Australian/American bass Joshua Bloom has sung principal roles with San Francisco Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, LA Opera, Opera Australia, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, English National Opera, Oper Köln, Garsington Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Badisches Staatstheater, Irish National Opera and New Israeli Opera, among others.
He has also appeared on the concert stage with the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, all of the major London orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, the Auckland Philharmonia and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group as well as the Melbourne, Queensland, Adelaide and Western Australian Symphonies.
Joshua’s 20/21 season is still changing and has been subject to many alterations, cancellations, and great uncertainty caused by the impact of Covid-19 on the live music industry. However, he will join the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for a live BBC broadcast of Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony, conducted by Mark Wigglesworth; he appears for the first time at the prestigious contemporary music festival New Opera Days in Ostrava to perform The Garden, by Richard Ayres – the opera written for him for solo Bass, Orchestra, and Electronics, which he premiered with the London Sinfonietta and Asko Schoenberg last season. He will perform Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony elsewhere internationally throughout the season; he is scheduled to return to the Royal Opera House and English National Opera; he will make his debut with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; and will return to Garsington Opera for Cal McCrystal’s new production of Rossini Le comte Ory, and to work one more with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Edward Gardner.
Highlights of the last two seasons include Méphistophélès in Berlioz Le Damnation de Faust, with Edward Gardner at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Hunding in Wagner Die Walküre with Graeme Jenkins in Lisbon, The Ghost of Old Hamlet/Gravedigger in a new production of Brett Dean’s acclaimed Hamlet, Faraone in Rossini’s virtuosic Mosè in Egitto for Oper Köln, Swallow in Britten Peter Grimes for the International Enescu Festival; Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with English National Opera in the iconic Robert Carsen production; title role in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, in a new production by Enda Walsh; a house debut at the Royal Opera House in the world premiere production of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Underground, and Kaspar in Der Freischütz in the International Hyogo Festival of the Performing Arts, Japan.
Joshua appears on NMC’s Grammy nominated recording of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest, conducted by Thomas Adès; the New York Philharmonic’s live recording of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, conducted by Alan Gilbert; The Metropolitan Opera’s HD Broadcast of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, conducted by Fabio Luisi; the Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall broadcast of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, and the LSO Live recording of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande both 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.
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.
New Opera Days Ostrava
Richard Ayres: The Garden (Czech Premiere)
August 30, 8pm
September 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 6.30pm
*forced to withdraw due to changing government quarantine regulations
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Shostakovich: Symphony no. 14
conducted by Mark Wigglesworth
October 1, 2pm
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Gubaidulina: On Love and Hatred (UK Premiere)
conducted by Edward Gardner
February 27, 7.30pm
Rossini: Le comte Ory
directed by Cal McCrystal
conducted by Valentina Peleggi
dates and times tba
Please check back soon for more updates: given the impact of Covid-19 on live music, performances will be advertised as soon as possible!
[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