PRESS

COUNT ALMAVIVA - LE NOZZE DI FIGARO

VIRGINIA OPERA

“As the Count, bass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba didn’t just have the tall-dark-and-handsome bit going for him, but also robust, flavorful, agile vocalism…he delivered his Act III aria with particular panache. Ollarsaba’s portrayal of the amoral aristocrat deftly conveyed a sense of entitlement as well as a telling bit of insecurity, making his gorgeously sculpted “Contessa, perdono” all the more affecting.”

- Tim Smith

Opera News

“Ollarsaba’s portrayal of the Count was outstanding. From the start there was an air of aristocratic entitlement with a whole lot of Al Bundy incompetence thrown in for good measure. “

- Dave Pearson

digitalbeat magazine

DON GIOVANNI - DON GIOVANNI

OPERA GRAND RAPIDS

"Richard Ollarsaba, who plays Don Giovanni, commanded the stage from the first moment he set foot on it. Tall, swaggering, and thin as a rock star, he brought a devilish charisma to the role...It wouldn't have meant much if he couldn't sing; thankfully, he could, and did, in a deep, thick bass-baritone that soared confidently above the music."

- John Kissane

the rapidian

 

FIGARO - LE NOZZE DI FIGARO

NEW ZEALAND OPERA

"Ollarsaba played superbly off the other characters and sang with healthy resonance and smooth tone throughout, changing noticeably from jovial (if sometimes clueless) trickster to a deeper, sympathetic character in his angry scene in Act 4."

- Simon Holden

bachtrack

"Richard Ollarsaba's affable Figaro stands for the more conscientious male of 2021, catching [his] character with exemplary Mozartian style."

- William Dart

NZ Herald

"Figaro sung by Richard Ollarsaba performed with a rich controlled voice, his every gesture finely tuned"

- John Daly-Peoples

New Zealand Arts Review

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  other characters and sang with  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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo: Kirsten McTernan

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Photo: Ben Schill

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Photo: Edward DeArmitt

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Photo: Robert Kusel