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Chris Merritt

  • Tenor


Chris Merritt press reviews

Arizona Opera / 'Salome'

The entire cast worked as an ensemble, with extra mentions deserved by the tenor Chris Merritt
Dimitri Drobatschewsky / Opera Magazine / March 2010

'Le Grand Macabre' (Piet le Pot) / State Opera South Australia, Adelaide 2010

“….the singers turned in an outstanding ensemble performance.  Piet the Pot was sung by celebrated American Rossini and 20th century singer Chris Merritt, who has also sung the role in Brussels.  He can hardly be in the first flush of his youth, but his stamina was remarkable, and to the end produced lots of clean ringing tenor tone to accompany his entertaining drunken characterization….”
 Sandra Bowdler / Opera Britannia / 1 March 2010 
“….enslaves the pisspot Piet the Pot, the wonderful Chris Merritt….”
Ewart Shaw / Adelaide Advertiser / March 1 2010

“The cast are universally superb. Ligeti makes the most astonishing demands on them vocally and the production requires athletic levels of agility and stamina…..Chris Merrit gives a mighty performance as drunkard Piet the Pot….”
 Tony Busch / Adelaide Theater Guide

“Many of the principal singers have come fresh from the Brussels and London productions (it goes on to Barcelona and Rome). This familiarity provided essential technical assurance in the face of often cruel and unusual vocal ranges, especially from Chris Merritt's drunken Piet the Pot…”
Michael Shmith / The Age / March 1, 2010

Herodes in Salome
Arizona Opera / November 2009

In most productions, one comes to see John and Salome as polar opposites: He the religious ascetic, she the voluptuary. But in this production, there was a third pole: Chris Merritt as Herod, Salome's stepfather. Merritt sang well, but it was his acting that marked the performance. This Herod was very human and provides a counterweight to a priggish John and an obsessive Salome. Something of a vulgarian, he eats and drinks and loves life, while at the same time recognizing something "holy" about the prophet.
Richard Nilsen, The Arizona Republic

It is rare when all the elements of an opera come together at an equally high level - singing, orchestra, staging. Sunday, it did. Playing to a nearly full house, Arizona Opera did itself not only proud, it did itself “magic.” Chris Merritt, as Herod, sang forcefully as a King; however, as his royal wife points out, he is only the son of a camel driver. Though he lusts for his daughter, he has the strength, ultimately, to put the sinner — mad woman to death.
Donald J Behnke, Green Valley News and Sun

As Herod, Chris Merritt gave a wonderful portrait of a harried ruler who controls everyone in his realm except for the women in his own family.
Maria Nockin, MV Daily


La Monnaie, Brussels / March/April 2009

Zum Suffkopp Piet vom Faß (Chris Merritt singt das exzellent) abseilt...
Joachim Lange, Frankfurter Rundschau

"Els màxims honors vocals són per al Piet the Pot de Chris Merritt, capaç d'abastar sense parpellejar l'assassina tessitura."
 "The maximum vocal honors go to the Piet the Pot of Chris Merritt, capable of reaching the murderous tessitura without blinking."
Bernd Uhlig, Sabadell Atlantico, April 18 2009

Wohl als Chef des Immunsystems gezeichnet, dafür denkbar ungeeignet, da sturzbetrunken, gab Chris Merritt mit noch recht wohlklingendem Tenor den schrulligen Piet von Faß.
Dirk Altenaer, Der Neue Merkur, April 4 2009

Den vernichtenden Kometeneinschlag, den Nekrotzar (Werner Van Mechelen) voraussagt, nachdem er sich aus dem Mund des Monsterweibes zum Säufer Piet (versoffen spielend und präzise singend: Chris Merritt) abgeseilt hat, braucht hier keiner mehr.
Joachim Lange, Die Welt, April 14 2009

Meme presence avec ce piet la bouteille, la monture assoiffee de la mort, que chris merritt fait vivre et chanter par toutes les fibres do son ample tessiture de tenor.
Michele Friche, Le Soir, February 26 2009

Chris Merritt as his knave Piet the Pot handles the virtuoso role with aplomb.
Jim Ruane,, 30 March 2009

Die Sängerbesetzung - mit u.a. Chris Merritt, Frode Olsen und Werner van Mechelen - ist exquisit.
Robert Jungwirth, Bayerischer Rundfunk, 25 March 2009

Chris Merritt (Piet the Pot) still has the ammunition to pull off an exacting vocal line.
Francis Carlin, Financial Times, 26 March 2009

Überhaupt kann man diese Oper über den drohenden Untergang einer verkommenen Welt kaum besser besetzen……Chris Merritt intoniert den hohen Buffotenor des versoffenen Piet vom Faß mit hohem Glanz.
Christoph Schmitz, Deutschland Radio, Kultur Heute, 25 March 2009

The Reading-born Hussain makes a remarkable job of his international debut in Ligeti’s fiendish score, though he can’t get decipherable English from the majority of La Monnaie’s polyglot cast. One can only hope ENO makes cast changes: possibly not in the case of Chris Merritt’s gleefully derelict Piet.
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 29 March 2009

Auch auf der Bühne bleiben keine Wünsche offen. Chris Merritt gibt als Piet vom Fass, was er als Dauersäufer zu geben hat, und lässt sich auch von Nekrotzar, den Werner van Mechelen mit aller Schwärze versieht, nicht aus der Bahn werfen.
Peter Hagmann, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 26 March 2009

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden / June 2007

“Two American tenors – Chris Merritt as the dithering husband and Kurt Streit as Katya's all too short-lived lover – both excel.” / Simon Thomas, June 2007

“Tichon, is fleshed out most sympathetically by Chris Merritt, whose body language, as he leaves Katya, is as acutely uneasy as the two fine horses (Tosca and Piccolo) that impatiently paw the ground.”
The Times / Hilary Finch, 21 June 2007

“Chris Merritt quietly suggests all Tichon’s cloddish sexlessness”
Telegraph / Rupert Christiansen, 22 June 2007

“Chris Merritt's poignantly older husband helps us understand the scale of Katya's frustration, for Kurt Streit's lover is more Leslie Howard than Rhett Butler. But both sing strongly…”
Anthony Holden / Observer, 24 June 2007

“Tichon, the husband of Kat'a; Chris Merritt brings out well this dithering and hen-pecked character who is known to take to the bottle.”
Colin Anderson / The Opera Critic, 19 June 2007

“All three men performing major parts – Kurt Streit (Boris), Chris Merritt (Tichon) and Oleg Bryjak (Dikoj) – delivered to a very high standard. / Agnes Kory, 19 June 2007

San Diego Opera / April 2007

"I missed hearing the German language throughout the whole evening. The vowel changes gave much of the score an unfamiliar quality.  I would never claim, however, that the German sounds beautiful-and when Berg brings his Captain on in Act One, the sound of the language adds to the character's irritating patter.  Chris Merritt (hard to believe this guy once sang Rossini!) was fine in this part, its ugliness calmed down by the English."
David Gregson Opera West

"Tenor Chris Merritt creates a Captain whose cruelty and self-absorption rightly border on the caricature.  His heartless 'Ha-ha-has' suggest he's madder than Wozzeck."
 Anne Marie WelshSan Diego Union-Tribune

"...Chris Merritt, who was also making a strong company debut as the edgy Captain, who could just barely keep his own hysteria under control by controlling others, the characters' voice occasionally betraying him in the stratospheric heights."
Chris Pasles Los Angeles Times

"The curtain opens. Wozzeck (German bass Franz Hawlata) absentmindedly acts as barber shaves the Captain (tenor Chris Merritt) who questions Wozzeck's morals while berating him for fathering a child out of wedlock.  Chris Merritt perfectly portrays Captain who looks down on Wozzeck."
Molly Bettiga  Voice of San Diego

"Wozzeck slowly succumbs to the abuses of....his malicious, insulting army Captain (tenor Chris Merritt, in a spontaneous, carefully measured and highly comic performance)."
Pam Kragen   North County Times

"American tenor Chris Merritt, in his San Diego Opera debut, convincingly portrayed the Captain with the arrogance of a mid-level military officer who delights in exerting his authority over a man who has no choice but to obey and agree with him."
Olga Hirsch

"He is tormented by...psychological abuse from his captain (American tenor Chris Merritt, extraordinary in the high-ranging part)..."
Charlene Baldridge  La Jolla Village News

"Merritt's Captain screamed and strutted like a borderline psychotic himself."
Chris Mullins  Opera Today