In response to the recent release of Héroïque, Bryan Hymel’s debut solo album, NPR proclaimed, “Pavarotti, roll over. There’s a new king of the high Cs,” adding that “Hymel’s voice is rare these days: a combination of Wagnerian muscle and bel canto refinement, comfortable in the stratospheric register… strong enough to soar above a full orchestra and suave enough for sweet-toned love scenes.… This is why we listen to opera!”
The New Orleans-born tenor is earning consistent acclaim for his debut on Warner Classics. The New Yorker wrote, “The emergence of a first-rate tenor is always a cause for celebration, but Hymel’s rare gift for singing the French ‘heroic’ repertory—which demands a unique mixture of power, refinement, and technical flexibility in the highest vocal register—makes him doubly valuable.”
“If Hymel didn’t exist, as the old adage goes, it would be necessary to invent him,” noted Presto Classical. “What makes Hymel stand out is that he’s endowed with an almost freakish combination of vocal qualities which hardly ever come together in one singer.… He opens with an extended scene from Guillaume Tell, which lies murderously high even by Rossini standards; the handful of tenors who sing it at all tend to be light bel canto specialists, but the visceral thrill of hearing a voice with Hymel’s full-bodied heroic ‘ring’ scaling the heights is really quite something.” Opera Magazine named Héroïque its album of the month and wrote “It’s hard to imagine that any fan of French repertory will not want this very exciting, unhackneyed CD by Bryan Hymel.” ForumOpera.com concluded, “Bryan Hymel appartient à cette glorieuse lignée de guerriers intrépides, l’aigu imparable, les forces inépuisables.”
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