Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sergio Mims: Opera News profile of up and coming singer Frederick Ballentine

Frederick Ballentine
(Photograph by Dario Acosta)
(Grooming by Affan Graber Malik)

Sound Bites: Frederick Ballentine

A native Virginian sings Bernstein at WNO and Wagner in Cincinnati.

By F. Paul Driscoll

FREDERICK BALLENTINE, who sings Cacambo in Candide this month at Washington National Opera, will spend July in Ohio, as the Steersman in Cincinnati Opera’s Fliegende Holländer. The Virginia-born tenor is completing his second season in the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at WNO, where he made his 2015 company debut as T. Morris Chester and John Lewis in the world premiere of the revision of Philip Glass’s Appomattox. “Doing that with Francesca Zambello [directing] was amazing. The moment I got that Appomattox score, I sat down, read it through and cried my eyes out. I started getting it into my voice, and then thought about the drama, which was overwhelming. It is such a heart-wringing story. My second aria tells the story of the murder of a group of African–Americans hiding in a church. And when I read that, I lost my tears.”

Next up for Ballentine is Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess at ENO and Dutch National Opera. Ballentine sang the drug-dealing Sportin’ Life, which he calls a favorite role, at the 2017 Glimmerglass Festival

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