Credit: Michael Kuhn

Baritone Brian Mextorf’s 2018/19 season includes a role debut singing Raphael in Creation, a recital with the Brooklyn Art Song Society singing Barber’s Despite and Still, op. 41, four iterations of the bass solos in Mozart’s Requiem including a performance at Alice Tully Hall, a return to Carnegie Hall as bass soloist in Haydn's Missa in Tempore Belli, and performances with the New York Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and Sacred Music in a Sacred Space. His 2017/18 season featured solo debuts at Carnegie Hall (Schubert’s Mass No. 2), Lincoln Center (La traviata) and National Sawdust (AIDS Quilt Songbook). Following his Aids Quilt Songbook performance, Culture Vulture praised Brian’s “strong stage presence, direct and easy rapport with an audience, clear enunciation, and a firm understanding of the text and how to project it. Additional 2017/18 engagements included baritone soloist in Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, recitals with pianists Seymour Bernstein and Brent Funderburk, and performances with the Brooklyn Art Song Society, New York Philharmonic, Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and New York City Ballet. 

Praised for his “bright and powerful baritone”, recent seasons have seen Brian perform John Styx in Virginia Opera’s Orpheus in the Underworld, for which he was given “comic honors” (Richmond Times-Dispatch) and garnered praise for his “standout” performance (DC Metro Theater Arts), Aeneas in Opera Saratoga's innovative and acclaimed outdoor production of Dido and Aeneas, Marcello in an exciting abridged production of La bohème performed in various non-traditional venues around the Hampton Roads, VA area, and the title role in a staged production of Handel’s Saul in Russell, Kansas. Other highlights of the season include a New York City recital debut under the auspices of the Operamission Artist Recital Series and a debut concert with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, as well as being named a 2015 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, North Carolina District and the 2nd place winner of the Southeast Region. Having completed a two year residency with Virginia Opera, Brian has also sung performances of Bill Bobstay and Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore, Doganiere (Marcello cover) in La bohème, Paris in Roméo et Juliette, and covered Anthony Hope in Sweeney Todd. In the spring of 2016, Brian was a guest Artist in Residence at Bucknell University, teaching lessons and masterclasses while singing the role of Sam in their production of Trouble in Tahiti, conducted by long time collaborative partner Jennifer Peterson of Operamission.

 

In January 2014, Brian sang Lesbo in Operamission’s production of Handel’s Agrippina, and was previously featured in the creation and first complete performances of two new operas in 2013: Clint Borzoni’s Antinuous and Hadrian and Edward Ficklin’s Flash of Recognition. As a 2012 Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Brian performed three roles in the North American Premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland, in which he “excelled” (Opera News). Additional performed roles include Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Speaker (The Magic Flute), Keçal (The Bartered Bride) and Publio (La Clemenza di Tito) with Oberlin Opera Theatre; Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Lindorf/Coppelius/Dr. Miracle/Dapertutto (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) and Gianni Schicchi (Gianni Schicchi) with Westminster Choir College; and Masetto, Giovanni/Leporello cover (Don Giovanni) with The CoOPERAtive Program in 2013.

 

Brian is a native of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and is an alumnus of The Oberlin Conservatory of Music (B.M. 2012), Westminster Choir College (M.M. 2014), the Opera Theatre of St. Louis Gerdine Young Artist Program (2012), The CoOPERAtive Program (Fellow 2012/13), Opera Saratoga (Fest Artist 2015), and a 2014 winner of the Schuyler Career Bridges competition. He currently lives in Astoria, NY with his wife Ashley, and regularly sings with ensembles such as The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Musica Sacra, Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, Musica Viva NY, and the Manhattan Chorale, and with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and others.