Opera Theatre Announces 2020 Season Repertory

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Sarah Mesko, who makes her Opera Theatre debut in the 2019 season as Ottavia in The Coronation of Poppea, sings the title role. In their OTSL debuts, Adam Smith and Christian Pursell will sing the roles of Don José and Escamillo, Carmen’s rival admirers. Former Gerdine Young Artist Erica Petrocelli sings her first principal role, Micaëla. Director Rodula Gaitanou and conductor Timothy Myers both make their OTSL premieres interpreting Bizet’s lush opera.

Schwabacher Recital Series Closes in Triumph

San Francisco Classical Voice

Second-year Adler Fellow Pursell, who has already appeared in four S.F. Opera productions — including as Sir Walter Raleigh in Roberto Devereux — had both his fellow singers and the audience enthralled, and at times in stitches, from Wolf’s “The Hunter” to Barber’s “Church Bell at Night” and hilarious “The Monk and His Cat.” JANOS GEREBEN

Philharmonia Baroque players thrill in ‘Saul’

San Francisco Examiner

Robust bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch thundered appropriately, relishing every moments of Saul’s badness, and sopranos Sherezade Panthaki (Michal) and Yulia Van Doren (Merab) made vivid impressions as the daughters he uses as bargaining chips. Tenor Aaron Sheehan was eloquent as Saul’s unfortunate son, Jonathan. Tenor Jonathan Smucker and bass-baritone Christian Pursell made effective contributions in various supporting roles. GEORGIA ROWE

Christian Pursell of San Francisco Opera receives 2019 Igor Gorin Memorial Award

Community Foundation for Southern Arizona

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona is pleased to announce that bass-baritone Christian Pursell is the recipient of the Igor Gorin Memorial Award 2019 Award. Mr. Pursell is currently an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera. As the recipient of the 2019 Igor Gorin Memorial Award, Mr. Pursell received a $10,000 unrestricted award to help relieve some of the financial burden that often hinders young artists at the onset of their career.

A stylistically diverse crop of Adler Fellows on vibrant display


Bass-baritone Christian Pursell and baritone Andrew Manea brought vocal heft and rhetorical urgency, separately and together, to music by Rossini, Bellini and Verdi. JOSHUA KOSMAN

San Francisco Opera Center Announces 2019 Adler Fellows


The 12 recipients this coming year include sopranos Mary Evelyn Hangley and Natalie Image; mezzo-sopranos Ashley Dixon and Simone McIntosh; countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen; tenors Zhengyi Bai, Christopher Colmenero, and Christopher Oglesby; baritone SeokJong Baek; and bass-baritone Christian Pursell. Hangley, McIntosh, Bai, Colmenero, Oglesby, and Baek are entering their first year as Adler fellows while Image, Ashley Dixon, Cohen, and Pursell are entering their second year. DAVID SALAZAR

Jake Heggie & Gene Scheer’s ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ To Have San Francisco Opera Premiere


The cast features tenor William Burden as George Bailey. soprano Golda Schultz in her San Francisco Opera debut as angel Clara, baritone Rod Gilfry, soprano Andriana Chuchman in company debut, and current San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows soprano Sarah Cambidge, mezzo-soprano Ashley Dixon, tenor Amitai Pati and bass-baritone Christian Pursell. Patrick Summers will conduct the San Francisco Opera Orchestra with Leonard Foglia directing the production. FRANCISCO SALAZAR

Radvanovsky Reigns in S.F. Opera’s Roberto Devereux


Other Adler Fellows made excellent smaller contributions: Amitai Pati’s sunny sound as Lord Cecil contrasted with his character’s gleeful evil, and Christian Pursell gave Sir Walter Raleigh a full, honeyed voice and delightful swagger. ILANA WALDER-BIESANZ

Opera in the Park keeps a splendid San Francisco tradition alive and thriving


Looking farther down the road with current and recent Adler Fellows, soprano Sarah Cambidge whetted the appetite for October’s production of Strauss’ “Arabella” with a vibrant, muscular account of “Es gibt ein Reich” from that composer’s “Ariadne auf Naxos,” and bass-baritone Christian Pursell offered a splendid aria from Handel’s “Orlando” in advance of the production coming to San Francisco in June. JOSHUA KOSMAN

A Seventeenth-Century Embarrassment of Operatic Riches : Seen and Heard International

Seen and Heard International

Bass-baritone Christian Pursell crafted a fine Liberto, with a superbly stentorian voice ideally suited to the role of Nero’s bodyguard, and honestly portraying the contradictions of a soldier forced to carry out orders which he hates.

Christian Pursell wins Partners for the Arts Vocal Competition


American barihunk Christian Pursell won the 6th Annual Partners for the Arts Vocal Competition today in Alexandria, Virginia. Second Place went to tenor Brandon Scott Russell and Third Place to soprano Robin Steitz. 

The 2016 Metropolitan Opera semi-finalist performed "Aprite un po queli' occhi" from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and "O du mein holder abendstern" from Wagner's Tannhauser.  

Pursell is a first year Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera. This season he'll be performing a number of roles with the company, including Walter Raleigh in Donizetti's Roberto Devereux, the Jailer in Puccini's Tosca, Count Lamoral in Richard Strauss' Arabella, and a fourth of the Angel Quartet in Jake Heggie's It's a Wonderful Life.