Reviews

Testo/Noah in War Stories (Opera Philadelphia 2017)

“The reveal is Noah, sung with force and beauty by Samuel Levine, fresh from the demanding role of the narrator in the Monteverdi. “

-Susan Hall, Berkshire Fine Arts

“Musically, the evening had nothing but virtues. The cloister’s acoustics allowed the voices of the Monteverdi’s four soloists — mezzo-sopranos Cecelia Hall and Abigail Levis, baritone Craig Verm, and tenor Samuel Levine — to envelop the audience. When the same group of singers transitioned to Beecher’s contemporary work, they showed themselves adept interpreters of his jagged compositional style. Fine actors all, they connected equally well with Monteverdi’s antiquated Italian text and Moscovitch’s hyper-American libretto. Levine especially shone in both operas; I’m dying to hear his weighty, baritonal tenor again, in anything.”

– Cameron Kelsall, Broad Street Review

“The single narrator role is here split between Samuel Levine and Abigail Levis. Both are remarkably fine, Mr. Levine’s pointed tenor often lashing the air excitedly with aggressive pronouncements, and Ms. Levis notably investing her plangent mezzo with considerable emotional subtext.”

“Samuel Levine weighted his focused and secure tenor to underscore nagging questions surrounding Sorrel’s enigmatic fellow soldier Noah.”

– James Sohre, Opera Today

“ Tenor Samuel Levine sings Testo with a brilliant and accurate ornamentation”

“Samuel Levine sings the role of Noah, giving a powerful voice to a flawed and tortured man.”

– Erik Flaten, Schmopera; Humanity’s Bond to War

“The three principals here—mezzo-soprano Cecilia Hall, baritone Craig Verm, and tenor Samuel Levine—are exceptional singers and actors.”

– David Fox, Philly Mag

Tenor soloist in Messiah (The Houston Symphony 2017)

Among the soloists, tenor Sam Levine and bass Alex Rosen shared the vividness. Levine brought Handel a darker, somewhat heftier voice than many oratorio tenors. So “Comfort ye” reached out in a bigger-hearted way than it usually does, and “Ev’ry valley”–thanks to Levine’s agility–rang out with more excitement. And when Jesus faced his tormentors, the venom Levine put into the phrase “they shoot out their lips” all but painted their picture.”

– Steven Brown / Texas Classical Review

Kudrjas in Kat’a Kabanova (Juilliard Opera 2017)

“Among these tormented townsfolk Janacek includes two young people who openly embrace their romantic feelings: Kudrjas (the ardent tenor Sam Levine), a self-educated clerk, and Varvara (the beguiling mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey), Katya’s only confidante.”

– Anthony Tommassini, The New York Times

“Sam Levine cut an agreeable figure and sang well as Varvara’s lover Kudrjas.”

– George Loomis, Musical America

“The duets with her lover Kudrjáš, a role sung with lyrical refinement by tenor Sam Levine, provided a few moments of relief from the bleak overall atmosphere.”

– Edward Sava-Segal, bachtrack

Joe + Marcus in Three Way (Nashville Opera 2017)

“Tenor Samuel Levine has great fun with Joe’s awkward attempts at robotic romance (“You have such shapely arches,” he says, massaging Maya’s feet). But Levine sings “You Were My First Love” with great warmth and compassion.”

– Amy Stumpf, The Tennessean

Lenski in Eugene Onegin (Eugene Opera 2016)

“Samuel Levine’s Lensky perfectly complimented Crider in their love-struck duet, which left the audience swooning. Levine’s mastery of character and seamless legato also brought the audience to an emotional nadir with his tragic aria in Act Two.”

– Alison Kaufman, The Register-Guard

Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tirésias (Juilliard Opera 2015)

“There were too many fine singers in the dual casts on Wednesday evening to mention. In “Les Mamelles,” Sam Levine (the beleaguered Husband) and Liv Redpath (the rebellious Thérèse) were both wonderfully appealing.”

– James R Oestreich, The New York Times

“Just about everything went right in Juilliard Opera’s double bill of Les Mamelles de Tirésias and Der Kaiser von Atlantis, which received the first of three performances on November 18. The work of both casts was notable for a combination of youthful energy and professional-level accomplishment… Sam Levine is a tenor—his bio lists Don Ottavio and Fenton among his roles—but he calibrated his voice deftly to the baryton-Martin demands of the Husband.”

– Fred Cohn, Opera News

Fenton in Sir John in Love (Odyssey Opera 2015)

“The two lovers—Anne Page (Megan Pachecano) and Fenton (Sam Levine) were warm, funny, and passionate by turns, soaring in elegant lyricism and preventing parental control.”

-Steven Ledbetter, Classical Scene

“Sam Levine is an ardent Fenton.”

-Jeffrey Gantz, The Boston Globe

Narraboth in Salome (Virginia Opera 2015)

“Samuel Levine was impressive as Narraboth, the captain of the guard. His tenor voice was compelling and he displayed great decency.”

-B.J. Atkinson, Virginia Pilot

Testo in Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda / Noah in I Have No Stories to Tell You (Gotham Chamber Opera 2014)

“The warring pair were physically expressive; tenor Samuel Levine and mezzo Abigail Fischer, sharing the narrator’s role and doing the majority of the singing, were equally eloquent, their full-bodied vocal performances accompanied by an excellent small ensemble of baroque instruments….
The narrative gradually gathers momentum until the trauma is finally revealed—another soldier (the bright-voiced Mr. Levine, skillfully playing a boy trying to be a man) raped her and was later killed.”

– Anne Midgette, The Wall Street Journal

“Tancredi’s foe is revealed to be his lover; the opposite occurs when Sorrel’s friend and fellow soldier Noah (well sung by Mr. Levine) assaults her.”
– The New York Times

“Also excellent was Mr. Levine in the role of Noah–it is his relationship with Sorrel that is the dark secret at the heart of this work.”
– Superconductor

Messiah (Apollo Chorus – Symphony Center, Chicago 2014)

“Tenor Samuel Levine and Bass Jonathan Beyer gave impassioned performances that demonstrated fine technique and skill.”

– LA Splash

Daniel Bernard Roumain’s “Epilogue, 1965” (New York Festival of Song 2014)

“Scored for violin, played here by Karla Donehew-Perez and sung by tenor Samuel Levine, “Epilogue 1965” found this duo dueting in a way usually reserved for instruments together or voices together.  Between the achingly sweet beauty of the tenor and the cry of the violin, the lament was haunting.”

– QonStage

Traveler in Clemency (Boston Lyric Opera 2013)

“The vocal writing for the three Travelers, combined with the disciplined performance of David McFerrin, Neal Ferreira, and Samuel Levine, made these characters riveting.”

-The Boston Globe

Merlin in Merlin (Hugo Kauder Society 2013)

“Bringing a particular shine to Kauder’s score were two charming singers in the lead roles. Tenor Samuel Levine proved a fluent and robust Merlin…. The two also acted with fine, dynamic chemistry in their duets.”

– Boston Classical Review

Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (Yale Opera 2011)

“Levine’s voice was powerful and fluid; he sang the long sustained F-naturals in “Il mio tesoro” (“Oh My Treasure”) with building intensity and still had energy to negotiate the passagi afterward with impressive accuracy.”
– Hartford Courant

Opera Index Concert 2011

“Tenor Samuel Levine sang a retrospective “Salut! Demeure Chaste et Pure” from Gounod’s Faust, hitting a fine high “C” at the finale.  His voice has a nice even quality, dark at the bottom, with a ping on top.”
– The Brooklyn Eagle

“Samuel Levine’s “Salut! demeure, chaste et pure,” from Gounod’s Faust, indicated a promising tenor with vocal refinement and a strong top, right up to a beautifully framed high “C.””

– “Opera Index Recital, A Review by Nino Pantano”

Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas Yale Opera 2011

“The Friday cast thrilled, especially Annie Rosen and Samuel Levine in the title roles.”
– The New Haven Advocate

Mambre in Mose in Egitto Chicago Opera Theater 2010

“Tenor Samuel Levine displayed a strong tenor as the embittered priest Mambre.”
– Chicago Classical Review

“Samuel Levine brought a nice edge to the character of the Egyptian Mambre.”
–  Seen and Heard International Opera Review

“Pharoah’s enforcer Mambre (by Samuel Levine) and Queen Amaltea (portrayed by Kathryn Leemhuis) ring brilliant and delightful throughout the performance.”
– LA Splash

Recital at The Red Poppy San Francisco

“The second part of the evening featured lyric tenor Samuel Levine and pianist Ian Scarfe in selections from two song-cycles: Schubert’s Winterreise and Schumann’s Dichterliebe.”  Levine has a solidly muscular, lyric voice, but his dramatic ability carried this performance.  Subtle shifts in his gaze and the color of his voice conveyed the gamut of emotions, from tenderness to suicidal despair.”
– San Francisco Classical Voice