Radames Debut

Nino Pantano

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.

Riveting Dick Johnson in Des Moines

James Sohre - OPERA TODAY

Every inch her match, 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. The pairing of these two artists was a cause for jubilation and their interaction created a musical frisson that was impossible to resist.

Fearless Johnson in Des Moines

Paul for Colorado Music Buzz

Given the fact that Puccini created Dick Johnson expressly for Enrico Caruso, one might presume a tenor singing this part might feel intimidated enough to have it affect their performance... But nothing of the sort occurred when Jonathan Burton strolled into the Polka Saloon as if he owned it, saddle slung over one arm as he demanded a “whiskey and water” in a strong, clear, perfectly intonated tenor voice. ... The duet they began as their dancing continues—interspersed with vocal lines and pauses—until the end of the act, clearly offered the audience a chance to enjoy these two voices meld with near-perfection... The aria “Ch’ella mi creda” is the showstopper that helped cement Caruso’s U.S. career—even though he never recorded it due to a disagreement with the publisher—and Burton’s emotional interpretation showed he had just as much vocal and theatrical command of his role at the end of Act III as he did when he first strode into Minnie’s establishment, seemingly a lifetime earlier.

Fanciulla in Des Moines

Michael Morain - Des Moines Register

Burton's (voice) is as sturdy and round as an oak barrel, full of warmth for his sweetheart and anguish at the thought of losing her in the tense finale. He is convincingly spooked when the sheriff's posse ties him up with rope and points five pistols at his head.

Manrico Debut Success!!

Alan Sherrod

New to KO was Jonathan Burton, whose role of Manrico, the title’s troubadour, was a perfect vehicle for his warmly appealing and exceedingly attractive spinto tenor voice. Burton’s exceptional lyrical quality throughout a range of dynamics was matched by equal measures of turmoil and tension as well, evidenced by Act III’s “Di quella pira,” in which Manrico frantically urges the rescue of his gypsy mother from Count di Luna’s army.

Ardent High Notes In Don Carlos

John Fleming-OPERA NEWS

The Carlos, Jonathan Burton, was ardent in his ringing high notes, and he communicated well the melancholy introspection of the character.

Don Carlos Debut

Lawrence A. Johnson

...the tenor delivered the goods with a strong and vibrant voice and his singing was reliably impressive throughout the long afternoon.

Clarion Don Carlos!

June LeBell

Jonathan Burton, the Don Carlos, displayed a brilliant, clarion tenor that reverberated through the house and gave a passion to his role that grew vocally and emotionally as the opera went on. In fact, Burton and Johnson were able to imbue their characters with a humanity that gave us insights into their growth from carefree lovers to honorable, caring friends

Don Carlos Debut

Gayle Williams

Don Carlos (Jonathan Burton) encounters Élisabeth (Michelle Johnson) and sings his only solo of the entire opera. “Je L’ai vue,” the tenor smoothly expresses his love at first sight, and then we enjoyed Burton’s voice all the more in a sweet young love duet with Johnson. In each subsequent duet between these two we are pulled deeper into their pain as well. Both are excellent actors as well as vocalists who keep the nuance of innocence throughout.

Fanciulla in Kentucky

Selena Frye

...Jonathan Burton as the outlaw, Ramerrez, who has become something of a regular at Kentucky Opera, and that's a good thing. Burton has the vocal prowess required by Puccini, packing power and beauty into heart-meltingly romantic songs.

Florestan Debut Gives "Chills"!!

Annette Skaggs

As the curtain rose for the second act and Jonathon Burton’s Florestan began singing Gott! Welch Dunkel hier! (God, What darkness here) I literally had chills. Mr. Burton’s ability to bring depth and emotion through his glorious tenor to relay the pain, suffering, and exhaustion of Florestan is mesmorizing. Through his duet with Leonore in O namenlose Freude! (Oh unnamed Joy!) one can truly sense that life had been breathed once again and good had triumphed over evil.

Butterfly at Castleton

Michael Lodico

Tenor Jonathan Burton as Lt. Pinkerton sang with expressive fortitude and memorable high notes.

Pleasing Nessun Dorma

Robert Coleman for OPERA NEWS

Burton, vocally unfettered and clarion... produced a wonderfully shaded "Nessun dorma" that included brilliant top notes.

Broad Range in Carmen at Tulsa

James D. Watts

Jonathan Burton as Don Jose is equally adept at conveying character strictly through singing. In his duet with Karin Wolverton as Micaela, "Parle-moi de ma mère," his singing is bright, crisp and confident. By the time he's spent a couple of months in prison as a result of his obsession with Carmen, you can hear his sanity start to fray, in "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée." By the time he shows up outside the bullring in the final act, one doesn't need to see his disheveled appearance to know this is a man at the end of his rope — it's all there in the raging duet that starts with the simple exchange "C'est toi! —C'est moi!"

A "Powerhouse Calaf" in Salt Lake!

Edward Reichel

Tenor Jonathan Burton brought his immense vocal talent to bear as Calaf. He sang with beautifully crafted phrasings and wonderfully modulated expressions. He is a vocal powerhouse who handled his role with ease. He sang the opera’s most famous aria, “Nessun dorma” with finesse and élan. He and Hundeling are well matched vocally and they sounded magnificent together.

Don Jose in Omaha!

Kim Carpenter

Burton commands the role with his fluid voice, seamlessly demonstrating Don Jose’s devolution from smitten swain to bitter obsessed stalker. His “La fleur que tu m’avais jetee,” in which he pleads his love to a dismissive Carmen, had a heart-rending quality, evocative of his emotional descent into madness. Burton also showcased both his voice and emotional versatility during his tender duet with soprano Leah Partridge in the role of Micaela, Don Jose’s would-be wife. It was a touching, beautiful and almost bittersweet scene, and Burton and Partridge had terrific chemistry.

the possessor of a bronze-hued hefty tenor, made an explosive event out of his assignment by dominating the score’s challenges with seemingly wild abandon.

Daniel Vasquez

...The merits of this production did not stop here. The Sarasota Opera secured the services of tenor Jonathan Burton, here making his company debut and taking his first stab at the part, for the key role of the unknown Prince Calaf. This young artist, the possessor of a bronze-hued hefty tenor, made an explosive event out of his assignment by dominating the score’s challenges with seemingly wild abandon. Calaf demands the spinto tenor to repeatedly climb the staff up to sudden high Bs and Cs, a challenge Mr. Burton accomplished with seemingly great relish. During the first half of the opera’s introductory act, he executed several of these leaps within extended dialogue passages, and towards the end of it, Mr. Burton applied this brand of exuberant vocalism into the testing aria “Non piangere Liu”. Like Ms. Natale, he impressed primarily through the brawn of his instrument, but bettered the young soprano’s efforts by way of a sound technical foundation, consistently remaining within his basic sleeve of luxurious bronze sound as he negotiated every note in the scale, including a ringing top C in the final phrase “Che non sorride piu.” As the act came to a close, Mr. Burton tipped his hat to the great Franco Corelli, performing a feat similar to those that made the career of the legendary Italian tenor. As Calaf resolved to accept the princess’ challenge, Mr. Burton let out a thunderous “Turandot!” via an interminable high A which he relentlessly suspended over the auditorium as he walked to the gong and stroked the disc three times. The audience could not handle it, and expressed their approval via enthusiastic applause. Tipped by this exuberant display, newoutpost made sure to keep an eye on our watch during the second performance in order to report the numeric equivalent of the singer’s breath control: An incredible nineteen seconds as heard on February 23. When the second act introduced the overwhelming Turandot of soprano Brenda Harris, Mr. Burton was her vocal match note for note, if perhaps not fully in terms of sonority, consistently demanded attention not by extending past his technique but rather by remaining within his process. The third act held the reason most Sarasota Opera patrons paid the admission fee. The famous aria “Nessun dorma” has been sung by every tenor from Giacomo Lauri-Volpi (Puccini’s intended Calaf) to Franco Corelli and Luciano Pavarotti, who made the tune into a cross over sensation (Aretha, Sarah Brightman and Paul Potts need not apply). Again, Mr. Burton did not disappoint, and as all had hoped, held unto his top notes slightly past the point of decency. We have heard plenty of fine tenors essay this role, and after banking everything into the money aria, they have been known to vocally collapse afterwards, so it was refreshing and reassuring that this was not to be Mr. Burton’s story, and he held strong until he had launched the last note of this part.

Successful Duo in Tosca at UFOMT

By Jay Wamsley For the Deseret News

"Burton’s tenor dynamics throughout the production are particularly noteworthy. He sings to be felt. Burton and Hanson could both give lessons on singing with passion and heart and not just to hit the right notes."

Spellbinding Duo!

Charlie Schill for Cache Magazine

"Carla Thelen Hanson and Jonathan Burton portray the ill-fated lovers Floria Tosca and Mario Cavaradossi with consummate artistry. They are both gifted actors and each is splendid when performing solo, especially in their respective famous arias “Vissi d’arte” and “E lucevan le stele.” But when Hanson and Burton combine their soaring soprano and tenor voices in any of the opera’s duets, the result is literally spellbinding."

Powerful Duo in Tosca!

Author/Critic Edward Reichel for "Reichel Recommends"

"Soprano Carla Thelen Hanson (Tosca) and tenor Jonathan Burton (Cavaradossi) own their roles. They brought depth, understanding, passion and expression to their portrayals. They were utterly credible, and as such they infused their characters with deep insight and great emotional power, but without falling into caricature. They are naturals for these roles. As wonderful as they are as actors, they are equally as stunning as singers. They brought emotion and feeling to their music. Hanson’s Act II “Vissi d’arte” and Burton’s Act III “E lucevan le stelle” are the vocal highpoints of this production."

E Lucevan Thrills

By Robert Coleman for the Salt Lake Tribune

"Tenor Jonathan Burton, as the painter and political prisoner Cavaradossi, poignantly sang the opera’s other famous aria, "E lucevan le stelle" (Where the stars were shining brightly), giving top tones muscular heft and brilliance."

Central City Opera CARMEN, 6/29/11

Opera News: by KYLE MACMILLAN

The real find in this production, though, was its Don José, the still little-known tenor Jon Burton, an engaging all-around singer with a powerful, full-bodied sound.

Steely and Ardent

Mary Johnson for the Baltimore Sun

As Cavaradossi, tenor Jon Burton showed the necessary vocal steel to match Richter, and he delivered an ardent "Recondita Armonia" to capture the audience's early attention, along with a later, heartfelt "E lucevan le stelle."

Cavaradossi in Annapolis

Tim Smith for the Baltimore Sun

... It sure was enjoyable hearing such a healthy tenor voice, one that even boasted an effective ping at the top...

Vesti La Giubba thrills!

Mary P. Johnson for The Severna

The Pagliacci cast was as dazzling with Jon Burton as Canio delivering a “Vesti la giubba” more thrilling than one I’d heard on the Met stage.

Captivating Canio!

David Lindauer of The Capital-Annapolis, MD

...It wasn’t just that Mr. Burton’s vocalism was of an exceptionally high order, but rather that from his very first notes, he captivated and inveigled us: We felt his pain and his uncontrollable rage, so that when it finally burst forth in his final aria, “No! Pagliacci non son!” we could react with palpable terror. This was a truly magnificent and moving performance.

High Praise!!

Gail Dubinbaum (Phoenix Opera Newsletter)

“Our tenor, Jonathan Burton has become a sound machine! The man just pours glorious golden burnished tones...One feels completely swept away by the power and beauty of his sound. He delivers every line, every high note with sheer abandon and artistry...and the two leads are perfectly matched. “

Tear Jerker!

Maria Nockin for mydaily.com

As Cavaradossi, Jon Burton showed strong acting ability and sang with a secure, fluid line. His final act rendition of 'E lucevan le stelle' (The stars were shining) was particularly poignant and brought tears to many eyes in the audience.

News

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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Press

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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