Within the few years of his professional career, JON VILLARS has quickly emerged as the most promising dramatic tenor of his generation. He has already collaborated with leading conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Giuseppe Sinopoli, and Michael Tilson Thomas on stage at the Salzburg Festival, Florence’s Maggio Musicale, and Lyric Opera of Chicago as well as in concert with the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, National Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony.
Villars has won great acclaim for his portrayal of Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos, a role he first sang at Florence’s Maggio Musicale under Zubin Mehta and has since repeated in new productions at Dresden’s Semperoper conducted by Sir Colin Davis, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Turin’s Teatro Regio as well as for his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper. He also sang the part for his debuts at La Scala and with the Vienna Staatsoper. He recently recorded Strauss’ Friedenstag for DG with Sinopoli, and in the future he will add Florestan in Fidelio to his repertoire.
In addition to his operatic work, Jon Villars appears with many prominent conductors in the most demanding concert repertoire. He recently sang Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Pierre Boulez at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Riccardo Chailly and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Bologna’s Solisti Insieme, and with Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra, the latter recorded by the Reference Recordings label. He previously appeared in the cycle with James Conlon and the Orchestra of the Opéra National de Paris and with David Zinman and the Baltimore Symphony. He has also performed Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra conducted by David Zinman, and Berlin’s Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy, his European concert debut.
In previous seasons Villars has sung Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony and with Zubin Mehta at Florence’s Maggio Musicale and the Ninth Symphony with the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin under Daniel Barenboim, with the Minnesota Orchestra, and for his Tanglewood Festival debut. Villars made his New York Philharmonic debut in Penderecki’s Seven Gates of Jerusalem conducted by Kurt Masur as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. He has performed the Verdi Requiem with several American orchestras and sings it this season with the Baltimore Symphony.
Jon Villars Reviews:
“The crystal-clear audiophile recording allows us to hear all of Mahler’s colors. Jon Villars sounds as if he’s at the start of a fine tenorial career.”