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Bryan Hymel’s ‘Héroïque’

In the space of just a few years, the American tenor Bryan Hymel has become the king of Frenchgrand opéra, astonishing audiences at Covent Garden and then the Met as a last-minute replacement for Jonas Kaufmann in one of the most difficult of all tenor roles: Enée (Aeneas) in Berlioz’s Les Troyens.”Mr Hymel sang with unflagging stamina and impetuous abandon, capped with some exciting full-voiced top notes,” The New York Times wrote of his Metropolitan Opera triumph.

And it’s with opulent French operatic repertoire that Hymel makes his solo recording debut:Héroïque is an album of arias that demand a rare and thrilling heroism in both voice and style, from Rossini’s Guillaume Tell to Meyerbeer, Massenet, Gounod, and of course Berlioz.

His success in meeting Rossini’s challenges becomes clear in reviews of Guillaume Tell at the Bayerische Staastoper in 2014: “Bryan Hymel tackles the murderously high part of Arnold with bravura and brilliance; it is thrilling to hear him,” (Financial Times); “Bryan Hymel was outstanding in the nearly impossible role of Arnold Melchtal… [he] exhibited an envious sense of lyrical phrasing and no audible strain in the extended upper register.” (Opera News)