Juno Award-winning and Grammy-nominated Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins is heard regularly on the stages of The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, and Washington National Opera. Hopkins has developed a reputation for creating leading roles for world premieres both in North America and Europe. His performance singing Orpheus, a role he created for Sarah Ruhl and Matthew Aucoin‘s Eurydice at Los Angeles Opera in 2020, was not only reprised at The Met in 2021, but also simulcast worldwide as part of The Met’s Live in HD series (this earned him a 2023 ‘Best Opera Recording’ GRAMMY nomination).
A number of notable appearances have been announced for his 2022-23 season, including a return to The Met to reprise the role of Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute running until Jan 6, and singing Belcore in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore from April 13 to 29. In February 2023, he will give the orchestral world premiere and Ontario tour of Songs for Murdered Sisters, by composer Jake Heggie and author Margaret Atwood. The piece is his most personal work, conceived by Hopkins in remembrance of his sister Nathalie Warmerdam who was the victim of one of the worst cases of intimate partner violence in Canadian history. In his grief, Hopkins resolved to use his voice to raise awareness for the global epidemic of gender-based violence. The song cycle contains eight songs, previously released as both a JUNO-nominated album in 2021 and a film, now available to watch for free on YouTube.
Hopkins and the NAC Orchestra will perform this commission, bookended by a new concerto grosso by Odawa First Nation composer Barbara Assiginaak and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4. Performances are scheduled in Ottawa on February 9 and 10 at the National Arts Centre, in Toronto at Roy Thompson Hall on February 11, and in Kingston at the Isabel Bader Centre on February 14.