Australian/American bass Joshua Bloom has sung principal roles with Opera Australia, San Francisco Opera, LA Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, English National Opera, Oper Köln, Badisches Staatstheater, Opera Northern Ireland, Israeli Opera and Garsington Opera, among others.
He has also appeared on the concert stage with the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Britten Sinfonia, the Auckland Philharmonia and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group as well as the Melbourne, Queensland, Adelaide and Western Australian Symphonies.
Joshua’s 2018/19 includes multiple role debuts: the title role in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Méphistophélès in Berlioz Le Damnation de Faust, Oroveso in Bellini Norma, and Kecal in Smetana The Bartered Bride. He will also return to the role of Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and will be the bass soloist in Stravinsky’s Threni. His season opens with a world premiere of Richard Ayres The Garden, with the Asko Schoenberg Ensemble. The piece is an opera for solo bass and electronics that was written for Joshua and will receive its London premiere in 2019 with the London Sinfonietta. 2018/19 sees Joshua working with conductors including Edward Gardner, André de Ridder, Vladimir Jurwoski, Jan van Steen and David Stern. He will make debuts with the City of Birmingham Symphony, London Philharmonic and Philharmonia Orchestras, and Palm Beach Opera. Joshua will make his house debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2020.
Recent highlights include a world premiere of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Underground with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Britten Sinfonia, conducted by Thomas Ades; role debuts as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with English National Opera in the iconic Robert Carsen production, and Israeli Opera; Faraone in Rossini’s virtuosic Mosè in Egitto, directed by Lotte de Beer, and Kaspar in Der Freischütz. He recently made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic, under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle, revisiting Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, directed by Peter Sellars.
Joshua appears on NMC’s Grammy nominated recording of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest as Algernon Moncrieff, conducted by Thomas Adès; the New York Philharmonic’s live recording of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen as Harašta, conducted by Alan Gilbert; The Metropolitan Opera’s HD Broadcast of Mozart’s Don Giovanni as Masetto, conducted by Fabio Luisi; the Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall broadcast of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, as The Black Minister, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO Live recording of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande as The Shepherd/Doctor conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.
Joshua was born in Australia to musician parents and studied cello and double-bass as well as being a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne. He went on to study History at the University of Melbourne and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1996.
His professional debut in opera was in an OzOpera touring production of The Barber of Seville, after which he joined the Young Artist Programme of Opera Australia in Sydney, and later the Merola and Adler Fellowship Programmes at the San Francisco Opera.
Joshua is represented worldwide by Simon Goldstone at Rayfield Allied.
The Garden – Richard Ayres
September 5, 13, November 10
Bluebeard’s Castle – Bartók
Bluebeard (Role Debut)
Irish National Opera, dir. Enda Walsh
October 12, 13, 14
Norma – Bellini
Oroveso (Role Debut)
Chelsea Opera Group
Messiah – Handel
Academy of Ancient Music
The Garden – Richard Ayres
The Bartered Bride – Smetana
Kecal (Role Debut)
May 29, 31, June 6, 8, 11, 15, 20, 23, 30
The Damnation of Faust – Berlioz
Méphistophélès (Role Debut)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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[Bloom] would have graced any production in the world. [His] Figaro was the vocal star of the evening, delivering his arias with a dark, virile bass sound, immaculate diction and pugilistic rhythmic attack.
Hugh Canning, Opera
One could not have possibly imagined two better interpreters than Joshua Bloom and Paula Murrihy for the roles of Bluebeard and Judith. Bloom was a tormented Bluebeard, with a wonderfully dark bass. Faithful to both text and score, he aroused pity rather than fear and indignation.
Pia Maltri, Bachtrack
I have never known a Figaro like Joshua Bloom’s – a gale-force character with a thunderous sound… both comic and touching thanks to brilliant acting.
Michael Church, The Independent
Bass Joshua Bloom, and mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy, are both outstanding, mastering the demands of singing in Hungarian as if it were a second language, as well as negotiating the demands of Bartok’s endless recitativo. Bloom, like a weakened panther, is awaiting his moments, striking with power and precision when they arrive.
Chris O’Rourke, The Arts Review
…a wonderfully controlled and methodically crafted Figaro, his huge vocal capacity never once overwhelming his musical intellect. When challenging the Count’s proprietorial assumptions, Bloom’s voice was indignantly resonant; but when, in Act 4, Figaro believed himself duped and betrayed, Figaro was endowed with a credible vulnerability, which tempered Bloom’s sturdy bass. Bloom has presence, panache and vocal power: a winning triplet.
Claire Seymour, Opera Today
Duke Bluebeard was well characterised by Joshua Bloom. His warm timbre was underpinned by a steely defiance that managed not only to be menacing, but seductive and even loving, particularly when describing the qualities of his three previous wives. The results were thrilling and chilling.
Joshua Bloom’s Figaro is equally definitive; he’s just lovable enough, just daft enough, to make you sympathize with his character, and his singing is first rate – angrily blustering without losing the line in ‘Se vuol ballare’ and ‘Aprite un po’ quegli occhi’ and mellifluous in ensemble.
Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH
Armed with a physically relaxed presence and a rich, beautifully produced bass, Joshua Bloom pulls off the considerable trick of tastefully playing a character who has no taste. It’s easy to go for broke as Bottom but Bloom stays truthful while maximising laughs.
David Benedict, The Arts Desk
Outstanding in quality is Bloom’s grandiose Bottom.
George Hall, The Stage
Joshua Bloom [was a] scene-stealing, ego-swaggering Bottom.
Peter Reed, Classical Source
As Faraone, Joshua Bloom has a dark and powerful bass that radiates enormous authority. He shines in his extraordinary aria in the first act.
Thomas Molke, Online Musik Magazine
Vocally, the cast is of a class better class than the Bregenz competition. This is true in particular of the Pharaoh of Joshua Bloom with his powerful bass.
Pedro Obiera, Aachener Nachrichten
Joshua Bloom’s impressive Pharaoh was outstanding.
Bernhard Hartmann, General Anzeiger Bonn
Joshua Bloom lit up the stage whenever he was on it.
Michael White, The New York Times
Rattle didn’t disappoint either, provoking passionate performances from his orchestra and excellent soloists: in particular Joshua Bloom (Daedalus).
Hannah Nepil, Financial Times