Mr. Bliss was most recently praised as "a peer of the best Toms in the opera’s seven-decade history" (Voix des Arts) in The Rake's Progress at the The Metropolitan Opera, where he returns for the 2022-2023 season in The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni. He also returns to San Francisco Opera in Dialogues of the Carmelites and makes concert appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Deutsche Symphony Orchestra, and more.
THE METROPOLITAN OPERA – LIVE IN HD
Tony Award–winning director of Broadway’s A View from the Bridge and West Side Story, Ivo van Hove makes a major Met debut with a new take on Mozart’s tragicomedy, re-setting the familiar tale of deceit and damnation in an abstract architectural landscape and shining a light into the dark corners of the story and its characters. Maestro Nathalie Stutzmann makes her Met debut conducting a star-studded cast led by baritone Peter Mattei as a magnetic Don Giovanni, alongside the Leporello of bass-baritone Adam Plachetka. Sopranos Federica Lombardi, Ana María Martínez, and Ying Fang make a superlative trio as Giovanni’s conquests—Donna Anna, Donna Elvira, and Zerlina—and tenor Ben Bliss is Don Ottavio. This live cinema transmission is part of the Met’s award-winning Live in HD series, bringing opera to movie theaters across the globe.
THE RAKE's PROGRESS
July 18 - 25
In the progress - or the learning - of the rake, the names of the characters already clearly indicate a moral message. Anne's last name is Truelove (true love) and Tom's is Rakewell (something like a good libertine) while the figure that tempts him - and leads him to lose what he loves the most - is named Shadow (shadow). The libretto of the poets W. H. Auden and C. Kallman is inspired by a series of engravings by the artist William Hogarth, and Stravinsky, like Picasso with a human face, turns to Mozart and the comic opera of the 18th century to invent a new figure. Alfredo Arias, responsible for the remembered staging of 2001, returns to the title to present, this time, the idea of the trial and of whom, sooner or later, must face the consequences of his actions (and omissions). The return to Columbus of this opera, which somehow inaugurates musical postmodernism, will also have another great protagonist: the director Charles Dutoit. Tenor Ben Bliss reprises the title role, Tom Rakewell.
OPERA NATIONAL DE PARIS
September 13 - 26
October 1 - 12
The Paris Opera opens its 23/24 season with a new production of Don Giovanni. If Mozart's masterpiece has fascinated generations since its Prague premiere in 1787, it is not only because his score achieves an unparalleled convergence of comedy and drama, but also because its expressive force deepens tenfold the myth of Don Giovanni, the philanderer who defies God and society. Responsive to the score's immediacy, Claus Guth imagines that Don Giovanni has been shot during his duel with the Commendatore. From then on, the libertine devotes his last hours to savouring life, whilst his faithful Leporello, an accomplice rather than a servant, seeks to soothe his pain. Disrupting the timeline, Claus Guth offers a new vision of the characters. Like a wounded beast, Don Giovanni satisfies his predatory instincts in a sensual, nocturnal pine forest, a hunting ground or an Eden forfeited for his sins. Tenor Ben Bliss appears as Don Ottavio.
SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY
BEETHOVEN NO. 9
BAVARIAN STATE OPERA
THE MAGIC FLUTE
December 17 - 30
Papageno wants Papagena - Tamino his Pamina. But the road to love is not easy! They all have to pass difficult tests: they have to decide between murder and suicide, they have to give up food and drink and sometimes even speak and sing. A magic flute and a glockenspiel help them to survive dangers. The world's most famous opera in a classically beautiful production, the legacy of director August Everding: The evil snake still breathes "real" fire, the Queen of the Night is still really a "star-flaming" queen. This stage portrait (by Jürgen Rose) is enchantingly beautiful. This is where the magic of this opera works
CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY
February 2 - 24
Mozart's dark, twisted masterpiece is presented as you’ve never seen it before in this breathtaking production from Danish director Kaspar Holten. The show features spectacular set designs combined with ingenious video projections, plunging audiences into an Escher-like web of rotating rooms, revolving with the rhythms of Don Giovanni’s infernal drama.
NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC
Mr. Bliss joins the NY Phil for the US Premiere of Aaron Zigman & Mark Campbell’s Émigré, a new oratorio that traces the story of Jewish refugees who fled to Shanghai to escape the Holocaust. Long Yu conducts this semi-staged production.
BAVARIAN state opera
PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE
June 30 - July 22
The opera Pelléas et Mélisande, premiered in Paris in 1902, is based on the drama of the same name by the Flemish Symbolist Maurice Maeterlinck, a tragically ending fairytale love triangle about the stepbrothers Golaud and Pelléas and the mysterious Mélisande, whom they both love. According to Maeterlinck, the outer plot is not the core of the drama for him, but rather he is trying to “descend deeper into human consciousness.” The image for this is Allemonde Castle, a gloomy, oppressive place without light. The actual plot remains vague, but Claude Debussy also explores psychological depths in his opera and addresses subliminal mental processes. His music remains subdued and repeatedly approaches silence. The composition shimmers in the most diverse colors that subtly make the figures shine. Pelléas et Mélisande is a tragedy of inwardness, enigmatic, morbid, deeply sad and full of beauty. Dutch director Jetske Mijnssen will be directing the production. Tenor Ben Bliss sings the title role.