Artist Of The Week: Sean Panikkar

Rising Star Tenor Makes His Anticipated Debut At the Salzburg Festival

By Francisco Salazar

Sean Panikkar has slowly been growing through the ranks of the opera world. His numerous engagements with the Metropolitan Opera have made him visible throughout the world and he has been able to make important debuts at the Festival Aix en Provence, Cincinnati Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Fort Worth Opera in recent years. He has also been an advocate for modern repertoire as well as many of the great classics. This week, Panikkar makes an important debut at the Salzburg Festival.

The tenor will perform the role of Dionysus in Hans Werner Henze’s “The Bassarids,” the work that also served as  his Madrid debut in concert performances with the Spanish National Orchestra and Choir. Having obtained rave reviews for his portrayal, Panikkar could be posed to break out with his performances this summer. Afterall, the Salzburg Festival has been the launching pad for many of today’s international stars.

And for those who will not be present for his performances in Salzburg, the tenor has a busy schedule that will includes lead roles at the LA Opera, North Carolina Opera, Lyric Opera Kansas City, Pittsburgh Opera, and the Festival Aix-en-Provence. He will also vary his repertoire from Bizet to Philip Glass.


For those not familiar with the tenor’s voice, Sean Panikkar is a member of Forte, the operatic tenor group combining voices from different cultures into one incredible sound. The trio, which debuted for the first time ever on America’s Got Talent and had never met until only days before their first audition, recorded an album for Columbia Records in 2013 and made a follow up in 2015.

He is also featured in a DVD of “Manon Lescaut” from the Metropolitan Opera with Karita Mattila.

Here is a video of the tenor performing in Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s “Moby Dick.”


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