He vocalised the role superbly: not a crack or a fumble, the tone trumpet-bright and penetrating. Not since Domingo in his prime can this music have been sung with more complete assurance.
The Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen
It’s Skelton’s noble, tireless singing of Tristan, perhaps the most convincing in London since Jon Vickers at Covent Garden, 34 years ago, that saves the evening.
The Sunday Times, Hugh Canning
Stuart Skelton is one of the finest heldentenors on the stage today, critically acclaimed for his outstanding musicianship, tonal beauty, and intensely dramatic portrayals. His repertoire encompasses many of opera’s most challenging roles, from Wagner’s Parsifal, Tristan, Lohengrin, Erik, and Siegmund, to Strauss’s Kaiser, Beethoven’s Florestan, Saint-Saëns’ Samson, Dvořák’s Dimitrij, and Britten’s Peter Grimes.
The tenor opens the 2016-17 Metropolitan Opera season in the title role of the company’s new production of Tristan und Isolde conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. It is the first time the opera has opened a season at the House since 1937 and Stuart Skelton is the first Australian singer to have the honor of opening The Met’s season in a title role since Dame Joan Sutherland. Stuart Skelton reached the zenith of the tenor repertoire in this role at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden in a new production by Mariusz Treliński and he later assayed English language performances in a new production designed by Sir Anish Kapoor at the English National Opera directed by Daniel Kramer and conducted by Edward Gardner; the tenor also gave concert performances of Tristan und Isolde with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker. Operatic appearances of the season feature return engagements with the Opéra national de Paris in the title role of Lohengrin led by Philippe Jordan and with the Bayerische Staatsoper as Laca in Jenůfa conducted by Tomáš Hanus. Among the many concerts the tenor gives over the season, highlights include Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Sir Andrew Davis and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and with Louis Langrée and the Cincinnati Symphony, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, and concert performances of Peter Grimes with Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.
Engagements of recent seasons include Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Seattle Opera, Opéra national de Paris, and Opera Australia, the title role of Otello in a new David Alden production of at English National Opera conducted by Edward Gardner, Samson et Dalila at the Ópera National de Bordeaux, Die Walküre in concert with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Sir Antonio Pappano and Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia as well as with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with David Robertson and the Sydney Symphony.
Stuart Skelton made both his Metropolitan Opera and Santa Fe Opera debuts as the Drum Major in Wozzeck, returning to the MET in subsequent seasons to sing Siegmund in the Lepage Ring Cycle. He also has returned to the English National Opera in the title role of Nikolaus Lehnhoff’s production of Parsifal as well as in The Flying Dutchman and Fidelio. He has sung Parsifal at the Opernhaus Zürich conducted by Daniele Gatti, Lohengrin for a debut at the Dresden Semperoper, and has given his Berlin Philharmonic debut with Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Closely associated with Peter Grimes, Stuart Skelton has sung the title role at the English National Opera, Opera Australia, Opera de Oviedo, Tokyo’s New National Theatre, and in concert with the London Philharmonic under Vladimir Jurowski, with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas, and at the BBC Proms conducted by Edward Gardner. He made his role debut as Gherman in The Queen of Spades in concert performances with the Sydney Symphony under Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Stuart Skelton’s expansive discography includes Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with Sir Andrew Davis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. He contributes to three recordings of Wagner’s Ring Cycle: with the Philharmoniker Hamburg and Simone Young and with Seattle Opera and the State Opera of South Australia both under the baton of Asher Fisch.
Named Male Singer of the Year at the 2014 International Opera Awards, Mr. Skelton twice has been honored with the Sir Robert Helpmann Award, once for his performances of Siegmund in the State Opera of South Australia’s 2004 production of the Ring Cycle, and again in 2010 for Best Male Performer in a Lead Role for his portrayal of Peter Grimes for Opera Australia. He received a 2010 Green Room Award for A Streetcar Named Desire and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera for his performances of Peter Grimes with the English National Opera.
Bill Palant, Étude Arts
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