About Blake Friedman
American Operatic Tenor and Actor
Cited by the New York Times for the “plummy fullness and dusky hue” of his voice and by the New York Classical Review for his voice’s “buttery top,” tenor Blake Friedman has been seen on operatic, concert and theatrical stages across the United States. He made his Carnegie Hall – Stern Auditorium debut last season singing Anatol in the quintet from Barber’s Vanessa for the Manhattan School of Music Centennial Gala under the baton of Maestro Leonard Slatkin. He also made his Chautauqua Opera debut singing the role of Almaviva in both Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini and Ghosts of Versailles by John Corigliano. Opera News praised his “romantic and funny” portrayal of Almaviva saying the canzonetta “Se il mio nome proved a highlight.”
Blake has performed at Dallas Opera, Chautauqua Opera, On Site Opera, LoftOpera, St. Pete Opera and Ash Lawn Opera. Notable performances include his critically acclaimed portrayal of Irving Tashman in the New York City Premiere of Morning Star by Ricky Ian Gordon with On Site Opera and Iago in Rossini’s Otello with LoftOpera. A champion of new American music, Blake served as the resident tenor for American Opera Projects Composer’s and the Voice Symposium from 2015-2018. He made his Prototype Opera Festival debut as Jimmy Smith in the reading of Stinney: An American Execution by Frances Pollock. Roles Blake has performed include Nemorino in L’elisir D’amore, Almaviva in Barbiere di Siviglia, Alfredo in La Traviata, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Pang in Turandot, and Iago in Rossini’s Otello.
Equally active on the concert stage, Blake has performed as a soloist with many organizations around the country, including New York Choral Society, New York City Ballet, Canterbury Choral Society, Choral Artists of Sarasota, Key Chorale, Tampa Oratorio Singers, and York Symphony. Notable oratorio engagements include the first remount in one hundred years of the forgotten oratorio The Story of St. Francis by Adriano Ariani in the title role with Canterbury Choral Society. He also performed the North American Premiere of a new adaptation of The St. Matthew’s Passion written by Eastern Orthodox Arch Bishop Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev with the Salome Chamber Ensemble and New York Virtuosic Singers attended by the Arch Bishop himself. Blake’s concert and oratorio repertoire includes Nicolas in Britten's St. Nicolas, Jonathan in Handel’s Saul, The Evangelist in Bach’s The Passion According to St. Matthew, and Uriel in Haydn’s The Creation. He has sung as tenor soloist in Bach’s B-Minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah Orff’s Carmina Burana, Bach’s Magnificat, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, Handel's Ode on St. Cecilia’s Day, Mozart's Requiem and Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass..
At the theatre, Blake has appeared as Tony Candolino in Masterclass with The Human Race Theatre at The Loft Theatre in Dayton, Ohio; Theo Van Gogh in Van Gogh's Ear presented by Ensemble for the Romantic Century in association with The Clark Institute in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; and Singer in Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart with Ensemble for the Romantic Century at BAM Fisher.
Blake holds both a Master of Music and Professional Studies Degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he was the recipient of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Scholarship Award/Richard Rodgers Scholar and received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Eastman School of Music where he was the recipient of a Howard Hanson Scholarship. His awards and honors include a Career Bridges Grant from The Schuyler Foundation (2014), Winner of The American Prize: Friederich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Art Song Competition (2011), Honorable Mention in The Rochester Oratorio Society Classical Idol V Competition (2011), a Palm Beach Opera Guild Encouragement Award (2011) and Honorable Mention in the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition (2010). He has also placed as a finalist in The Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition (2013), The Arkadi Foundation Classical Idol Competition (Top 10, 2013), and The New York Lyric Opera Theatre Vocal Competition (2010).