“The charming, sunny Blake Friedman“, (Dayton’s Most Metro) praised for “ardent singing as well as comedic as well as dramatic abilities” (Broadway World) is a “glorious tenor” (The Berkshire Edge) originally from Chicago, Illinois and now living in New York City. Possessing a “silken and strong” (Tampa Bay Times), “fresh lyric tenor” (OperaNews Online), Blake has wowed critics and audiences alike with his “world class”, (Theatre is Easy) “powerful vocals” (Eye on Dance), “moving dynamic nuances” (The Berkshire Edge) and “climactic high notes”. (Q on Stage) “An outstanding tenor, indeed” (MVPBS), he sings with “tenderness, delicacy and a sense of emotional sympathy” (The Berkshire Edge). Blake’s most notable appearances include Tenor Soloist in the Liebeslieder Walzer with New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center, Tenor Soloist at Avery Fisher Hall (Geffen Hall) in Mozart’s Vespri Sollemnes de Confessore, Singer in Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart (BAM Fisher), Theo Van Gogh in Van Gogh’s Ear (Clark Institute/AIER) with Ensemble for the Romantic Century, and Conte Almaviva with St. Pete Opera (St. Petersburg, Florida). He has also served as Resident Tenor for American Opera Projects Composer’s and the Voice Program.
A “skilled” (Theater Pizzazz) and “fine young singer”, (Taminophile) Blake has been seen on the operatic, concert, and theatrical stages. His operatic repertoire includes Conte Almaviva in Barbiere di Siviglia (St. Pete Opera), Nemorino in L’Elisir D’Amore (New Rochelle Opera), Alfredo in La Traviata (Long Island Opera), Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi (Ash Lawn Opera), Pang in Turandot (St. Pete Opera), Rodolfo in La Boheme (Bronx Opera, Ash Lawn Opera), Jimmy O’Keefe in Later the Same Evening (Manhattan School of Music, Albany Records), First Armored Guard and First Priest in Die Zauberflöte (Ash Lawn Opera), and Marzio in Mitridate (Little Opera Theatre of NY). His vocal versatility has led him not just to the Italian and Bel Canto operatic repertoire, but also to the new and avant-garde American opera scene. As resident tenor of American Opera Project’s Composer’s and the Voice Program, Blake has been privileged to have multiple compositions written specifically for his voice and the opportunity to workshop and perform these new works at The South Oxford Space in Brooklyn, New York, the home of American Opera Projects.
Apart from his operatic endeavors, Blake has performed numerous oratorio, concert, and theatrical works throughout the United States. His concert repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah(Tampa Oratorio Singers), Bach’s Magnificat (Key Chorale), Beethoven’s Mass in C Major (Key Chorale), Nicolas in Britten’s St. Nicolas (Canterbury Choral Society), Bach’s B-Minor Mass, Uriel in The Creation (Gregory Kunde Chorale), Mozart’s Requiem (Astoria Symphony), Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass (Astoria Symphony), and Handel’s Ode on St. Cecilia’s Day (Gregory Kunde Chorale). He also notably performed the North American Premiere of a new adaptation of The St. Matthew’s Passion written by Eastern Orthodox Arch Bishop Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev with the Salome Chamber Ensemble and New York Virtuosic Singers at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York City, attended by the Arch Bishop himself. At the theatre, Blake has appeared as Tony Candolino in Masterclass with The Human Race Theatre at The Loft Theatre in Dayton, Ohio; Theo Van Gogh in Van Gogh’s Ear presented by Ensemble for the Romantic Century in association with The Clark Institute in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; and Solo Voice in Tchaikovsky: None but the Lonely Heart with Ensemble for the Romantic Century at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Fisher Fishman Space.
Blake holds both a Master of Music and Professional Studies Degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he was a recipient of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Scholarship Award/Richard Rodgers Scholar and received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Eastman School of Music where he was the recipient of a Howard Hanson Scholarship. He also attended The Castleton Artist Training Seminar as the recipient of a full scholarship and is a proud alumnus of OperaWorks. He is the recipient of numerous awards including: A Career Bridges Grant from The Schuyler Foundation (2014),Winner of The American Prize: Friederich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Art Song Competition (2011), Honorable Mention in The Rochester Oratorio Society Classical Idol V Competition (2011), a Palm Beach Opera Guild Encouragement Award (2011) and Honorable Mention in the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition (2010). He has also placed as a finalist in The Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition (2013), The Arkadi Foundation Classical Idol Competition (Top 10, 2013), and The New York Lyric Opera Theatre Vocal Competition (2010).