American tenor Jonathan Burton has been praised for having “thrilling power and beauty” (Baltimore Sun) and for being “an engaging all-around singer with a powerful, full-bodied sound.” (Opera News) For his recent turn as Calaf in Turandot, (Opera News) proclaimed that he “produced a wonderfully shaded ‘Nessun Dorma’ that included brilliant top notes” and the (Herald Tribune) raved “a tenor who can add substantial flesh to Calaf as well as deliver the most famous aria of Italian grand opera to satisfaction is a rare find...Burton hit the jackpot with his delivery of ‘Nessun dorma’ that could stand confidently next to our worn recordings of Corelli, Domingo and Pavarotti.”  Mr. Burton begins the 2018-2019 season with his role debut as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with Austin Opera. Other performances include Calaf in Turandot with Knoxville Opera, Tulsa Opera, and Dayton Opera, Sarasota Opera, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Welsh National Opera, Manrico in Il Trovatore with Central City Opera, Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West with Maryland Lyric Opera, and Canio in Pagliacci with Opera Omaha. He then performs on a double bill of Il Tabarro and Pagliacci as Canio and Luigi with Maryland Lyric Opera before he takes on Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur with Knoxville Opera. Mr. Burton will be singing the role of Turiddu from Cavalleria Rusticana in concert with Knoxville Opera after performing with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra for their Look at the World concert, as well as a concert with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. During the 2016-2017 season the tenor bowed as Cavaradossi in Tosca with Central City Opera, and as Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West with Opera Colorado, where “he proved once again his credentials as a Puccini tenor.  Johnson is not the easiest character to love, but Burton imbued him with sympathy, and his long scene with Citro in Act II is easily the high point of the evening.” (Daily Camera). Additionally, he took the stage as Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera with Florida Grand Opera, as Calaf in Turandot with Des Moines Metro Opera, Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West with New York City Opera, Cavaradossi in Tosca with Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Omaha, and as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Welsh National Opera.   He took the role of Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana with Opera Steamboat for concert performances, and joined the Dayton Opera and Opera Louisianne in concert performances.    Highlights from the 2015-2016 season include his performances of Calaf in Turandot with Nashville Opera, Cavaradossi in Tosca with Knoxville Opera and Radamès in Aida with Sarasota Opera where he “showed his heroic bona fides in the opera’s opening minutes tackling “Celeste Aida”–one of the most tortuous arias in the repertoire–with clarion tone, easy projection and ringing top notes. . . Burton sang strongly and passionately throughout in an arduous role.” (The Classical Review)  During the 2014-2015 season Mr. Burton took the stage as Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West with Des Moines Metro Opera where (Opera Today) raved “Jonathan Burton poured out impassioned, emotionally generous phrases as Dick Johnson (Ramerrez). Mr. Burton has an exciting squillo in his full-bodied tenor that is riveting. But Mr. Burton can also exude a persuasive charm as he croons gentler phrases and caresses them with a knowing legato.”  Additional engagements during the season included Manrico in Il Trovatore with Knoxville Opera, the title role in Don Carlos with Sarasota Opera, and both Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del West and Florestan in Fidelio with Kentucky Opera. Past highlights have included appearances at Dayton Opera, Utah Opera, Opera Naples, Castleton Festival, Sinfónica de Galicia under the baton of Lorin Maazel, Kentucky Opera, Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman, Annapolis Opera, Opera New Jersey, Utah Festival Opera, Opera on the James, Central City Opera, Lyric Opera of Virginia, Palm Beach Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Southern Ohio Light Opera Company, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, Southern Ohio Symphony


Expanded Repertory!

The past Year has seen many new VERY successful debuts! Florestan, Don Carlos, and Manrico have all received glowing reviews. Also successful returns to Johnson, Calaf, and Don Jose.

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September 14th

La Fanciulla del West  Dick Johnson

Maryland Lyric Opera

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Radames Debut

The Radames was Jonathan Burton whose singing of “Celeste Aida” revealed a powerful tenor with lyrical grace, ending the “untrono vicino al sol” first full voice then an octave lower and softly. Burton has real “squillo” (shine) to his voice. His heroic singing in the duet “Numi che duce ed arbitto” with the Chief Priest Ramfis concluding jointly with “Immensa Ptha” was thrilling. His third act finale “Sacerdote io resto a te,” was with golden notes seemingly held together with electrifying intensity. His confrontation with Amneris in Act 4 was a revelation, “Gia i sacerdoti adunansi” with generous and expansive bursts of glory. Burton’s “Morire si pura e bella” was lyrically done with pathos and a beautiful blend with Aida. The final “O terra addio” was sung with security and resignation. This was an extraordinary performance from a very promising tenor.

Nino Pantano

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