Robert Brubaker as Malatestino in Francesca da Ramini

Robert Brubaker, Tenor

Press Reviews

New York City Opera - J. Howard Marshall in Anna Nicole
"As Marshall, Robert Brubaker creates a physical and vocal portrait of decrepitude that only an artist at the height of his powers can summon, and he rocks the feeble billionaire's copper mylar track suit." (Click here for full review)
-Marion Lignana Rosenberg, The Classical Review, 9/20/2013

"Tenor Robert Brubaker did wonderful work as billionaire J. Howard Marshall II, Smith's 89-year-old husband, who was a horny old coot till the end." (Click here for full review)
-Richard Sasanow, BWW Opera,, 9/19/2013

"All right, there is one touching aria about aging sung by Anna's rich second hubby, J. Howard Marshall II (Robert Brubaker, who nails it) before he buys the farm." (Click here for full review)
-David Finkle, Huffington Post, 9/18/2013

"The dynamic tenor Robert Brubaker has great fun in the role of the nasal-toned, dilapidated, still randy eccentric." (Click here for full review)
-Anthony Tommassini, The New York Times, 9/18/2013

Opera Theatre of St. Louis - Luigi in Il Tabarro and Canio in I Pagliacci
"Tenor Robert Brubaker's Luigi is a brute, but when he lets go with those high notes you understand the attraction... Both men offered powerful singing and acting; Brubaker's "Ridi, pagliacco" was wrenching in its portrayal of the clown's grief, and strongly sung." (Click here for full review)
-Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 6/2/2013

"The simmering tensions between Nedda and Canio, her husband, portrayed with fierce intensity by Robert Brubaker, reached a boiling point in this riveting staging." (Click here for full review)
-Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times, 6/23/2013

"Tenor Robert Brubaker is equally remarkable in the contrasting roles of Luigi and Canio, with a powerful, ringing voice and compelling stage presence." (Click here for full review)
-Chuck Lavazzi,, 6/2/2013

Metropolitan Opera - Maletestino in Francesca da Ramini
"To appreciate why Robert Brubaker shone in a supporting role, albeit an important one, a little of the story will help... Eva-Maria Westbroek and Marcello Giordani turned in committed, vocally secure performances, reminiscent of the glory days of verismo. Mark Delavan thundered and was truly frightening in his most heated passages. But Robert Brubaker sang them off the stage. He made it difficult to hate his repulsive character with all the gleaming vocal radiance he launched into the cosmos." (Click here for full review)
-Richard Carter, The Examiner, 3/5/2013

"Marcello Giordani's tenor stayed true to pitch for Paolo, but was overshadowed by the bracing tones of Robert Brubaker, another tenor, as his jealous kid brother, Malatestino." (Click here for full review)
-James Jorden, The New York Post, 3/7/2013

"The tenor Robert Brubaker's conniving Malatestino lent the outing some badly needed bile and pitch-black humor." (Click here for full review)
-Steve Smith, The New York Times, 3/6/2013

"Robert Brubaker's bright, clear and powerful tenor made one wish the role of the third brother, the evil Malatestino, was even larger; Act Four's confrontation scene, in which Malatestino promises Gianciotto proof of Francesca's fidelity, found Delavan and Brubaker pelting each other with vocally thrilling insults." (Click here for full review)
-Judith Malafronte, The Classical Review, 3/5/2013

"L'infido Malatestino, ha trovato un altrettanto convincente interprete nel tenore americano Robert Brubaker che ha cantato con spavalda sicurezza e agilità fisica." (Click here for full review)
-William V.Madison, GB Opera, 3/16/2013

(The treacherous Malatestino, found an equally compelling performer in the American tenor Robert Brubaker who sang with bold security and physical agility.)

"Perhaps even more evil, though, was Robert Brubaker. Brubaker is possibly most famous for his assumption of Mime under Levine at the Met, and, on present evidence, one can easily imagine him sliming his way through the role with ease. As with the rest of the cast, his vocal contribution was faultless." (Click here for full review)
-Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International, 3/17/2013

"The villains were a lot more fun... Tenor Robert Brubaker (soon to be singing Mime in the Met's spring Ring) made Malatestino a leering pervert with dead-on intonation." (Click here for full review)
-David Rubin, CNY Café Momus, 3/16/2013

Teatro Grattacielo - Marco Gràtico in La Nave
"Robert Brubaker... attacked all of Marco Gràtico's trumpeting passages with fearless authority.
-Peter G Davis, Musical America, 11/5/2012

"The next biggest role, again by a wide margin, is Marco Gratico, the tenor. Robert Brubaker sung with exhilarating power, and made Marco sound thoroughly heroic... From a purely musical point of view, however, much could be said for Brubaker's decision to simply concentrate on bringing out the soaring beauty of Montemezzi's vocal writing." (Click here for full review.)
-David Chandler, Opera Today, 11/10/2012

"Brubaker has a hefty heroic tenor voice with the size and control that make this role an excellent fit. He sang with real feeling, breathing vivid life into a rather unlikable character." (Click here for full review.)
-Dan Foley, Musical Criticism, 12/9/2012

"Robert Brubaker, a better-known quantity, did some startling and thrilling things with the role of Marco Gràtico, especially in the high-lying area where most of the part seems to sit." (Click here for full review.), 11/2/2012

The Metropolitan Opera - The Witch in Hänsel und Gretel
"Robert Brubaker is a superlative singer and actor. He played the witch as an overweight and diabolically twisted Julia Child, and was totally committed to the role, performing with relish and demonic glee. It was an astonishing performance, especially perhaps for those of us who remember his star turn last season as Chairman Mao.

What a versatile singer/actor Brubaker is!. A man dressed as a woman is a staple of British pantomime (called panto) tradition. Brubaker looked as if he had a lot of fun with it, as did we all, thanks to him." (Click here for full review.)
-Arlene Judith Klotzko,, 12/2011

Tenor Robert Brubaker was the Witch and he score a big success, singing the role with the right comedic timing and showing a couple of high notes that prove he is a great dramatic tenor. He never over-acted the part, which is a bonus when you have a man playing the Witch." (Click here for full review.)
-Ingrid Haas,, 12/2011

The Metropolitan Opera - Mao Tse-Tung in Nixon in China
"... in the long scene in which Nixon meets the frail yet feisty Mao, here the tenor Robert Brubaker in a performance that captures the chairman's authoritarian defiance and rapacious self-indulgence." (Click here for full review.)
-Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, 02/03/2011

"Tenor Robert Brubaker handled Mao's high tessitura impeccably, creating an indelible image of a ruthless, wily fighter, despite his age and decrepitude. Mr. Sellars had him barely able to walk, wracked with physical spasms and prone to narcolepsy, but it didn't stop him from being sexually serviced by one of the secretaries during the final act." (Click here for full review.)
-Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal, 02/08/2011

"Tenor Robert Brubaker, unfazed by the stratospheric range of Chairman Mao's outbursts, created an eerie character, verging on a mad-scientist caricature." (Click here for full review.)
-James Jordan, New York Post, 02/04/2011

"Robert Brubaker lends a wicked glint to the surprisingly mischievous Mao." (Click here for full review.)
-David Sheward, Backstage, 02/04/2011

"In the second scene, Nixon huddles with an aged but still ferocious Mao Tse-tung... In Robert Brubaker's impressive performance, the Chairman scoffs at America's foreign wars and declares China ready to repel an invasion of Western money." (Click here for full review.)
-Justin Davidson, New York Magazine, 02/04/2011

Seville - Loge in Das Rheingold
"Estupendo el 'Loge' de Robert Brubaker, acaso la voz mas wageriana de todas junto con a irreprochable y densisima."
-Ismael Cabral, El Correo de Andalucia, 11/05/2010

(Marvelous the 'Loge' by Robert Brubaker, perhaps the most Wagnerian voice of all, flawless and solid.)

Particularmente nos gusto el 'Loge' de Robert Brubaker, el fuego de un personaje paradojicamente oscuro, inasible, escurridizo como su agil vehiculo electrico con el que dibujaba una y otra vez el leitmotiv que lo distingue: menuda voz de tenor bien impostada, de clara vocalizcion y tornasolada como su caracter."
-Carlos Tarin, ABC de Sevilla/Cultura, 11/05/2010

(We particularly liked the 'Loge' of Robert Brubaker, a fire of a paradoxically dark character, elusive, slippery as his agile electric vehicle: what a fine tenor voice well projected, clearly vocalized and iridescent as his character.)

"De entre los hombres, destacaría en primer lugar el Loge del ya conocido en Sevilla Robert Brubaker, color adecuado para el más interesante de los personajes de este prólogo, desenvoltura escénica y buena técnica fueron sus mejores armas."
-Pedro Coco,, 11/05/2010

(Of the men, I would highlight first the Loge of Robert Brubaker (known in Seville), with the appropriate color for the most interesting of the characters in this prologue: stage poise and good technique were his best weapons.)

Los Angeles Opera - Alviano in Die Gezeichneten (The Stigmatized)
"Robert Brubaker has little competition as Alviano. He was extraordinarily moving in the role as a tormented cross-dressing outsider in a Salzburg Festival production conducted by Kent Nagano five years ago. Hobbling on crutches this time, he was less intriguing but no less affecting."
-Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 4/11/2010

"The strength of this production lies in its two protagonists: American Robert Brubaker makes his LA Opera debut as Alviano Salvago, the deformed hunchback, creator of the paradise island 'Elysium'... Brubaker wrings out every ounce of human misery..."
-Christie Grimstad,, 4/10/2010

"Robert Brubaker's sturdy tenor poignantly communicated Salvago's struggle between the sensual and the spiritual."
-Allan Ulrich, Financial Times, 4/16/2010

"Robert Brubaker offers a greater believability, along with a rich, deeply inflected tenor in the role of Alviano. He's a Strauss expert, and it shows."
-Marc Porter Zasada, Los Angeles Downtown News, 4/14/2010

"Allerdings gelingt nur jenen Solisten, die ihre Partien bereits an anderen Bühnen verkörpert haben, die intendierte musikdramatische Wirkung ... Robert Brubaker, in Salzburg ein Crossdresser, ist nunmehr ein mit zwei Krücken glaubhaft agierender Spastiker Alviano, mit einer faszinierenden Bandbreite stimmlicher Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten."
-Von Peter P. Pachl, Neue Musikzeitung, 4/13/2010

(However, only those soloists who already played their parts in other houses had the intended effect of music drama ... Robert Brubaker, a crossdresser in Salzburg, now with two crutches is a plausible acting spastic Alviano, with a fascinating range of vocal expression.)"

Barcelona - Gran Teatre del Liceu - Herod in Salome
"Le reste de la distribution s'est montré à la hauteur sans exception. Robert Brubaker - déguisé en Karl Lagersfeld, qui sait pourquoi? - a été un Hérode violent, couard, méprisable, et, sans défaut vocal; il a mis son timbre ingrat au service de la caractérisation de son personnage qui ne l'était pas moins."
-Jaime Estapà i Argemí,, 7/3/2009

(The rest of the cast brought itself up to the heights without exception. Robert Brubaker - disguised as Karl Lagersfeld, though one does not know why? - was a Hérode more violent, more cowardly, more despicable, and, without vocal defect; he put his ungrateful stamp to the service of the characterization of his personage that was not less.)

The Metropolitan Opera - Mime in Siegfried
"The tenor Robert Brubaker triumphed as Mime. His singing captured the sneering wiles and befuddled fits of this complex character, at once foolish and dangerous." (Click here for entire review.)
-Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, 4/19/2009

"Outstanding newcomers to the MET Ring included the grotesque but human members of the Alberich clan - Robert Brubaker's stupendous Mime, a foster parent from Hell..."
-David J. Baker, Opera News, July 2009

Seville - Herod in Salomé
"...the great Robert Brubaker..."
-El Periódico, 6/21/2009

English National Opera - Laca in Jenufa
"Tom Randle's Steva... is sharply contrasted with Robert Brubaker's Laca, whose repressed violence gradually gives way to a deep but clumsy tenderness, so that his first, tentative embrace with Jenufa really does feel like the opening of a door to a new world... Strong stuff, finely done."
-The Guardian, 3/16/2009

"Robert Brubaker was convincing as the long suffering Laca...", 3/16/2009

"Robert Brubaker delivered a heartfelt performance as Laca."
-MusicOMH, 3/14/2009

"As his unloved half-brother Laca, Robert Brubaker's blend of hatred and love pours out in his high-charged vocalism."
-The Stage, 3/13/2009

Teatro de la Maestranza, Sevilla, Spain - Mephistopheles in Doktor Faust
"Entre los cantantes sobreslaio con mucho el tenor Robert Brubaker como mefistofeles, absolutamente perfecto en todos sus comtidos y tan superior al resto que incluso parecia amplificado."
-La Razon, 10/23/2008

(Among the singers the tenor Robert Brubaker as Mephistopheles excelled by far, absolutely perfect in all his assignments and so superior to the rest that he even seemed amplified.)

"Sobre todo en la primera parte levanto un muro sonoro que solo traspaso holgadmente el pequeno Brubaker, esplendido en todo momento, creible y muy ductile."
-ABC, 10/23/2008

(Only Brubaker comfortably comes through the orchestral wall of sound, beautiful at all times, credible and highly flexible.)

"... a su lado, el Mefistofeles de este cuento de marionetas - en su original - se acrecentaba como una verdaderamente diabolica sombra, pues, a la postre, la quebradiza mueca del tenor Robert Bubaker capto mas la atencion de todos con su matizada diccion y su torrente vocal, transformado en grito en algun momento olvidable. El Joker de la funcion - con multiples personalidades aunque con un vestuario siempre mosqueantemente similar - no quito importancia a la voz mas redonda de la nocho..."
-El Correo de Andalucia, 10/22/2008

(... At his side, the Mephistopheles of this story of marionettes - in the original - were increasing as a really diabolical shadow, so, at last, the fragile grimace of the tenor Robert Brubaker catches the attention of all with his multicolored diction and his vocal power transformed into shout in a forgetful moment. The Joker of the function - with multiple personalities though with a wardrobe always suspiciously similar - does not remove the importance of the most "round" voice of the night...)

DVD of Golitsyn in Khovanshchina, recorded in Barcelona
"Robert Brubaker's Golitsyn is suave, sly, pettish and alarming in his sudden losses of control, and well sung to boot."
-Opera Magazine

Opéra National de Paris - Der Zwerg
"The towering achievement was Robert Brubaker's interpretation of the dwarf. Manipulating a grotesque puppet attached to his arms and feet, he sang the tortuous pages of this Expressionist piece with bronzed courage."
-Opera News

Opéra National de Paris - Boris Godunov
"... above all [was] the false Dimitri of Robert Brubaker. The American tenor's voice is outstanding in this repertoire, tireless and metallic, every phrase conquered with disconcerting ease and a cleverly constructed stage persona leading from timid monk to haughtily arrogant Tsar."
-Stephen Mudge, Musical America

"The most impressive singing at the first performance Oct. 18 was delivered by the tenor Robert Brubaker as the false Dmitri, on his shifty way to the throne, and Olga Borodina as the grossly ambitious Marina."
-David Stearns, International Herald Tribune

Metropolitan Opera - Doktor Faust
"As Mephistopheles, tenor Robert Brubaker conveys the sinister quality of his role without sacrificing vocal beauty."
- Howard Kissel, New York Daily News

"Robert Brubaker's peppery high tenor is perfect for Mephistopheles... he gives a virtuoso performance."
- Peter G. Davis, New York Magazine

"He coped manfully with the impossibly high tessitura [and] summoned considerable power and illuminated the sardonic platitudes with welcome restraint."
- Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times

"The vocal pressure seldom lets up: The unrelenting focus on the two leading characters calls for heroic singing, provided abundantly by Thomas Hampson as Faust and Robert Brubaker as Mephistopheles."
- Shirley Fleming, New York Post

"The tenor Robert Brubaker captures the needling, oily qualities of Mephistopheles."
- Anthony Tommasini, New York Times

Metropolitan Opera - The Makropulos Case
"... brightly incisive as Albert Gregor..."
- Financial Times

English National Opera - Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District
"Robert Brubaker, in his best work yet at the Coliseum, was outstanding as Katerina's lover, terrier-like in his pursuit of her, a sewer rat in his later desertion, and he made light of the role's terrifying vocal demands."
- Rodney Milnes, London Times

English National Opera - Peter Grimes
"The American tenor Robert Brubaker is singing Grimes for the first time. He has also just taken Otello into his repertory, and it shows - big, heroic sound that he can fine down for a stirringly sensitive account of the hut monologue. He makes no false claims on our sympathy; this Grimes is aggressive, paranoid, deranged rather than visionary, which makes his relationship with Vivian Tierney's highly equivocal, prying Ellen more than usually explosive."
- Rodney Milnes, London Times

"Among the principals, interest centered on a newcomer to the title role, the American tenor Robert Brubaker. In terms of scale his performance is in the rough, tough tradition of Jon Vickers as opposed to the refinement of Peter Pears. But as Vickers (or for that matter Richard Cassilly) amply demonstrated, the heroic tenor voice provides manifold possibilities for the exploration of the part, and Brubaker's fiery articulation of the text and huge dynamic variety were remarkably impressive, as was a demeanour that gave a certain crazed grandeur to this [production's] comfortless vision."
- George Hall, Opera

English National Opera - Nixon in China
"Robert Brubaker put in an incredible performance as the aged leader."
- Opera

English National Opera - From the House of the Dead
"Robert Brubaker's tenor is thrilling as Luka."
- Tim Albery, Evening Standard (London)

English National Opera - Carmen
"That Robert Brubaker manages to make mummy's boy Don José more than risible is an achievement; to steal the show with it - a miracle."
- The Scotsman

"Tenor voices at ENO are rarely as confident and problem-free as Brubaker's."
- Financial Times

"An outstanding José whose singing encompasses both the lyricism for his duet with Micaëla and the verismo violence of the later acts."
- London Times

English National Opera - Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
"Tenor Robert Brubaker led the Mahagonny cast in style, vocally and dramatically."
- Opera News

Kentucky Opera - Salome
"Brubaker sang with exceptional control over color and dynamic projection, reveling in one of Strauss' most intricate acting assignments."
- Louisville Journal Courier

Ariadne auf Naxos
"Robert Brubaker's sexy Bacchus, who makes an impossible role believable."
- Financial Times

"Robert Brubaker navigated his fiendish challenges with agility..."
- Evening Standard

"Petra Lang's Ariadne and Robert Brubaker's Bacchus sustain their final duet in a way that sheds all artifice and touches the opera's emotional core."
- The Guardian