Former resident artist Christopher Bengochea returns to OSJ to perform the role of BF Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly following his highly acclaimed title role performance in the company’s 2011-12 production of Idomeneo.
Recent engagements included the tenor part in the Verdi Requiem with the Symphony Silicon Valley and the Boise Philharmonic, Vasco da Gama in Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine and a Meyerbeer Retrospective concert for Opera Orchestra of New York, Rodolfo in La bohème with Opera Santa Barbara and the title role in Les Contes d’Hoffman for West Bay City Opera. He was tenor soloist with the Santa Rosa Symphony in a Verdi concert and was the featured tenor soloist at Zurich’s Tonhalle in a Verdi Gala staged by Lotfi Mansouri and conducted by Edoardo Muller in December 2012. He sang Radames in Aida in Montana and Canio in Pagliacci at the Bosie Arts Center in spring 2013 as well as Don José in Carmen.
His operatic repertoire embraces a wide range of roles, including Ruggero in La rondine, Turiddu in Cavalleria rusticana, Erik in Alva Henderson’s Nosferatu, and Cavarodossi in Tosca. Companies with which he has performed include: Atlanta Opera, Opera Idaho, Opera Canada, da Corneto Opera, Center City Opera, Opera Company Brooklyn, Jarvis Conservatory, Intermountain Opera, Townsend Opera, Rimrock Opera, Pacific Repertory Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, West Bay Opera, Teatro Felice, Caramoor Opera, and the Tigulio Festival Opera.
At home on both the operatic and concert stages, he was heard as the Evangelist in Bach’s Weihnachts Oratorium with the New York City Chorale Society. Other oratorio engagements include: Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, Tallis’s The Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet, Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the Verdi Requiem, and the world premiere of Alva Henderson’s “From Greater Light,” performed under world renowned Carl St. Claire and the Orange County Symphony Orchestra.
A Basque American tenor, Mr. Bengochea began his musical career as a pianist then moved into the study of opera during his time at Montana State University and later the University of Montana. After becoming an award winner at the Northwest Regional Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and winning third prize at the Internationale Societa Concertistica Vocal Competition in Santa Margherita-Ligure, Italy, he decided to pursue singing entirely. It was in Italy where Bengochea had the opportunity to study and work with renowned tenor, Gianni Raimondi who described Bengochea as “having a voice most brilliant and romantic: that will become very important in the future of opera”.