Critical Acclaim

The Washington Post |
'Salute to Vienna' A Fine Farewell to 2013
"Tenor Brian Cheney showcased his expressive phrasing..."
Read the full review

The New York Sun |
Cheney Thrills Audience at Weill Hall - Jerry Hadley Protege Shines
Read the full review

The Tulsa World |
From Carnegie to 'Candide' - Light Opera role tempts Brian Cheney
back to a Tulsa stage

Read the full article (pdf)

Read what the critics are saying about Brian Cheney...

As Don Jose in Carmen

"Tenor Brian Cheney sang the role of Don José, the subject of Carmen's seductive power, with such attractive and supple clarity, expressive detail, and eye-opening power that one hungered to hear more."

As Cavaradossi in Tosca

STAGE and CINEMA | Los Angeles, CA
"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."

LA EXAMINER | Los Angeles, CA
"Cheney's potent tones found their clarion marks like fated arrows ––(and) his acting was as fine as his voice. Cheney's rooftop rendition of the romanza E lucevan le stelle ("And the stars were shining") brimmed with felt pathos. Voiced in the cool night air, the romanza revealed a breathtaking immediacy that palatial opera houses cannot touch."

LA WEEKLY| Los Angeles, CA
"There are two major stars-to-be here: Patrick Blackwell, Scarpia, and Brian Cheney, whose bright, focused tones ring out heroically as Mario Cavaradossi. Seeing them in (such) an intimate venue...should give you unimpeachable bragging rights ten years from now."

"...the standout is Brian Cheney as Cavaradossi. Amplified by the resonant hall acoustic, his pure, bold tenor fills the space with humanity and pathos. "

KUSC| Los Angeles, CA
"Listen to Brian Cheney, in song and interview, and see if you agree: the next great tenor on the near horizon is a singer who has paid his dues and is due for a great unveiling."

As Tom Rakewell in The Rake's Progress

Opera Today | "Brian Cheney was a sympathetic, clear voiced Tom who—at the beginning—merely wanted a good life for himself and Anne, the girl on whose love he knows he can depend"

LA Times | Los Angeles, CA
"Brian Cheney, a strong tenor, fully embodied Tom in the progress from love-struck rube to simple-minded socialite to cynical misanthrope to madman."

Living OUt Loud LA | Los Angeles, CA
"Brian Cheney and Rachele Schmiege (Anne Trulove) have excellent chemistry together, and that – along with their powerful, pure, soaring voices – makes for some of the best musical moments."

"Brian Cheney played the Rake, Tom Rakewell. His clear, well-projected tenor was a delight to listen to throughout "

As Rodolfo in La Boheme

The Providence Journal | Providence, RI
"Charismatic tenor Brian Cheney's Rodolfo was simply phenomenal. His glorious first-act solo aria was the high point of the entire production. Cheney's commanding stage presence, thrilling vocal beauty, and passionate projection called to mind Franco Corelli. Send Cheney up to the big leagues. "

The Day | New London, CT
"Brian Cheney in the lead role as Rodolfo the poet sang exquisitely, his supple tenor caressing every note, earning Cheney his first extended ovation in the opening scene. His acting was terrific, too, right down to his breaking voice during the heart-rending climax."

Nuevo Miami Herald | Miami, FL
"Cheney fulfilled every aspect of the very demanding role of Rodolfo with outstanding moments."

As Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly

Ashville Citizen-Times | Ashville NC
"Tenor Brian Cheney's powerful tenor voice appeared to be even stronger and clearer (than his performance here two years ago) with precise phrasing, effortlessly delivered. "

"(Soprano Jennifer) Davison and Cheney displayed real chemistry with their vocal interplay. The crescendos soared, but perhaps more impressive were the tender moments the two shared between the peaks of more palpable passion. The seamlessness of the acting and singing pointed to great talent and attention to detail on the part of both the singers and the director, Jon Truitt." "

River Reporter | Narrowsburg, NY
"Brian Cheney, the tenor who sings the role of Pinkerton, reminds me of Metropolitan Opera tenor Jerry Hadley. He has his look and his voice. He surprised me when he took the high-C with Cio-Cio San (most tenors don't) in the incredible duet in the end of Act 1, and he stayed right up there with her. That's the sign of a brave tenor. He sang his role brilliantly in a production full of talented colleagues."

The Times Herald | New York, NY
"In the lovers' duets, his robust and cheerful tenor voice also rang with joy. But in the closing episode of tragedy, his character turned remorseful and his voice turned ominous with emotion."

As The Duke in Rigoletto

The Day | New London, CT

"And how welcome is tenor Brian Cheney to this stage? We hear few tenors in these parts so confident and powerfully at ease in a high Verdian tessitura such as the Duke's.

" was the vocal power and characterizations by Loyd, in the title role, and Cheney, as the Duke, coupled with the emotional turbulence and dramatic hammer blows of Verdi's great score, that carried the night."

"... Cheney seemed immune to challenges of technique to sing key arias with full interpretation and artistry, especially his soaring love vow to Gilda "E il sol dell'anima" and his heartfelt and nuanced "Parmi veder le lagrime." His ardent farewell scene with Gilda, "Addio, addio," the lovers clinging tight, was hot in every sense."

"[Cheney's] vivid stage presences and vocal aplomb ...conveyed the full weight of this most dramatic of operas..."

".. a searing evening of opera theater. "

The Providence Journal | Providence, RI

"..the whole cast is top notch...[putting] on a terrific Rigoletto...{with] tenor Brian Cheney giving a commanding showing as the lecherous Duke of Mantua."

The Shoreline Times | Madison, CT

‎"Wow...two and a half brilliant hours in the Salt Marsh Opera's riveting production of Giuseppe Verdi's "Rigoletto."

"The Duke – often referred to as the co-lead in what many regard as Verdi's masterpiece – was sung by tenor Brian Cheney – with artistry and power. [Cheney's] deceitful pledge of love to Gilda and passionate farewell scene with her – a love scene that gave off sparks – were all conveyed in a series of famous arias that had the audience cheering."

As Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor

The Day | New London, CT
"Though Lucia's mad scene is always the focal point of the opera, it was tenor Cheney who stole the show. With a voice strong yet unforced, he was gripping in the final scene, his voice dripping with heartbreak as he leaned over Lucia's body, gasping again and again "bell'alma inamorata." Too often this opera's heart-wrenching final pages seem an afterthought; Cheney made them the climax. ...the singular performance by Cheney alone was worth the price of admission."

Times Herald Record | New York, NY
"Edgardo, rival of Enrico and lover of Lucia, is played by Brian Cheney with robust defiance of the former and unfettered passion for the latter. In Cheney's firm and clear voice, the depth and nobility of the character emerges."

The River Reporter | Narrowsburg, NY
"Edgardo was sung brilliantly by tenor Brian Cheney. "

The Theater Mirror | New England Theater Guide
"His majestic tenor voice reaches to the top of the scale with every note clear and strong. Brian also acts as well as he sings with his reactions to the other characters… he has a very promising career ahead of him. "

As Alfredo in La Traviata

The New London Day | New London, CT
"Cheney conveys great affability in the part of Alfredo, and he appears so relaxed on stage that one hardly feels like he's acting at all. A lyric tenor, his voice floats delicately in the most romantic parts, but he can still conjure up some gusto in the more dynamically demanding songs."

As Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore

The Day | New London, CT
"Tenor Brian Cheney, who was unforgettable here two seasons ago as Edgardo in 'Lucia di Lammermoor,' sang the role of Nemorino, and as with his previous Donizetti here, he combined nuance and force in a seemingly effortless performance."

"…in the opera's one show-stopping aria, the sentimental 'Una furtiva lagrima,' Cheney was expressive, powerful and beautifully emotive, especially in the final repeated 'si può morir.'"

As Candide in Candide

The Sondheim Review | Chicago, IL
"The title role was beautifully sung and winningly played by Brian Cheney, a protege of the the late tenor Jerry Hadley, Bernstein's own choice for the title role in the 1989 recording."

Urban Tulsa Weekly | Tulsa, OK
"Cheney rises to the difficult role of Candide, and masters the challenging music. To hear someone sing like this, with such an appearance of effortlessness, inspires an almost painful relief, like the massage of a knotted muscle."

Tulsa World | Tulsa, OK
"The role of Candide has been one of Brian Cheney's ambitions for years and he is superb. He sings in an unadorned tone that emphasizes the character's naivete and vulnerability, especially in the songs like It Must Be So and Candide's Lament, where Candide opens his heart and questions the ideas he's long held dear. Make Our Garden Grow was performed with breathtaking power and beauty."

As Ottavio in Don Giovianni | Naples, FL
‎"Don Ottavio, Donna Anna's betrothed, gets much better treatment from Brian Cheney's strong tenor than the powerless Ottavio probably deserves."

‎"Ottavio's 'Il mio tesoro' powerfully done by Cheney."

As Prince Karl Franz in The Student Prince

The Advocate | Albany, NY
"But the heart of The Student Prince is the Prince himself, and imagine my delight when I discovered in Brian Cheney a wonderful tenor AND a fine actor! He is handsome in a very Mario Lanza/Tyrone Power/matinee-idol-of-the-1940's kind of way, which is perfect for this role. He sings magnificently, but knows how and when to use a stage voice as opposed to an operatic sound."

The Times Union | Albany, NY
"Brian Cheney is strong as Prince Karl Franz. He acts as well as he sings, which is important in a play about duty, where the boy doesn't get the girl. His wincing goodbye is true. He sings Serenade lustily, Beloved tenderly and he makes I'll Walk With God into a transformational moment worthy of a man who would be king."

As Cortez in La LLorona - World Premier Performance

Albuquerque Journal | Albuquerque, NM
"Cheney effectively projected the image of the conqueror Cortés with a warm, steady voice, exceptional clarity of diction and a strong stage presence that caught the ambivalence between his love and his ambition."

As Tenor Soloist in Messiah

The Daily Gazette | Schenectady, NY
"Tenor Brian Cheney was a revelation. A protégé of the late Jerry Hadley, 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."

The Advocate | Albany, NY
"(The performance) gave newcomer Cheney more time to thrill the crowd with his darkly hued voice, wonderfully sustained tones and exquisitely finished phrases. His entire range was mellifluous, and his passion was palpable."

As Tenor Soloist in Verdi's Requiem

"Cheney’s ringing and edged tenor soared like a clarion."

As Tenor Soloist in Songs from a Distant Mesa - World Premier Performance

Kip Allen | KHFM| Albuquerque, NM
"Cheney's performance vividly revealed him as a more-than-worthy successor to the late and legendary tenor. His powerful voice effortlessly filled the entire concert hall. At the same time, he showed dynamic range and careful articulation. These skills highlighted the composer's profound understanding of the impact of individual sounds and words. The result was at times a kind of incantation."

Robert Cray | Rio Independent| Albuquerque, NM
" An afternoon of great emotion...Brian Cheney as tenor soloist sang with lustrous radiance that illuminated the text at every point. One became hypnotized with both his tone and expression. His old mentor would have been bursting with pride.."

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