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Jason McStoots has performed around the world and throughout the US in the genres of opera, oratorio, recital, and musical theater. He has been described by critics as "a natural, a believable actor and a first-rate singer," "a born comic," "light and bluff, but neither lightweight nor bland, and with exemplary enunciation" and as having "a silken tenor voice" and "sweet, appealing tone." He has performed with numerous organizations including Boston Lyric Opera, The Early Music Guild of Seattle, La Petite Bande, Handel Choir of Baltimore, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Berkshire Choral Festival, Pacific Musicworks, Emmanuel Music, Granite State Opera, Piffaro, Music Before 1800, Dumbarton Oaks, Opera Providence, Tragicomedia, Blue Heron Renaissance Choir, Tanglewood Music Center and the Boston Early Music Festival.
He is particularly noted for his interpretations of new and old music. For the latter he has been called one of the "singers who are beginning to make their names in Baroque opera" by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and has received praise for his Japanese solo debut in Bach's St. Matthew Passion where he sang the part of the Evangelist and arias, the revival of William Kentridge's production of Monteverdi's The Return of Ulysses and for his performance in Handel's Acis and Galatea with the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF). For Acis and Galatea, he was singled out by Thomas Garvey of Hub Review as offering Boston one of its best acting performances of 2009, for his turns in Lully's Pysché with the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF), and Monteverdi's Coronation of Poppea with the Early Music Guild of Seattle. In addition he is a frequent interpreter of the works of J.S. Bach performing regularly as a part of Emmanuel Music's weekly cantata cycle where he was honored to be the Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson Fellow for the 2007-2008 concert season.
In the world of new music, McStoots is respected as a consistent and skilled interpreter, having created five operatic roles for the stage as well as giving the world premiers of over ten songs and concert pieces. In addition to being a champion of living composers' works, he has performed many of the works of Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughn Williams. He has long standing relationships with Intermezzo: The New England Chamber Opera Series, a group committed to the performance of new and modern operatic works; and the Florestan Recital Project, a group dedicated to the art of the song recital. He can be heard on recordings with Blue Heron on the Blue Heron Label and on BEMF's recording of Lully's Pysché on the CPO label.
In addition to his solo performing career he is an established voice teacher in the Boston area. In 2008 he joined the voice faculty at Brandeis University as well as continuing his long relationship with the prestigious and innovative Walnut Hill School. He was recently added to the faculty of the Berkshire Choral Festival and has taught at the Boston Conservatory and Phillips Exeter Academy.
He is a sought after ensemble artist, performing with professional ensembles around the US and in Europe. He is a regular with The Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Boston Lyric Opera Chorus, The Boston Camerata, Blue Heron Renaissance Choir, and is a founding member of Exsultemus Period Vocal Ensemble. He is the Artistic Director for Rehearsal Arts in the production of their SingleParts Choral Learning Method.
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September 24, 2010 as soloist in Handel's Alexander's Feast with Emmanuel Music, Boston, MA under the direction of new artistic director, Ryan Turner.
October 14 and 16, St. Mary's Chapel, Boston College and First Church, Cambridge, MA works of Aston and Ludford from the Peterhouse Partbooks with Blue Heron
October 23 and 24, Philadelphia, PA The Royal Baptism and Ballet with renaissance wind band Piffaro and Blue Heron
November 3, 6, 7 and 8 Keene, NH; Wellesley College, MA; Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.; A 15th Century Cabaret with Blue Heron
November 5 Sanders Theater, Harvard, Cambridge, MA as soloist with Masterworks Chorale for Handel's Alexander's Feast
November 27 and 28 Jordan Hall, Boston, MA as the Sorceress in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with the Boston Early Music Festival
December 3 and 4 St. James Catherdral, Seattle, WA as soloist in Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 with Pacific Musicworks, Early Music Guild of Seattle, and Seattle Baroque
December 12 Leuven, Belgium as a soloist in Bach's Weihnachts-Oratorium with The Bach Ensemble under the direction of Joshua Rifkin
December 18 and 19 First Church Cambridge, MA and Music Before 1800 in New York, NY Christmas at the Courts of 15-century France Burgundy and Cyprus with Blue Heron
For his solos in Robert Stern's Shofar with Coro Allegro
"The first section ("Whole") opens with the chaos of creation which resolves into wholeness. The excellent tenor soloist, Jason McStoots, is introduced as a sort of participating narrator, not unlike the Evangelists in the Bach's Passion settings."
- Geoffrey Wieting, Boston Musical Intelligencer
For Damon in Handel's Acis and Galatea with the Boston Early Music Festival
"local hero Jason McStoots (whom I've been praising for years) stole several comic scenes as a fussy Handel who couldn't help correcting the musicians onstage, but then revealed in his arias a warmly nuanced tone even richer than what I remembered."
- Thomas Garvey, The Hub Review
For The Dauphin in Steven Jobe's Opera Joan of Arc
"Boston-area tenor Jason McStoots took on the role of the Dauphin, the crown prince of France, and sounded wonderful."
- Channing Gray, Providence Journal
For his solos in Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 with the Grand Rapids Symphony
"Two tenors, Ross Hauck and Jason McStoots, were the stars. Hauck's operatic voice and McStoots' unadorned instrument were as different as night and day when paired together as two virtuoso singing seraphim. That contrast was put to excellent use with Hauck singing resplendently from the center of the room, McStoots replying antiphonally from the corners.
- Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk, The Grand Rapids Press
For his solos in Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Cambridge Concentus on tour in Japan
"Speaking frankly, I was somewhat worried as to whether the young American and Japanese musicians could consistently sustain such an exalted conception. But I must apologize for such ignorance. It was moving to see how such youthful forces, including the singers shouldering the most difficult responsibilities - Jason McStoots (Evangelist) and Sumner Thompson (Jesus) - joined together under genuinely superb leadership to pursue Bach's truth."
- Masazumi Oki, of the Mainichi Daily News, Tokyo, Japan
For his solos in Haydn's St. Cecilia Mass with Simon Sinfonietta
"Especially notable was the work of tenor Jason McStoots, who has extraordinarily fine intonation and evenness throughout his range as well as exemplary diction - all in the service of the emotional content of the music."
- W. Henry Duckham, Cape Cod Times
For his performance of Kuhnau's Laudate pueri dominum with Exsultemus
"The evening's loveliest vocal moments came when brilliant tenor Jason McStoots soared into the florid sonorities of Kuhnau's Laudate pueri Dominum, with an instrumental backing of two violins, Posaune, and marvelously deft cello-cum-organ continuo."
- Christopher Greenleaf, Boston Musical Intelligencer