Hailed by KUSC Los Angeles as the “next great tenor”, Brian Cheney, protégé of legendary tenor Jerry Hadley, has gained international acclaim for his portrayal of characters such as Don José in Carmen, Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca, Rodolfo in La bohème, the Duke in Rigoletto, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Canio in Pagliacci. “It is tenor Brian Cheney as the brave painter Cavaradossi who really blew me away. Cheney has that terrific tenor sound: the power, richness, and vocal color of a high baritone combined with ringing, awe-inspiring high notes” (Stage and Cinema.) Of his performance as Don José in Carmen, critics hailed: “Tenor Brian Cheney's portrayal of Don José was the most effective dramatic and vocal realization of character in the production...this excellent singer revealed a voice of amazing power and great beauty. Cheney's booming tenor voice and effective dramatic realization of the passionate Don José soon made him the audience's favorite character." (Classical Voice of North Carolina)
This season, Mr. Cheney sings and Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress with Pacific Opera Project and Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Salt Marsh Opera.
Recent engagements include the role of Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera Piccola, Festival Opera, and Pacific Opera Project; Don Jose in Carmen with Knoxville Opera; Rodolfo in La bohème with Window Symphony Orchestra and Norwalk Symphony; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Salt Marsh Opera; and Cavardossi in Tosca with Southern Illinois Music Festival. He also, recently, performed the tenor solo in Mozart’s Requiem with Boise Philharmonic and Eastern Connecticut Opera; Verdi’s Requiem with Dartmouth College and Chorus of Westerly; concerts titled “Music at the Lighthouse” and “Opera in the Park” with Salt Marsh Opera; and, a solo he often performs, in Salute to Vienna with Jacobs Music Center, State Centre, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Kimmel Center, Lincoln Center, The Music Center at Strathmore, and Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.
Favorite engagements include singing Don Jose in Carmen with Window Symphony Orchestra, Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, and Southern Illinois Music Festival; Canio in Pagliacci with Asheville Lyric Opera and Heartland Opera Theatre; the tenor solo in Verdi’s Requiem with Capella Cantorum and at the Fisher Center at Bard College; and as the tenor soloist in Salute to Vienna at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, Ruth Eckerd hall, Jack Singer Concert Hall, Music Center at Strathmore, State Theatre, and Winspear Centre. Mr. Cheney also has worked with a multitude of opera companies and music festivals such as Opera Naples as Don Ottavio in their production of Don Giovanni and Ismaele in Nabucco; Salt Marsh Opera as The Duke in Rigoletto and a tenor soloist for a Valentine’s Concert; at The Ocean House as the tenor soloist for a concert titled “Love Songs on the Beach” and “Broadway on the Lawn;” and with Southern Illinois Music Festival as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and as a tenor soloist for their concert “Three Tenors and More.” Additional favorite engagements include the role of Cavardossi in Tosca with Pacific Opera Project and Lord Byron in Ada with Center for Contemporary Opera.
An accomplished tenor concert artist, Mr. Cheney has sang the tenor solo in a multitude of works including Carmina Burana with Brevard Symphony Orchestra, Händel’s Messiah with Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with Chorus of Westerly, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Empire State Sinfonia, Deep in My Heart with Klavier Galerie, the Credo from Missa at Carnegie Hall, an opera gala with Monmouth Symphony, and a concert with soprano Danielle Talamantes with the Danbury Concert Association. He also sang the tenor solo in the world premières of From a Distant Mesa with New Mexico Philharmonic and Ernst Von Dohnányi’s Szeged Mass at Carnegie Hall.
Following Mr. Cheney’s début at Carnegie Hall in 2007, he has performed concert works and oratorios throughout the country. The Daily Gazette in Albany, NY had this to say about his recent performance of Händel’s Messiah: “Tenor Brian Cheney was a revelation. Cheney's voice was like spun gold. He seemed to dwell on his notes, basking in their loveliness. Each phrase was sculpted, each word was cleanly enunciated. Not just a gorgeous voice, Cheney showed imagination as he altered his colors or use of vibrato." Mr. Cheney has performed numerous times as a soloist at Carnegie Hall including a recent performance of a world première and US première of Hungarian music with the American Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Leon Botstein. Mr. Cheney also made his Lincoln Center début as tenor soloist for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 at Avery Fisher Hall appearing with acclaimed soprano, Jessye Norman. Most recently, he gave a world première performance of a song cycle for Tenor and Orchestra, Daniel Steven Crafts’ From a Distant Mesa with the New Mexico Philharmonic. He was praised for his “tone,” “expression,” and “lustrous radiance that illuminated the text at every point.”He has served as tenor soloist in pieces ranging from Verdi’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 to Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
Mr. Cheney is also an accomplished recitalist performing recitals and concerts throughout the country, with performances in cities such as San Francisco, Tulsa and Key Largo to his New York City recital début at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. The New York Sun hailed Mr. Cheney’s Weill Hall performance by saying, “Cheney exhibited such control, expressiveness and pure vocal beauty that he certainly had the full house at Weill Recital Hall in the palm of his hand all evening.”
To watch his 6 part documentary and to purchase his critically acclaimed album please visit his website, for more details. “Cheney exhibits a robust, ringing tenor with a sure sense of style, firm tone and excellent diction.” OPERA NEWS