American tenor, Joshua Stewart, begins Season 2019-20 as tenor soloist in Tippett’s A Child of our Time with CBSO under the baton of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla on tour in the UK and in Germany, following performances last season in Paris. He travels to the US to appear with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Das Paradies und die Peri under the baton of Paolo Bortolameolli, and remains to revive the title role Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, an American opera based on the life of the legendary jazz saxophonist, at both Seattle Opera and New Orleans Opera.
Last season’s highlights include the roles of Zinovy Lady Macbeth of Mstensk and Lazarus in the world premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s Wake, both at Birmingham Opera Company directed by Graham Vick; Antenore Zelmira and Giove Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo at Rossini in Wildbad. Concert appearances include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with CBSO under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle; his debut with Los Angeles Philharmonic as Narrator Das Paradies und die Peri in staged performances under the directional team of Gustavo Dudamel and Peter Sellars.
Past successes include Trin La Fanciulla del West at Hamburg State Opera; Belmonte Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Opera de Lausanne and Opera de Fribourg; Don Ottavio Don Giovanni at Toledo Opera; Arturo Lucia di Lammermoor at Opera Carolina and at Toledo Opera; Abdallo Nabucco at Oberammergau Passionstheater. Enjoying a long collaboration with Peter Sellars, the artist also sang the role of The Shepherd Oedipus Rex in performances staged by the director under the baton of Esa-Pekka Salonen at Kungliga Opera for the Baltic Sea Festival in Stockholm, at Festival Aix en Provence, and in London at the Royal Festival Hall.
Joshua Stewart appears often in concert world-wide; recent appearances include Carmina Burana with Toledo Symphony, and Erzengel Das Spiel von der Auferstehung des Herrn by Walter Braunfels with the Muenchner Rundfunkorchester.
The artist has a long association with the title role Charlie Parker’s Yardbird which he previously sang at Madison Opera, Atlanta Opera and Arizona Opera; his performance in the role is informed by his highly regarded appearances as a jazz artist. Born and raised in New Orleans, at the age of 12 Joshua released a solo album entitled ‘New Orleans Jazz Prodigy’ which was produced by legendary trumpeter Milton Batiste.
He attended the prestigious New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) joining their list of distinguished alumni: Wynton Marsalis, Harry Connick, Jr., Terence Blanchard, Christian Scott, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, and Jonathan Batiste.
Joshua Stewart is a graduate of Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and a former member of Munich’s Bavarian State Opera studio, where he made his debut in 2012, and appeared in Season 2013-14 productions of colleagues such as Christoph Loy, Richard Jones, Constantine Trinks, Kent Nagano, Dan Ettinger and Maurizio Benini. He has performed for several world leaders, including King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, and Presidents George H. W. Bush, William J. Clinton, and Barack H. Obama.
Joshua Stewart has been singing since before he could speak and has become one of the most versatile vocalist of our time. Having been born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, music is in his blood.
In 2017, he will rejoin the award-winning Bourbon Street Stompers Brass Band in Spain after releasing a live concert DVD “Live from the Auditorio de Teulada-Moraira” in 2014.
Joshua Stewart began his career with Dejean’s Olympia Brass Band, performing at all the major festivals in New Orleans. At the age of 12, Joshua release a solo album, entitled “New Orleans Jazz Prodigy”, which was produced by legendary trumpeter Milton Batiste. He then attended the prestigious New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), joining their list of distinguished alumni: Wynton Marsalis, Harry Connick, Jr., Terence Blanchard, Christian Scott, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, and Jonathan Batiste. While in New Orleans, his teachers and mentors included Milton Batiste, Kidd Jordan, Clyde Kerr, Jr., Alvin Batiste, Donald Harrison Jr., and Wynton Marsalis.
After graduating from NOCCA, Joshua attended the world-renowned Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, receiving both his bachelors and masters there. While at the Curtis Institute, he performed over 35 operatic roles becoming known for his ability to conquer demanding modern music.
He is classically trained and brings that beauty and elegance into his jazz performances. He has performed in numerous venues throughout the world, including Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Poland, the Caribbean and the United States.
in the press…
Jazzy "Charlie Parker's Yardbird" closes out Arizona Opera's inaugural Red Series
“The best thing about jazz is that improvisational feeling that we can always achieve through constantly being in the moment. You’re not thinking, ‘Oh the last time I did this so I have to do that again.’
“It’s all in the moment. Who am I right now in this moment?”
“Charlie Parker’s Yardbird” is 90 minutes long, and Stewart is on stage for all but three minutes of it.
Troubled jazz genius Charlie Parker gets the operatic treatment in 'Yardbird'
“People worship this man to this day,” said Joshua Stewart, “He changed an entire art form, and that art form ... is the ‘mother chord’ of so many others.”
Ten Questions with Joshua Stewart
1. Where were you born / raised?
I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.
2. If you weren't a singer, what profession would you be in?
New opera looks at life and death of a jazz great
“Charlie Parker’s Yardbird” is an opera infused with jazz references. In other words, a perfect vehicle for tenor Joshua Stewart.
Joshua Stewart: Nur das Bier mag er nicht so
München - Vom Jazz zur Klassik ans Münchner Nationaltheater: Joshua Stewart ließ sich von „Salome“ zur Oper verführen.
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