RECENT REVIEWS / PRESS COVERAGE
Central City Opera -- Britten’s BILLY BUDD
Central City Opera -- Puccini’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY
Resonance Works Pittsburgh -- Bach’s ST. JOHN PASSION
On Site Opera -- AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS:
Lyric Fest -- DARON HAGEN: 21-ST CENTURY SONG CYCLES (Naxos):
San Diego Opera -- TURANDOT:
Utah Opera -- MOBY-DICK (New Production):
Opera Philadelphia -- ELIZABETH CREE (WORLD PREMIERE):
The Crypt Sessions -- CREE IN THE CRYPT:
Resonance Works Pittsburgh -- FALSTAFF:
Hawaii Opera Theatre -- THE TALES OF HOFFMANN:
Virginia Opera -- TURANDOT:
Opera Philadelphia -- TURANDOT:
Utah Opera -- LE NOZZE DI FIGARO:
Opera Las Vegas -- MADAMA BUTTERFLY:
Opera Colorado -- THE MAGIC FLUTE:
Opera Philadelphia -- OSCAR:
Central City Opera -- DEAD MAN WALKING:
Central City Opera -- LE NOZZE DI FIGARO:
Lyric Fest -- Dear March -- Come In!
Utah Opera -- Turandot:
Opera Omnia -- THE RETURN OF ULYSSES:
Interview: MuseDialogue -- A journal for contemplation and discussion of the arts
"In the case of opera, you have to think about those studying voice in conservatories around the country. They work so hard to celebrate an art, to have it endure, but one cannot help but to think that this passion faces some of the toughest odds. ... There must be some good stories in there. There are, and Joseph Gaines is one of them."
-- Andrew Swensen (MuseDialogue):
[For the full article, see: musedialogue.org/articles-by-genre/performing-arts/the-future-of-opera-a-series/joseph-gaines-the-story-of-opera-and-of-an-artist/ ]
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh SummerFest -- The Tales of Hoffmann
"The entire performance tingled with raw energy... Joseph Gaines exhibited stage-savvy in four comic servant roles..."
-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2013)
Opera Philadelphia -- The Magic Flute
"Joseph Gaines embodied a vocally correct servant Monostatos of great theatrical effervescence."
"...Joseph Gaines had one of the finest voices...."
-Philadelphia Inquirer (2013)
"The thankless role is well played by tenor Joseph Gaines as something like the hypersexual but unthreatening Dean on Community."
-Philadelphia City Paper (2013)
"Elizabeth Zaroff’s Pamina displayed spirit, and Joseph Gaines’s Monostatos was suitably randy."
-Broad Street Review (2013)
Pittsburgh Opera -- Madama Butterfly
"Joseph Gaines projected Goro's lines meaningfully, making this supporting role a figure to be reckoned with."
-Opera News (2013)
"I did appreciate Joseph Gaines' portrayal of Goro as fully human. This character can sometimes be played as despicable, but the marriage broker does look out for Butterfly, even desperately trying to arrange a second marriage with the rich Prince Yamadori (Kyle Olvier) that would set her up for life."
-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2013)
"Secondary roles were generally well handled, including Joseph Gaines' colorful marriage broker Goro and Dwayne Croft's agonized Sharpless."
-Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (2013)
Lyric Fest -- "New Journey into Song: A Winter's Journey"
"Joseph Gaines, brought in on short notice when the original singer canceled, completely embodied the music with his light tenor, committing body and soul to the music in ways one rarely sees."
-The Philadelphia Inquirer (2013)
Ars Lyrica Houston -- "La Dirindina" (Sono Luminus Records)
"...word play squeezed for all it is worth by the score and delivered with relish by the young tenor, Joseph Gaines.... there is real testosterone in Gaines’ singing, assured and mocking. "
"The three vocalists in 'La Dirindina' are perfectly cast... Gaines' Liscione manages to sound at once smarmy and earnest (see the recitative 'Ma quel che piu pilotta'), using a little catch in his voice, a Salieri-esqe crackle, and a strong falsetto to great comedic effect."
-Early Music America (2013)
"... Joseph Gaines’s Liscione is played to fine comic effect."
"For this recording, Dirst has assembled a fine cast - mezzo Jamie Barton, tenor Joseph Gaines and baritone Brian Shircliffe - to bring the piece to life."
-The Houston Chronicle (2012)
The Washington Bach Consort -- "Kings and Commoners"
"The tenor Joseph Gaines sang elegantly with a sense of stylistic finesse. His tone contained a wonderful variety of nuances, with the vibrato evenly placed. The projection of his vocal delivery was generous, negotiating the demands of the composer’s involved writing with graceful ease."
-Washington Life (2012)
"Besides [Jon] Bruno, the excellent vocal soloists were soprano Rebecca Kellerman Petretta, alto Kristen Dubenion-Smith and tenor Joseph Gaines."
-The Washington Post (2012)
As Maximillian in Opera Theater Summerfest's CANDIDE;
with Katherine Brandt as the Baroness, and James Critchfield as the Baron.
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh -- Candide
"Joseph Gaines matched [Abigail Dueppen's Cunegonde] with his adept singing and playing as Cunegonde’s equally superficial and sexually exploited brother Maximilian."
-Gordon Spencer on WRCT (2012)
Pittsburgh Opera -- The Abduction from the Seraglio
"Pedrillo received a dramatically decisive interpretation from Joseph Gaines, with more than a whiff of actor David Spade's trademark obsequiousness."
-Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (2012)
"By the time the locomotive pulled into Paris and the Pasha had reluctantly freed the lovers, it was clear that this was one of the most compelling and visually appealing productions the Pittsburgh Opera has ever staged."
-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2012)
"David Portillo and Joseph Gaines made for a delightful pair as the heroic Belmonte and his servant, Pedrillo."
-Opera Pulse (2012)
As Pedrillo in Pittsburgh Opera's THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO.
Apollo's Fire -- The Magic Flute
"... music director Jeannette Sorrell and superb colleagues have created a lithe 'Magic Flute' of captivating and touching vibrancy."
-The Plain Dealer (2012)
"... the two priests who accompany Sarastro (Jeffrey Strauss and Joseph Gaines) sparkled in excellent ensemble singing."
Teatro Grattacielo – I Compagnacci
"Tenor Joseph Gaines took full advantage of his moments as Anna Maria's spurned suitor Noferi."
-Opera News (2011)
"Joseph Gaines, as the unattractive and rejected suitor, had an amusing delivery of the most memorable tune in the opera."
-Opera Today (2011)
As Goro in Central City Opera's MADAMA BUTTERFLY; with Mika Shigematsu (Suzuki), and Tim McDevitt, baritone.
Central City Opera – Madama Butterfly
"Other standout performances include ... tenor Joseph Gaines who is well-cast as Goro, the creepy and conniving marriage broker."
-The Denver Post (2010)
"This is — in sum — is Puccini staged by a troupe of masters who bring new insight — and emotion — to the overworked score. "
-Opera Today (2010)
"There were other commendable supporting roles that went into making this a very emotional and satisfying performance. Among these were Joseph Gaines as the Marriage Broker..."
-The Weekly Register-Call (2010)
Teatro Grattacielo – I Gioielli Della Madonna
"It was terrific fun, and interesting, to hear the full-throttled performance that Teatro Grattacielo presented here, with David Wroe conducting a large and committed cast, the Westfield Symphony Orchestra, the combined Cantori New York and Long Island University Chorus, the Chinese American Children’s Chorus, and — essential to the performance — the Due Colori Ensemble of mandolins and guitars."
-The New York Times (2010)
"The rest of the very large cast were all excellent in their varied roles including Mark Cortale as Biaso, Joseph Gaines as Ciccillo, John Tiranno as Totonno, Damian Savarino as Rocco, Mark Womack and Timothy Birt as two young men and Lawrence Long as the blind man."
"On the strength of the excellent concert performance presented by Teatro Grattacielo at Rose Hall last Monday, Wolf-Ferrari might be worthy of more attention ... The many small roles were cast with Teatro Grattacielo’s usual expertise."
-Opera Today (2010)
Pittsburgh Opera – The Marriage of Figaro
"In the double assignment of Basilio/Curzio, Joseph Gaines's bright tenor cut through the crowd, and he managed to differentiate the characters effectively. "
-Opera News (2010)
"Joseph Gaines' Don Basilio was wonderfully wooden."
-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2010)
From left to right: tenor William Burden; mezzo Nancy Maultsby; tenor Joseph Gaines; soprano Heidi Stober;
baritone Peter Coleman-Wright; mezzo Judith Christin; baritone Kevin Langan.
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra – The Rake's Progress
"On Thursday night at St. Paul's Ordway Center, the SPCO, Minnesota Chorale, conductor Edo de Waart and seven very impressive vocal soloists performed a "Rake's Progress" that will likely be looked back upon as the triumph of this festival. Impeccably executed with unflagging energy and inspiring musicianship, it not only illuminated the composer's genius, but left the enthusiastic audience debating who deserved the greatest praise for its success."
-The St. Paul Pioneer Press (2010)
"This was partly due to the excellence of the cast members, who managed not only to relate to one another while standing in front of their music stands but to create believable characters. Continually impressive was William Burden in the title role, displaying a sweet tenor that took on a heroic ring in the climaxes and drawing a compelling, chameleonic character throughout. Heidi Stober was the vocally radiant Anne Trulove, Peter Coleman-Wright the subtle but sinister Nick Shadow, and mezzo Nancy Maultsby a foxy Baba the Turk. Kevin Langan, Judith Christin and Joseph Gaines were excellent in smaller roles..."
-The Minneapolis Star-Tribune (2010)
Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue – "Messiah: The Mozart Orchestrations" (Rel. 2007)
"Tenor Joseph Gaines is a fiery, evangelical soloist ... this is an excellent recording, another fine example in the growing list of english-speaking Mozart-arranged Messiahs."
-The Compleat Messiah (2010)
Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue – Messiah
"The tenor, Joseph Gaines, contributed an attractively focused, shapely tone and some thoughtfully turned ornamentation."
-The New York Times (2009)
Pittsburgh Opera – Falstaff
"Joseph Gaines captured the disdain of the sniveling Dr. Caius well."
-Opera News (2010)
"Joseph Gaines was a nasty Dr. Caius."
-The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (2009)
As Caius in Pittsburgh Opera's FALSTAFF.
Indianapolis Opera – Ariadne auf Naxos
" Joseph Gaines sparkled vocally as Scaramuccio."
"... members of the comedy troupe made a fine ensemble..."
-The Indianapolis Star (2009)
Ars Lyrica Houston – Music of Alessandro Scarlatti (NAXOS Records)
"The compact work is skillfully performed by the Houstonians."
"In particular the two vocal items are fine additions to the growing catalogue of Scarlatti’s vocal music. The interpreters have certainly succeeded in bringing the music’s quality into the limelight. Lovers of Alessandro Scarlatti’s music in particular should not overlook this disc."
-Johan van Veen/MusicWeb International (2009)
"Their approach is decisive and melodious, full-bodied and confident…their singing is careful and precise."
-Mark Sealey/MusicWeb International (2009)
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra – Handel's "Ode for St. Cecilia's Day"
"This one took me by surprise because this sort of music just doesn't stir my soul. Tenor soloist Joseph Gaines was such an exuberant performer you couldn't help but smile. He looked pretty hip, too -- more Michael Stipe than old-school orchestral."
-The Minneapolis Star-Tribune (2008)
"Its text was delivered not only by the choir but also by a pair of strong soloists, sweet-voiced soprano Claire Ormshaw and colorful tenor Joseph Gaines."
-The St. Paul Pioneer Press (2008)
Ars Lyrica Houston – Rockin' Rococo
"Last but not least we enjoyed the voice of tenor Joseph Gaines who sang French and German lyrics crisply and clearly so that we could understand every word."
-Arts Houston (2008)
Glimmerglass Opera – Das Liebesverbot
"Glimmerglass Young American Artist Joseph Gaines gave a bright characterization as the toadying Pontio Pilato."
-Opera News (2008)
"The comic parts were entertaining, especially the contributions of tenor Joseph Gaines as Pontio Pilato (as he says, not that one)..."
-The Wall Street Journal (2008)
"Joseph Gaines, a tenor, was impressive as Pontio Pilato, by turns a flesh peddler and a jailer."
-The New York Times (2008)
"Tenor Joseph Gaines (one of the Young American Artists) always makes a fine impression, and he relished every moment of his stage time (as did we) with a delectable character turn as “Pontio Pilato.” He has a pleasantly clear, well-projected voice, and very good German diction. A committed and concentrated actor, his honest and animated performance was blessedly cliche-free."
- Opera Today (2008)
"Lauren Skuce’s Dorella and Joseph Gaines Pontio Pilato showed vocal skill and assured comic presence."
- The Boston Musical Intelligencer (2008)
"Among Shakespeare’s character Pompey (another outspoken advocate of lust) is here renamed Pontio Pilato (one wonders what was going through the young Wagner’s mind) and Joseph Gaines gives a vivid portrayal."
- ConcertoNet (2008)
" Joseph Gaines as Pontius Pilate (one of the opera’s few good jokes lurks behind the name) was channeling Stanley Tucci in The Devil Wears Prada, bringing good timing and a very nice voice to the character."
- Metroland (2008)
" Among a large cast of comprimarios, the Pontio Pilato of tenor Joseph Gaines (a fusion of Shakespeare's Pompey and The Provost) stood out for his exemplary diction in the transposed dialogue with Luzio in Act 2."
- The Ithaca Journal (2008)
"Tenor Joseph Gaines was great fun as the pimp Pontio Pilato, "guilty of aiding and abetting the practice of free love."
- The Oneida Daily Dispatch (2008)
Indianapolis Opera – The Magic Flute
“Monostatos (Joseph Gaines) looked authentically Egyptian and svelte in a revealing mini-skirt and collar...
Gaines sang Monostatos's music beautifully while cavorting about the stage.”
- Opera News Online (2007)
Glimmerglass Opera – Orpheus in the Underworld
“Joyce Castle (Public Opinion) and Jake Gardner (Jupiter) performed with skill and comic nuance, sang well, and comported themselves like the seasoned pros that they are. They were matched by a wonderfully fey, wonderfully sung “Mercury” from tenor Joseph Gaines, who by the way, also gave a lovely Young Artist’s recital at week’s end accompanied by Timothy Hoekman.”
-Opera Today (2007)
“More good work came from … tenor Joseph Gaines as Mercury, who reports that ‘hell, fire and damnation are not as unsavory’ as he was led to believe. Mercury's patter song was cut from the production, but operagoers can hear Gaines sing it in French (the production is sung in English) during the pre-performance lecture.”
-The Oneida Daily Dispatch (2007)
Indianapolis Opera – Falstaff
“The sweet-voiced Bardolfo of Joseph Gaines could have been singing Fenton… The rapport and interplay between Condy, Gaines and Plourde was a particular delight.”
-Opera News (2007)
As Bardolfo in Indianpolis Opera's FALSTAFF, with baritone Steven Condy in the title role.
Regina Opera – Madama Butterfly
“Joseph Gaines was a scene-stealing Goro, his fine robust and secure tenor and amusing deportment in his gold Japanese robe and black bowler that made him an intriguing character. Goro’s being the ‘victim’ of Cio-Cio-San’s wrath when he spread rumors that ‘Sorrow’ was not necessarily Pinkerton’s child, was very well done. Gaines had the audiences’ attention at all times. He is naturally stage-worthy.”
-The Italian Voice (2007)
St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue – Messiah
“The strong soloists were ... Joseph Gaines, tenor… all of whom often sang with dramatic flair and plenty of bite.”
-The New York Times (2006)
Central City Opera – The Coronation of Poppea
“Tenor Joseph Gaines makes the most of the minor role Liberto…”
-Denver Post (2006)
Houston Chamber Choir – St. John Passion
"The back-and-forth change of leadership worked without a hitch, and the performance kept momentum because of the totally engaged singing of Joseph Gaines as the Evangelist. He was the standout of the evening. In contrast to most of the other singers, his English diction was excellent. He vividly declaimed the text taken from the Gospel According to St. John. He used a wide palette of vocal colors to establish the right emotional tone for every moment. His work was filled with character."
-Houston Chronicle (2005)
Houson Bach Society – St. John Passion
"...tenor Joseph Gaines sang with ardor."
-Houston Chronicle (2005)
Washington Bach Consort – “Leipzig Legacy”
"Soprano Jacqueline Horner, alto Patricia Green, tenor Joseph Gaines and bass James Weaver were a uniformly strong ensemble..."
-Washington Post (2004)
“…all four vocal soloists (Jacqueline Horner, Patricia Green, Joseph Gaines, and James Weaver) performed well.”
With members of the Pittsburgh Song Collaborative after the sold-out performance of La Belle Époque Cabaret, in collaboration with the Carnegie Museum of Art. From left to right, baritone Robert Frankenberry, pianist and PSC Artistic Director Benjamin Binder, tenor Joseph Gaines, and mezzo-soprano Olga Flora. Beverages were provided by Pernod Absinthe, the event's official sponsor.
Mercury Baroque – Messiah
"...the outstanding tenor solos offered by tenor Joseph Gaines ... held the attention of the audience for nearly three hours .... Tenor Joseph Gaines was the outstanding soloist, singing with warmth and arching phrases that had an unquestionable logic."
-Arts Houston (2004)
Washington Bach Consort – St. Matthew Passion
"...Joseph Gaines sang with resilient soulfulness."
-Washington Post (2004)
Mercury Baroque Ensemble – Messiah
"Tenor Joseph Gaines ... was the best of the quartet in conveying the meaning of key words."
-Houston Chronicle (2004)
Houston Bach Society – Bach Christmas Oratorio
"Tenor Joseph Gaines offered snap-crackle singing as the Evangelist..."
-Houston Chronicle (2003)
Washington Bach Consort – “Magnificat Times Three”
"The soloists were ... tenor Joseph Gaines ... in outstanding material, they gave distinguished performances."
-Washington Post (2003)
Houston Chamber Choir – 1610 Vespers
"Gaines had the largest part of the solo work, which he handled with a nice sense of style."
-Houston Chonicle (2003)
Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Leipzig – Eugene Onegin
"Joseph Gaines did complete justice to the unusually high acting demands of this Triquet."
-Leipzig Almanach (2002)
"[Director] Matthias Oldag let all threads of this tragic play come together with Joseph Gaines' Triquet."
-Leipziger Volkszeitung (2002)
Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Leipzig – Die Israeliten in der Wüste
"The native Texan Joseph Gaines (tenor) proved to be the shining choice for this work. He mastered the somewhat extensive portions of Aaron at the beginning and the end with oustanding pronunciation and clarity of text, clear and clean intonation, as well as appropriate expression."
-Leipzig Almanach (2002)
Landesjugendorchester Sachsen – HMS Royal Oak
"...individual settings came out best, such as the Panama Song with the American Joseph Gaines..."
-Sächsische Zeitung (2002)
"A large tenor part gave us the chance to get to know a young American singer, who presently studies in Leipzig. Joseph Gaines had a wonderfully clear lyric voice with a gently responsive upper range."
-Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten (2002)
University of Houston Moores Opera Center – Euridice
“Joseph Gaines plays a wonderfully love-stricken Orpheus.”
-The Daily Cougar (2001)
University of Houston Collegium Musicum -- Jonah
"But, above all, I will remember the variety of emotions composers expressed through such simple means. [Carissimi's] Jonah was the best example, especially Jonah's long solo of repentence. Simplicity is hard to convey but, as tenor Joseph Gaines showed, it can be powerfully moving. "
-The Houston Chronicle (1998)
Translations: Joseph Gaines