Tenor Jason Slayden is garnering critical attention across North America for his italianate, bronzy sound and natural stage presence, particularly in his interpretations of Puccini and Verdi.
“Jason Slayden’s performance as the licentious womanizing Duke of Mantua is equally convincing. His voice is rich and flowing, and he gives a distinctive turn as a playboy-type Duke of deceit.”
–Benjamin Freedman, BROADWAY WORLD REVIEWS
2014 PORTLAND SYMPHONIC CHOIR
MESSA DA REQUIEM
Slayden supplied a heroic tenor that was remarkably expressive and supported with terrific stamina. His “Ingemisco tamquam reus” (“I groan as a guilty one”) beautifully forged power with lyricism.
2013 DES MOINES METRO OPERA
ROMEO ET JULIETTE
Jason Slayden’s idiomatic, coltish Romeo was characterized by glinting high notes and a beautiful tenor instrument.
His singing was imaginative and varied, his interpretive skills are wide-ranging and his top is a thing of beauty.
2012 VANCOUVER OPERA
Casting Slayden is the boldest aspect of the production. … he’s a very affecting Rodolfo: he’s absolutely right for the character, and demonstrates considerable subtlety as an actor.
In the 2015-16 season, tenor Jason Slayden will make his company debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Tybalt and the understudy of Romeo in their production of Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette. With Cedar Rapids Opera Theater, he premiers his first Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata. Other performances this season include La Boheme with Virginia Opera starring as Rodolfo, Gianni Schicchi with Opera Santa Barbara as Rinuccio, Madama Butterfly with Berkshires Opera Festival as Pinkerton, as well as a return to the Jacksonville Symphony as the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah.
Last season, Jason premiered with Gotham Chamber Opera in their double bill of Bohuslav Martinu’s Alexandre Bis and Veselohra na Moste (Comedy on the Bridge). His New York City debut earned critical acclaim.
In “Alexandre bis,” the eloquent tenor JASON SLAYDEN played Oscar’s sportiness and self-regard to the hilt (he made his first appearance on a turn-of-the-century tricycle with a big front wheel). For “Comedy on the Bridge,” he was transformed into a neurotic schoolmaster, obsessed with a nonsensical riddle and bearing a curious resemblance to Hugh Grant.
–WALL STREET JOURNAL
He returned to Arizona Opera to sing il Duca di Mantua in Verdi’s Rigoletto, and in the spring, Jason also made debuts with Florida Grand Opera as Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte and Austin Lyric Opera in Don Giovanni as Don Ottavio.
The 2013-2014 season brought several Verdi role debuts, including il Duca di Mantua in Rigoletto with Opera Memphis, Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra with Kentucky Opera, and Cassio in Otello for Nashville Opera. Also in 2014 was a reprise of his Roldofo for Arizona Opera’s La Bohème, hailed by the press as “impeccably expressive.” In concert that season he performed with the Jacksonville Symphony in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, the Dayton Philharmonic for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and with L’Opéra de Montreal for their Gala 18th Edition: A Verdi Celebration.
The 2012-13 season marked Jason’s international debut, which attracted much critical acclaim. As Rodolfo in Vancouver Opera’s La Bohème, critics praised him as a “heartfelt, note-perfect tenor,” and said, “His ‘Che gelida manina’ was refreshingly realistic . . . and was dramatically as well as musically interesting.” Prior to that he was a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera, where he performed Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, a recital with pianist Steven Blier, and the tenor solo in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the National Symphony Orchestra. Additional engagements for the 2012-2013 season included his debut with Minnesota Opera in Thomas’s Hamlet as Laerte, and a return to Des Moines Metro Opera to premiere his first Roméo in Roméo et Juliette.
Jason was a Seattle Opera Young Artist in 2011-2012, where he made his main stage debut as Uldino in Verdi’s Atilla. In the Young Artist program, he sang the title role in Massenet’s Werther and Ernesto in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. Also in 2011, Jason won the Gerda Lissner Foundation First Prize, a George London Foundation encouragement award, and was a Metropolitan Opera National council semi-finalist. He returned Santa Fe Opera as a principal artist following two summers as an apprentice to sing the role of Andres in Berg’s Wozzeck and, at the last minute, stepped in to sing two performances of La Bohème as Rodolfo. As an apprentice artist at Santa Fe in 2009 and 2010, he was awarded the Donald Gramm Memorial Award and the Richard Tucker Memorial Award.
“Casting the Verdi Requiem should be just like casting a Verdi opera. Slayden is looking at a long and illustrious career moving forward. This is a voice of which Verdi would have approved: the timbre from low to high is beautifully round and smoky, in a good way.”