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Musical World

Alan Held

  • Bass-Baritone


Alan Held press reviews

The Flying Dutchman 

Alan Held was compelling as the Dutchman, both vocally and dramatically. Imposing in presence with his massive black coat and top hap, he resembled photos of Bram Stoker. Mr. Held has plenty of heft to his voice and a rich and secure top. His understanding of the Dutchman’s character and his depth of portrayal provided strong emotional impact on the audience. He will be in great demand around the world in this role.---Concerto Net

How brilliantly Mr. Held has achieved his ambition. Now a star at the Met and renowned throughout the world for his command of Wagnerian roles, he never strains for notes and simultaneously expresses power and vulnerability without contradiction. With excellent diction, finely shaped tones and grand, theatrical gestures, his Dutchman in these performances is definitive.---Washington Times

Alan Held is outstanding as the accursed mariner compelled to sail the seven seas for eternity unless he can find a woman who will be faithful to him unto death.---The Free Lance Star

   Die Walküre

Bass-baritone Alan Held once more proved himself an eloquent and altogether admirable singing actor, who brought rich vocal and emotional dimensions to the role of Wotan: It would be hard to imagine a more moving "Farewell."---Washington Post

Held's Wotan seems a product of a massive intelligence. Held proved a master of legato. Wotan's Farewell was shaped tenderly and - a word one rarely applies to Wagner singing-elegantly.---San Francisco Examiner

Held inflected the libretto like a master Lieder specialist, while spinning out haunting pianissimos in the farewell.---Opera   

Samson et Dalilah

Baritone Alan Held was wonderfully effective as the hate-filled High Priest of Dagon who spurred Dalila on to do in Samson.  At Held's hand, his strong voiced and projected vocal delivery spewed appropriate degrees of anger, bitterness and hate.   His was a terrific performance, his character's degrees of nastiness increasing with metered  speed right through to the dynamic


The estimable baritone Alan Held, one of opera's finest actors as well as singers, returned as the easily manipulated Gunther.---Chicago Sun Times

Special mention must go to the Gunther of Alan Held, surely one of the finest baritones on the Met's roster today.  His is a glamorous, large voice and in a variety of roles this year he demonstrated sure dramatic skills.---Opera Monthly

Bass-baritone Alan Held gave a commanding performance as Gunther, revealing the character's preening insecurities while singing the role in rich, resonant tones conveying a fascinating contrast between the character's cravenness and the powerful authority of his singing.---San Francisco Chronicle

Don Giovanni

If one singer should be singled out for special praise, it is Alan Held in the role of Leporello.  His Leporello is brilliant and belongs on any opera stage in the world.  Particularly notable, besides the richness, expressiveness, and control of his singing throughout, was his puppet like miming of the "Elvira, idolo mio" trio in act two and the stage business with which he illustrated the "catalogue" aria, riffling through the thick pages of his list as he announced the number 1,003 for his master's conquests in Spain, and imitating the fat, thin, tiny, and aged objects of the Don's desire.  He captured all dimensions of that multidimensional aria.---Washington Post

Les Contes d’Hoffmann

And what a superlative performance the American bass-baritone Alan Held gave as the four villains.  A massive, overpowering presence on stage, he sang resonantly and invested his roles with everything from urbane mockery to Mephistophelean malevolence."---Opera Canada

Specially impressive was Alan Held as the four villains.  He has possibly the most challenging assignment in the production, and he handles it with virtuosity, giving a distinctive, deep and colorful characterization to each of the bad guys he portrays.---Washington Post