Clemency recording

I’m very happy to announce that a recording of James MacMillan’s new opera Clemency will be available for commercial release later this year! Our production at Boston Lyric Opera was the North American premiere, and part of a co-production with Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Scottish Opera, and this recording was taken live from several of our performances in January. It’s such an honor to have been involved in the genesis of this piece, and so wonderful that opera can now be heard by a larger audience than those who were able to hear it in Boston, London, and Glasgow. Stay tuned for details!

This is my professional recording debut, which is very exciting, but more importantly, Clemency is a bold, compelling opera that deserves to be heard. The story is a parable, based on two selections from the old testament of the bible– it tells the story of Abraham, Sarah, the angels who announce her late-in-life pregnancy, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. James and his collaborator, the poet and librettist, Michael Symmons Roberts, do a tremendous job of exploring themes of mercy, destruction, rebirth, in a score that is by turns intimate and harrowing. They’re quite a pair of artists, both still very young, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what their future holds.

My part, the top Traveler, is among the more demanding things I have ever sung– the tessitura is very high-lying, with one climactic high note following another in long, soaring lines. Nearly all of the time, I sang in close 3-part harmony with two other male voices, making an striking texture that is seldom heard in the opera house, or anywhere else. It was a phenomenal challenge and an absolute delight to sing, and my hope is that James continues writing music in that idiom for many years to come, because I’d happily sing it all day long.  Congratulations to my colleagues on Clemency, its creators, and the producers: BLO, ROH Covent Garden, and Scottish Opera!

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