Artist Of The Week: Christian Van Horn

American Bass-Baritone To Headline First Mefistofele At Metropolitan Opera In 20 Years

By Francisco Salazar

It’s a Christian van Horn kind of year. The bass-baritone has already opened a new production of “Faust” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, headlined opening night at Opera Philadelphia, and won the Richard Tucker Award. He also starred at the Canadian Opera and returns to the Metropolitan Opera for “La Bohème.”

But perhaps his biggest assignment will come this week when he sings his first leading role at the Met in a title role.

Van Horn is set to headline Boito’s “Mefistofele,” an opera that has not been shown at the Met for the past 20 years and one that he will also debut. It’s not Van Horn’s first time playing the character but as he noted in a recent interview, Boito’s Italian text is “a bit archaic” but at the same time, Mefistofele is “richer” in this work.

Boito’s opera is one of the few operas where the bass-baritone has the title role and as Van Horn noted, it is his chance to stand out and a rare opportunity that will likely bring him more acclaim and recognition around the world.

But if you can’t make it to New York, Van Horn has promised more Mefistofele interpretations in the future and he is set to make his Paris Debut this winter when he premieres a new production in “Les Troyens,” which will be live streamed worldwide through Arte.

He will also return to the San Francisco Opera in a production of “Orlando.” He also sings in “La Clemenza di Tito” at the Met.


For those not familiar with his voice, Van Horn can be heard in a recording of “Das Rheingold” conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and on a recording of “Le Nozze di Figaro.” He was also featured on the Met Opera’s Live in HD of “The Exterminating Angel,” which is available on the Met Player.

Here he is at the Richard Tucker Gala, which he headlined, performing two selections from Verdi.


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