PRESS

ESCAMILLO - CARMEN

KENTUCKY OPERA

“One of the most memorable occurrences of the evening was Richard Ollarsaba’s Escamillo. Donned in a beautiful pin-stripped suit, dapper to the nines and with a tight barbered scruff, he was a vision of want and desire. But as he began to sing the Toréador song, I know I heard one or more members of the audience, if not the singers on stage make an audible gasp of “Wow”. And deservedly so. Rich undertones and a very velvety top make his Escamillo one of the best that I have heard in recent past.”

- Annette Skaggs

Arts-Louisville

DON GIOVANNI - DON GIOVANNI

OPERA HONG KONG

"Richard Ollarsaba as the decadent [Don Giovanni] conveyed moments of dark humour with dark timbres rich in narrative nuance."

- Martin Lim

South China Morning Post

 

"The evening's Don Giovanni was Mexican-American Richard Ollarsaba who brought an Iberian flavor to what is, after all, a Spanish part, more a Don Juan than a Don Giovanni. His was a brooding, if mellifluous, presence."

- Peter Gordon

Asian Review of Books

ESCAMILLO - CARMEN

NORTH CAROLINA OPERA

"As the strutting bullfighter, Richard Ollarsaba cut a fine figure, his baritone ringing out in the familiar "Toreador Song" ("Votre toast"). The aria is always difficult to pull off, but he did so with panache. Ollarsaba's later scenes with Carmen and Don José were equally well-handled, including a believable knife fight with the latter"

- Roy C. Dicks

Classical Vocal North Carolina

SOLOIST - MISSA IN TEMPORE BELLI

PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

"Bass-baritone soloist Richard Ollarsaba was especially impressive, his rich, smooth timbre gently ballooning with the cello and basses"

- Jeremy Reynolds

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

COLLINE - LA BOHÈME

PIEDMONT OPERA

"Colline the philosopher was sung by Richard Ollarsaba, whose touching last act farewell aria to his coat brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. Ollarsaba has a magnificent bass-baritone voice."

- Peter Perret

Classical Voice North Carolina

RAIMONDO - LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR

VIRGINIA OPERA

"As Raimondo, Richard Ollarsaba stood out for his plush bass-baritone and abundant dynamic nuance."

- Tim Smith

Opera News

"The rich tone and charismatic presence of Richard Ollarsaba as Raymond"

- Andy Garrigue

Richmond Times-Dispatch

FIGARO - LE NOZZE DI FIGARO

MINNESOTA OPERA

"Richard Ollarsaba's virile Figaro encompassed the character's many facets -- bold, playful, bitter -- and cut a striking figure."

- Larry Fuchsberg

Opera News

"Richard Ollarsaba, led the evening's show in the title role, gifting our cities with a fine performance. Ollarsaba warmed up quickly, taking a poised and broad command of his role as primo uomo. His performance of the famous melody "Non più andrai, farfallone amoroso" at the end of Act I was perfectly sarcastic, witty, and fun."

- Mark Anthony Rodriguez

Life in Revue

LUCIANO - BASTIANELLO

WOLF TRAP OPERA

"Richard Ollarsaba's warm, hefty bass-baritone was heard to keen advantage in the role of the disillusioned Luciano"

- Tim Smith

Opera News

ASDRUBALE - LA PIETRA DEL PARAGONE

WOLF TRAP OPERA

"The count Asdrubale (Richard Ollarsaba, evoking a young Ruggero Raimondi in looks and manner, with a meltingly smooth bass-baritone)

- Anne Midgette

The Washington Post

"As Asdrubale, Richard Ollarsaba used his sizable, creamy bass-baritone to keen effect. He proved an astute comic actor, too."

- Tim Smith

Opera News

 

FEATURED SOLOIST

BEYOND THE ARIA - HARRIS THEATER

"In two Viktor Ullmann settings, the young bass-baritone displayed a dark, deep-pile voice, delivering a jaunty "Vorausbestimmung" and a hearty paean to Bacchus in "Lob des Weines." His two contemporary settings proved the highlight of the evening. In Chris De Blasio's "Walt Whitman in 1989" he offered a poignant rendering of the AIDS-inspired setting. Ollarsaba's performance of Steven Mark Kohn's "The War Prayer" was mesmerizing. The singer showed the poise and communicative power of a seasoned artist, singing with commanding, stentorian tone and delivering all the passion, tenderness and biting irony of Mark Twain's antiwar text."

- Lawrence A. Johnson

Chicago Classical Review

FEATURED SOLOIST

RISING STARS IN CONCERT - LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO

"Ollarsaba strutted impressively through the Animal Trainer's wry prologue to Alban Berg's Lulu"

- John von Rhein

Chicago Tribune

"[Ollarsaba] then came right back in the second half with a wonderfully animated take on the prologue to Berg's Lulu - an excerpt that was ideal for his expressive, resonant voice."

- Kyle Macmillian

Sun-Times

 

FEATURED SOLOIST

ARTIST SERIES CONCERTS OF SARASOTA

"Ollarsaba's performance of "Il modo di prender moglie," a comic song in Italian by Schubert, was charming, funny and strong, with more overtones of the Count in Mozarts Marriage of Figaro than the prolific Lieder composer. His renditions of Copland's "Zion's Walls" and Steven Mark Kohn's "Farmer's Cursed Wife" were stylish and hearty. Ollarsaba seemed as at home with the Broadway tunes as he was with opera. His performance of the Toreador Song from Bizet's Carmen, was stirring, as was his rendition of "The Impossible Dream" from Man of La Mancha."

- June LeBell

YourObserver.com

BASS SOLOIST - SONGFEST

RAVINIA FESTIVAL

"Ollarsaba was fully inside the aching tenderness of Walt Whitman's homosexual confession, "To What You Said," a poem unpublished during the poet's lifetime."

- John von Rhein

Chicago Tribune

FEATURED SOLOIST

GREENSBORO SYMPHONY

"The evening began with magnificent singing by Richard Ollarsaba in the form of three bass arias. Mozart's comic 'Catalogue' aria from Don Giovanni gave the large audience a taste of the bass-baritone's substantial and rich timbre. His winning presentation revealed his acting chops as well. The second aria, from Rachmaninoff's opera Aleko, featured Ollarsaba's romantic side, as the character sings of his grief over his lost love. The third aria from Verdi's Macbeth, revealed the dramatic side of the singer. The audience was justly smitten with Ollarsaba's wonderful artistry and beautiful moving voice."

- Timothy H. Lindeman

Classical Voice North Carolina

Photo: Kirsten McTernan

Photo: Eric Waters

Photo: Ben Schill

Photo: Edward DeArmitt

Photo: Robert Kusel

© 2023 by Richard Ollarsaba

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