Alexander Birch Elliott Set For Houston Grand Opera Debut in ‘The Pearl Fishers’

By David Salazar

Baritone Alexander Birch Elliott is set to make his Houston Grand Opera debut when he replaces Mariusz Kwiecien in the company’s production of “The Pearl Fishers.”

Per a press release, Kwiecien, who was set to take on the role of Zurga, has withdrawn “due to personal circumstances.”

Elliott also replaced Kwiecien at the Met Opera’s recent revival of the work. He made his Met Opera debut during the opening performance of the opera in New York, replacing the Polish baritone after the first interval. This would take place on two other occasions before Kwiecien withdrew altogether.

In reviewing his performance on the opening show, OperaWire’s Logan Martell noted,  “Despite being thrown into the ensuing chaos, Elliott’s heightened emotion made for a mostly smooth transition between performers; one difference I noted seemed to be that Elliott slightly bent his tall frame as if weighed down by inner conflict, causing him to loom over most of the other performers and physically suggest his authority over them.”

“The Pearl Fishers” opens on Jan. 25, 2019.