Baritone Mischa Bouvier has been praised for his “soothing, cavernous baritone that can soar to heights of lyric beauty” (Opera News), his “extraordinary and varied background” and “rare vocal and interpretive gifts” (San Francisco Classical Voice), and his “warm, full baritone” (New York Times). He continues to impact audiences with his keen musicality and remarkable communicative ability.
Mischa’s recent notable performances have included the New York premiere of Jocelyn Hagen’s amass with Musica Sacra at Lincoln Center; Arvo Pärt’s Passio (Evangelisti) for the “collected stories” series at Zankel Hall, curated by David Lang; Apollo in Handel’s Apollo e Dafne and Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea with the American Bach Soloists; the role of Dr. P in Michael Nyman’s opera The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and New York Live Arts; works by Gabriela Lena Frank, Derek Bermel and Avner Dorman for the New York Festival of Song; Fauré’s Requiem and Vaughan Williams’s Five Mystical Songs with the Princeton Glee Club; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Iván Fischer and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Stern Auditorium, and with Helmuth Rilling and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico at the Festival Casals; the world premiere of Bryan Page’s cycle The Edith Poems for the Music at the Mansion series at Strathmore; Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale with Bronx Opera and Opera in the Heights; Bach’s St. John Passion with TENET and the SEBASTIANS; Purcell’s The Fairy-Queen with Chatham Baroque; Betto in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with the Dupage Opera Theatre; Bardolph and Chief Justice in Gordon Getty’s Plump Jack, including the Mexican premiere at the Ángela Peralta Opera House in Mazatlán; and debuts with the symphonies of Alabama, Tallahassee, Colorado and Stamford.
An avid recitalist, Mischa has performed for the Rockport Chamber Music Festival; the Catskill High Peaks Festival; the Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival; the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock; Concerts at One at Trinity Church in New York City; NYFOS: Next; and at Wesleyan College, USC Fullerton, Clemson University, Colorado State University and St. Martin’s University. Mischa has premiered works by many composers including Russell Platt, Yotam Harber, Hans Gefors, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Kjell Perder, Charles Fussell, Daniel Temkin, Ylva Skog, and Mohammed Fairouz. Mischa made his Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2012 with pianist Yegor Shevtsov, and is a member of the Mirror Visions Ensemble.
Hear Mischa in Oratorio per la Settimana Santa March 8 & 10, 2018 - Get your tickets now!
What is the story of how you first came to love music and opera?
I was suckered into joining the high school choir by the director. Lucky for me, he noticed early on that I had a voice and encouraged me to take private lessons and try out for choir solos and school musicals. I remember the first time we sang Bach’s Mass in B Minor. It was life-altering. The next year we tackled Mozart’s Requiem, and a year later I was cast as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. By the end of high school, I was totally hooked.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
Self-doubt. But it’s also the thing that drives me to constantly learn and improve. Oh, and seasonal allergies.
Do you have a favorite performer?
No, but I am very fond of the many recordings of my great uncle, Swiss tenor Ernst Haefliger.
Do you have a favorite role? Aria? Opera?
Mozart roles, for sure. Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea. Or I just sang my first KoKo in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado and I had a blast. It might sound a bit cliché, but whatever I’m currently working on tends to be my favorite.
Do you have any favorite books about music?
I’m a fan of Nat Hentoff’s writing and criticism (Hear Me Talkin' to Ya and Jazz Is). And although it’s not a book, Ken Burns’s documentary, Jazz. And I really enjoy reading critics Alex Ross and Zachary Woolfe.
What else are you reading?
BBQ cookbooks. I just finished Daniel Vaughan’s The Prophets of Smoked Meat, and Rien Fertel’s excellent book on whole hog traditions, The One True Barbecue. I’ve also been reading a lot of the Southern Foodways Alliance online content. Oh, and some young adult literature by John Green.
Who are your favorite 17th- and 18th-century composers?
Bach!! Also Rameau, Monteverdi, Matthias Weckmann, Buxtehude, Purcell, Handel, Haydn, Mozart…
If you were stranded on a desert island, is there one piece of music you would like to have with you?
A good recording of one of the Bach Passions.
What do you love about HOC?
I appreciate HOC’s commitment to performing neglected works. I think it is just as important for audiences to have the opportunity to experience unfamiliar music as it is for them to delve further into the familiar. The upcoming Oratorio per la Settimana Santa is an excellent example of this commitment.
Do you have a favorite memory from a past HOC event?
This is my first time joining HOC, whether as a performer or an audience member, so no, I don’t have a favorite memory. But I have collaborated with many of HOC’s musicians on other gigs. They’re an excellent bunch. I’m looking forward!
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not making music?
I love to BBQ. I have 2 smokers in my backyard, and years of experience eating and cooking butts, ribs, chickens, etc. It never gets old.
What is the first thing you think about in the morning?
How I hate mornings.
Do you have any heroes/heroines?
What music do you listen to most often?
It’s probably a tie between Classical and jazz (with a healthy dash of country music).
If you had not entered into your current career what do you think you would have done instead?
I think I would have enjoyed being a chef or food critic.