Brian Cheney

Brian Cheney

Hailed by KUSC Los Angeles as the “next great tenor”, Brian Cheney, protégé of legendary tenor Jerry Hadley, has gained international acclaim for his portrayal of characters such as Don José in Carmen, Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca, Rodolfo in La bohème, the Duke in Rigoletto, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Canio in Pagliacci.  “It is tenor Brian Cheney as the brave painter Cavaradossi who really blew me away. Cheney has that terrific tenor sound: the power, richness, and vocal color of a high baritone combined with ringing, awe-inspiring high notes” (Stage and Cinema.) Of his performance as Don José in Carmen, critics hailed: “Tenor Brian Cheney’s portrayal of Don José was the most effective dramatic and vocal realization of character in the production…this excellent singer revealed a voice of amazing power and great beauty. Cheney’s booming tenor voice and effective dramatic realization of the passionate Don José soon made him the audience’s favorite character.” (Classical Voice of North Carolina)

Calendar

Event Date
Feb 11
to
Feb 12
Concert
Tenor Soloist
Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra
Newark, Ohio
Event Date
Apr 30
to
May 1
Mozart and Mahler Spring Festival
Tenor Soloist
Glacier Symphony
Kalispell, Montana

Artist Bio

Hailed by KUSC Los Angeles as the “next great tenor”, Brian Cheney, protégé of legendary tenor Jerry Hadley, has gained international acclaim for his portrayal of characters such as Don José in Carmen, Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca, Rodolfo in La bohème, the Duke in Rigoletto, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Canio in Pagliacci.  “It is tenor Brian Cheney as the brave painter Cavaradossi who really blew me away. Cheney has that terrific tenor sound: the power, richness, and vocal color of a high baritone combined with ringing, awe-inspiring high notes” (Stage and Cinema.) Of his performance as Don José in Carmen, critics hailed: “Tenor Brian Cheney’s portrayal of Don José was the most effective dramatic and vocal realization of character in the production…this excellent singer revealed a voice of amazing power and great beauty. Cheney’s booming tenor voice and effective dramatic realization of the passionate Don José soon made him the audience’s favorite character.” (Classical Voice of North Carolina)

This past year, Brian produced and performed in over 30 virtual concerts through the Stageit platform in split screen with pianist and conductor Cathy Venable. “Cheney and Venable have made an art of performing online.” (Broadway World) In that time, he has performed over 10 hours of content, with programming ranging from Italian, French, and English Art Song, performing the entire 24 Italian Art Songs and Arias anthology, to a historical look at a Century on Broadway concert series. “Cheney has been a champion of the online recital for many months, presenting weekly showcases throughout the COVID-19 lockdown across a wide range of repertoire.” (Operawire) A Century on Broadway consists of 11 Decades and over 5 hours of hits from Musical Theater. “When Broadway opens again, there will surely be a spotlight begging for Brian Cheney.” (Broadway World) He was also featured in Carnegie Hall’s tribute broadcast to Ruth Bader Ginsburg playing Justice Antonin Scalia in Opera Delaware’s production of Derrick Wang’s Opera, Scalia/Ginsburg.

Future live engagements include Turridu in Cavalleria Rusticana for Toledo Opera, Cavaradossi in Tosca for Southern Illinois Music Festival, and Don Jose in Carmen for Salt Marsh Opera. He will also sing concert performances with the Newark-Granville Symphony and the Glacier Symphony.

Mr. Cheney recently created the role of Scalia in the world première of Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg with Opera Delaware, debuted the role of Manrico in Il Trovatore with Southern Illinois Music Festival, and performed Canio in Pagliacci and as the tenor soloist in Pulcinella with Opera Orlando. He also performed the title role of Frankenstein with The Angel’s Share in the Brooklyn Catacombs, which critic’s praised Cheney for his “ringing tenor voice [that] carried well in the stone catacombs, conveying the fear that the deep bass sound of the monster summoned. And as the section of sketches went on, Cheney’s voice bloomed to match the action and threats of the creature.” In concert, he appeared as a soloist in a Bernstein Gala with the National Philharmonic at the Kennedy Center, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and Saint-Saens’ Oratorio de Noel with Cappella Cantorum, Verdi’s Requiem with Southern Illinois Symphony, as a soloist with Plainfield Symphony, in St. John’s of Lattingtown’s Opera Night, in Salute to Vienna with Attila Glatz Concert Productions, in Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra’s Songs of Arias concert, as a soloist in Opera in the Park with Salt Marsh Opera, and as a soloist in the Three Holiday Tenors concert with NJ Festival Orchestra.

Mr. Cheney is also an accomplished concert artist, having performed the tenor solo in a multitude of works including Carmina Burana with Brevard Symphony Orchestra; Händel’s Messiah with Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and St. Marks New Canaan; Mozart’s Requiem with Chorus of Westerly, Boise Philharmonic, and Eastern Connecticut Opera; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Empire State Sinfonia; Deep in My Heart with Klavier Galerie; the Credo from Missa at Carnegie Hall. Further concert engagements include his performance at Monmouth Symphony’s opera gala; a Danbury Concert Association performance with soprano Danielle Talamantes; Verdi’s Requiem with Dartmouth College, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Chorus of Westerly, Capella Cantorum, and at the Fisher Center at Bard College; and concerts titled “Music at the Lighthouse” and “Opera in the Park” with Salt Marsh Opera. Additionally, Mr. Cheney regularly performs the solo in Salute to Vienna at countless venues including the Jacobs Music Center, Attila Glatz Concert Productions in Quebec, State Centre, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Kimmel Center, The Music Center at Strathmore, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Jack Singer Concert Hall, State Theatre, Winspear Centre, and Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.

Other concert engagements include the tenor soloist in An Afternoon at the Opera with Danbury Concert Association; Bach’s Cantata #140 and Haydn’s Creation with Glacier Symphony as part of their Easter Festival; the tenor soloist in a double bill of Schubert’s Mass in G minor and Gounod’s StCecilia Mass with Hitchcock Presbyterian Church; The Music of Sir Karl Jenkins concert at Carnegie Hall with DCINY; the tenor solo at The Ocean House for a concert titled “Love Songs on the Beach” and “Broadway on the Lawn;” sang the role of Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor and the tenor solo for Southern Illinois Music Festival’s concert “Three Tenors and More;” and the role of Nicely Nicely in Guys and Dolls in concert with New Haven Symphony. He sang the tenor solo in the world premières of Ernst Von Dohnányi’s Szeged Mass at Carnegie Hall and From a Distant Mesa with New Mexico Philharmonic, for which he was praised for his “tone,” “expression,” and “lustrous radiance that illuminated the text at every point.”

Following Mr. Cheney’s début at Carnegie Hall in 2007, he has performed concert works and oratorios throughout the country. After Mr. Cheney’s performance of Händel’s Messiah The Daily Gazette in Albany, NY wrote: “Tenor Brian Cheney was a revelation. Cheney’s voice was like spun gold. He seemed to dwell on his notes, basking in their loveliness. Each phrase was sculpted, each word was cleanly enunciated. Not just a gorgeous voice, Cheney showed imagination as he altered his colors or use of vibrato.” Mr. Cheney has since performed numerous times as a soloist at Carnegie Hall including in the world première and US première of Hungarian music with the American Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Leon Botstein. Mr. Cheney made his Lincoln Center début as the tenor soloist for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 at Avery Fisher Hall in which he appeared with acclaimed soprano, Jessye Norman. Additionally, he performance in the world première of a song cycle for Tenor and Orchestra by Daniel Steven Crafts’ From a Distant Mesa with the New Mexico Philharmonic.

Mr. Cheney is also an accomplished recitalist performing recitals and concerts throughout the country, with performances in cities such as San Francisco, Tulsa and Key Largo to his New York City recital début at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. The New York Sun hailed Mr. Cheney’s Weill Hall performance by saying, “Cheney exhibited such control, expressiveness and pure vocal beauty that he certainly had the full house at Weill Recital Hall in the palm of his hand all evening.” 

His first album, “I Sang My Heart to the Moon” composed by Austrian Composer, Oliver Ostermann was hailed as “a triumph of spirit and ingenuity in a compromised time” by Fanfare Magazine. Albums currently in production to be released spring of 2021 are “Because You’re Mine”, an album celebrating Mario Lanza’s 100th birthday consisting of Lanza hits as well as original music by Daniel Curtis and Laura Coyne from England, and “Bright Star”, an album of original music from American Emmy Award winning Composer, Daniel Steven Crafts.

To watch his 6 part documentary and to purchase his critically acclaimed album please visit his website, for more details. “Cheney exhibits a robust, ringing tenor with a sure sense of style, firm tone and excellent diction.”  OPERA NEWS

Updated 2.18.21

Video

“Recondita armonia” from Tosca

“Ingemisco” from Verdi’s Requiem

Brian Cheney: Tenor Highlights

“Vittoria! Vittoria!” from Tosca

“No, Pagliacco non son” from Pagliacci

“Vesti la giubba” from Pagliacci

“Un tal gioco” from Pagliacci

Press

”…comedic flair and sensitive phrasing…” – Whyy

Scalia/Ginsburg – “Brian Cheney, whose comedic flair and sensitive phrasing saves the role from caricature.”

"...one hungered to hear more...” – Arts Knoxville

Carmen – “Tenor Brian Cheney sang the role of Don Jose with such attractive and supple clarity, expressive detail, and eye-opening power that one hungered to hear more”

"...nothing less than sublime..." – Classical Voice North Carolina

Verdi’s Requiem – “I was most impressed overall by Cheney, who excelled in the “Ingemisco” tenor aria. Cheney’s “Requiem aeterna dona” was nothing less than sublime, floating ethereally over the hushed chorus, a timeless little capsule that reminded me how live performance can triumphantly transcend any recording”

“...Cheney’s voice was like spun gold..." – The Daily Gazette

Handel's Messiah – “Cheney’s voice was like spun gold. He seemed to dwell on his notes, basking in their loveliness. Each phrase was sculpted, each word was cleanly enunciated. Not just a gorgeous voice, Cheney showed imagination as he altered his colors or use of vibrato.”

"...awe-inspiring high notes...” – Stage and Cinema

Tosca – “Cheney has that terrific tenor sound: the power, richness, and vocal color of a high baritone combined with ringing, awe-inspiring high notes”