Artist of the Week: Sidney Outlaw

American Baritone Makes Role Debut in Iconic Mozart Role

By Francisco Salazar

This week the Boston Baroque is set to present a new production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” featuring multiple company debuts and role debuts. Among the major debuts is Sidney Outlaw, who will sing his first Don Giovanni.

Outlaw has performed several Mozart works including Leporello in “Don Giovanni,” Guglielmo in “Cosi fan tutte,” and Figaro in “Le Nozze di Figaro.” His interpretations have been praised for his “beautiful timbre and great projection.”

Here is a short interview regarding his upcoming role debut.

OperaWire: What does it mean to play this iconic character and to debut it in Boston?

Sidney Outlaw: It means the world to me to be able to complete the Mozart-Da Ponte Trilogy…FINALLY! It’s kind of a full circle moment for me because I was first introduced to these three operas by The Late Great Corradina Caporello and my coach Reed Woodhouse. They both helped me prepare the first two operas (“Così Fan Tutte” and “Le Nozze di Figaro”) working together. This time was bittersweet to not have Signora Caporello here physically to help me, but she was here in spirit and I felt her presence through the whole process. So, with Reed Woodhouse’s help, we got everything prepared and I’m so grateful to him for his help.

Debuting this role in Boston is also a full-circle moment for me. My first professional gig was the Beethoven 9 in Boston with The Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra back in 2005. I have always felt very much a part of the musical community in Boston. So, it’s a full circle moment with this opportunity happening right here in the same city that welcomed me as a professional artist right out of grad school. My cup runneth over!

OW: What are some of the recordings you have listened to as you have been preparing it?

SO: – 1936 Glyndebourne Festival recording (Fritz Busch, Conductor; featuring John Brownlee, Ina Souez, and Salvatore Baccaloni)
– 1957 recording (Karl Böhm, Conductor; featuring Cesare Siepi, Giorgio Tozzi, and Eleanor Steber)
– 1959 recording (Carlos Maria Giulini, Conductor; featuring Eberhard Wächter and Giuseppe Taddei)
– 1994 recording (Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor; featuring Rodney Gilfry in the title role). These period (all three) recordings of the Mozart-Da Ponte operas with Sir John Eliot Gardiner are my absolute favorite due to the period instruments and how they deliver the recits.

OW: What is your favorite part of the opera?

SO: My favorite part of the opera is the second act finale! The drama and how it intersects with the music is very exciting for me. Another favorite part of opera is when I sing “Deh, vieni alla finestra.” For me, as an artist, it’s the first time I get to really feature my signature legato line and artistry!

For those who are not in Boston for the performance, the production will be streamed live on IDAGIO and available on-demand for 30 days. He is also set to present “Samson” with the Oratorio Society of New York and Carmina Burana with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.


For those interested in learning more about Outlaw, you can hear his debut album “Lament on Lexicon Classics.


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