Credit: Michael Kuhn

Baritone Brian Mextorf is quickly gaining recognition as a dynamic performer and sensitive musician. Recently seen as John Styx in Virginia Opera’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Brian was given “comic honors” (Richmond Times-Dispatch) and garnered praise for his “standout” performance (DC Metro Theater Arts). The 2015/16 season has also seen Brian perform 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.

 

On the concert stage, Brian was recently heard singing Judas in Bach’s Mattäuspassion with The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Since 2012, Brian has also sung in choirs under conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, and Daniel Barenboim at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. He has been featured as soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Monmouth Civic Chorus, Bach’s B Minor Mass and Magnificat with summer festival choirs of Westminster Choir College conductors Joe Miller and Ryan Brandau, Mozart Requiem (Oberlin Orchestra), and Fauré Requiem (Williamsport Choirs).

 

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 and is a staff singer at Manhattan's historic Grace Church and a regular member of the Manhattan Chorale.