“Una furtiva lagrima” from L’Elisir d’amore by Donizetti