A high-voiced rising star at 25
AP NEWS| by MIKE SILVERMAN
July 2, 2019
Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen’s improbable career has brought him rapidly to the brink of operatic stardom at age 25. So it’s not surprising that the Brooklyn-born countertenor would fall prey to feeling a “kind of impostor syndrome” when he walked on stage. “Up until this time I’ve always had this feeling of, ‘What, me? Really?’” Cohen said in an interview at the War Memorial Opera House, where he was finishing a June run of performances as Medoro in Handel’s “Orlando.” But something changed on opening night. “I wasn’t nervous at all,” Cohen said. “For the first time I’m feeling I really belong here and I can hold my own.”...Cohen’s career is on the fast track... And he has engagements well into the future — including a Met debut in the 2021-22 season.”
Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen’s operatic career is blossoming because he didn’t want to grow up
THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE | by JOSHUA KOSSMAN
June 4, 2019
“Today, at 25, Cohen is increasingly recognized for his ability not only to produce lustrously beautiful high notes, but also to shape them into musical performances of eloquence and power. During his two years as an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera, Cohen has shone in the company’s showcase concerts, as well as giving gorgeous and thoughtful performances with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the American Bach Soloists.
And all this because he decided to keep singing the high notes that had brought him such pleasure as a child.”
THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen primed to handle choice role in S.F. Opera’s ‘Orlando’
THE MERCURY NEWS | by GEORGIA ROWE
June 3, 2019
“Cohen, 25, is a young artist in the company’s Adler Fellowship program, but he’s already made a big impression in the Bay Area. The New York transplant has scored successes in appearances with San Francisco Ballet, American Bach Soloists and, most recently, in a brilliant solo turn as King David in the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra’s performances of Handel’s “Saul.” Yet with Medoro, which he calls a dream role, he’s taking a leap into a major production of one of Handel’s greatest operas. He’s clearly ready... Next month, following “Orlando,” he’ll sing in Placido Domingo’s Operalia competition; this fall, it’s on to Houston to reprise the role of King David in Houston Grand Opera’s fully staged production of “Saul.” But he’ll be in San Francisco a lot, completing his final year as an Adler Fellow.
THE MERCURY NEWS
Young Jewish opera star comes to Bay Area as King David himself
JWEEKLY | by ALIX WALL
March 20, 2019
"Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen is quite sure he’s the only man singing in opera today who spent seven years serving as a cantor for High Holiday services at a Conservative synagogue, starting when he was just 15. He is just as conversant with the nuances of nusach, a piyyut or the Amidah as he is with the work of composer George Frideric Handel. “There are very few Jewish opera singers,” he said. “It’s not the most haimish industry. I know a few others, but no one who grew up as religious as I did. Even if I’m not davening and having Shabbos dinner regularly, it’s important to who I am.”
Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen
OPERA NEWS | by HENRY STEWART
December 2018 | Vol. 83, No. 6
"Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen is just twenty-four, but he's already a countertenor on the rise. On Kenneth Fuchs's Poems of Life, released on CD in August, he sounds remarkably secure, gracefully traversing a tessitura that can cause some in his fach to strain. "Most countertenors are struggling baritones [who] realize, 'Oh, I have a pretty nice falsetto—let me give this a whirl,''' he says, chuckling. "I'm the rare case that I've always been a countertenor. But not by any plan—by luck and ignorance. I was in children's choir, and my voice dropped. But I liked singing in the choir, so I kind of finagled and managed to keep singing alto. I always joke that my range dropped a minor third when my voice dropped.'"
Hitting the High Notes
PRINCETON ALUMNI WEEKLY | by MARK F. BERNSTEIN
September 12, 2018
"By the time Nussbaum Cohen applied to Princeton, he had the makings of a rich and expressive countertenor. Gabriel Crouch, the director of choral activities, recalls being astounded by an audition tape Nussbaum Cohen submitted with his application: "I said to myself, ‘My goodness, what is this voice?’" When Nussbaum Cohen appeared for his live audition several weeks later, Crouch called in colleagues so they could hear him, too. That voice also impressed David Kellet, a member of the performance faculty who became Nussbaum Cohen’s vocal coach. “When I first heard him, my mouth hung open,” he says. “Aryeh’s instrument is of a size and richness that is unique.”
PRINCETON ALUMNI WEEKLY
Countertenor forges a career his way
THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE | by ANDREW L. PINCUS
February 23, 2018
"Friends of Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen were worried about him. He was worried, too, sometimes. But he didn't doubt his goal. Midway through his Princeton years, the now 24-year-old Cohen had decided to turn himself from a pre-law student into a countertenor, that male of the species who sings in an alto's range. Applications to graduate schools and fellowships for a master's degree leading to a vocal career got him nowhere. So at his graduation in 2015, he embarked on a five-year plan to make it on his own. In New York, he studied voice independently and took on work as a high school test tutor to bring in money. "That," he recalls, "was the period when all my friends were a little worried for me, and I was worried for myself." They needn't have feared. After only two of the five years, Cohen was one of six winners of the Metropolitan Opera's national auditions. Reviewing the winners' joint concert, The New York Times declared that there was "only one complete artist."
THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
A Countertenor to Encounter
ARTS + CULTURE TX | by STEVEN BROWN
January 17, 2018
"The Ivy Leaguer tore up his career plan. For his first two years at Princeton University, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen had majored in public policy, figuring he’d go to law school and work in public affairs. Then a summer project stirred his love for singing, which went all the way back to his childhood. Cohen switched his major to history so he could explore the background of the 17th- and 18th-century music that most drew him. As graduation approached, he applied to graduate schools and fellowship programs, hoping to flesh out the musical side of his education. “I got rejected by everything I applied to, all in about a week’s time,” Cohen says. “I really thought my life was over—having gone from my public policy plan to this more-volatile dream—but I was able to use that to light a fire of motivation. I wanted to show everyone that I did have something to contribute...."
ARTS + CULTURE TEXAS
Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, '15
THE DAILY PRINCETONIAN | by MIKAELA SYMANOVICH
April 26, 2017
"Princeton is a place that shapes one’s identity, interests, and career. For 23-year-old Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, it was the start of a lifelong love for opera singing. As a 2016 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and recipient of a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, as well as various other awards, Cohen ’15 has been an enormous success in the first few years of his opera singing career. I caught up with Cohen to discuss his recent accomplishments, his time at the University, and his plans for the future..."
(Counter) Tenor of the Times: From Bima to Opera Stage
NEW YORK JEWISH WEEK | by STEVE LIPMAN
March 27, 2017
"Two serendipitous events took Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen to the cusp of a career as an international opera star. Nussbaum Cohen, who last week was named one of six winners of the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions Grand Finals at Lincoln Center — the most prestigious competition for young opera singers in the United States — was singing and humming with some friends at a neighbor’s home in seventh grade. “That kid’s pretty musical,” one of his friend’s parents told his parents, who enrolled him in the Brooklyn Youth Chorus...Then, as a sophomore at Princeton, he won a ticket from the Music Department to see a performance of “La Bohème” at the Metropolitan Opera. He was hooked, and he soon began intensive operatic training. He rose quickly through the ranks of opera singers... Last week, after the grand finals at the Metropolitan Opera, a New York Times writer praised “the baby-faced countertenor from Brooklyn” as ready for stardom and a “complete artist.”"
NEW YORK JEWISH WEEK
Is Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen Opera's Next Great Star?
THE FORWARD | by TALYA ZAX
March 20, 2017
"Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, at 23 years old, might be one of opera’s most promising stars. He’s lined up engagements for the next few years, appearing next with Virginia’s Wolf Trap Opera and the Houston Grand Opera Studio. His subsequent commitments are currently under wraps. He was just named one of the winners of the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, widely considered the most prestigious vocal competition in the world... Nussbaum Cohen, who grew up singing in HaZamir, the International Jewish High School Choir, and has spent the last seven High Holidays serving as an assistant cantor at the East Midwood Jewish Center, said he was celebrating the award by getting back to work. Still, he took a break to fill the Forward in on his career so far, and what, as far as he’s able to say, comes next. Read excerpts of that conversation, below..."
Houston Grand Opera: Concert of Arias
HOUSTON CHRONICLE | by ANDREW DANSBY
February 10, 2017
“Cohen's frenetic, gregarious manner disappears, and he slips into character. His sweet, gentle face folds inward and exudes anguish. His voice, a soaring otherworldly countertenor, presents the perspective of a man viewing his own tomb. Cohen's performance comes as one of eight finalists at Houston Grand Opera's Concert of Arias, which took place last month and could crudely be called 'The Voice' for opera... 'It's a funny process,' Cohen says after his second aria. 'In the span of just two seconds you go from doing absolutely nothing to bam! You have to be in character. And think about it: Sometimes you're jumping into the middle or the end of an opera, instead of working from start to finish. It can be disorienting. You sit and then jump into this short burst of intense focus.'... Speck, director of HGO Studio, announces the final award, the first-place finisher. Cohen, ever expressive, pulls his hands to his face as Speck calls out his name...Then there's Cohen, who projects poise and polish to go with his gifts. 'He has a confidence and maturity beyond his age,' Brian Speck, director of the HGO Studio, says. Granted, Speck adds, repertoire can be a challenge for young countertenors. The number of roles simply isn't as great as for other singers. 'Still, he commands attention,' he says. 'He's a pretty rare talent. And he has a special stage presence.'"
Merola concert makes a home for all singers
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE | by JOSHUA KOSMAN
July 1, 2016
"“I’m very excited about Aryeh,” says Greenawald. “This is not a tiny voice like some countertenors have — it’s a nice, big, juicy sound.” The catch is that the Baroque works where a singer like Nussbaum Cohen will concentrate most of his career are hardly suitable for the full stage treatment in this context. So the Schwabacher Concert will include an extended scene from Handel’s “Serse,” with Nussbaum Cohen in the title role."
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
It's news to me
SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE | by JANOS GEREBEN
May 24, 2016
"What’s typical of the Merolini is that they are all “atypical,” individuals with their own stories. Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, of Brooklyn, NY, describes himself as “a young singer, somebody who hasn’t yet attended a conservatory; I am excited for the opportunity to study intensively alongside a group of singers of this caliber. Beyond the incredible amount that I know I will learn from the world-class faculty, I am looking forward to learning from my peers...I first fell in love with the art form when I saw the Zeffirelli production of La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera, and I continue to be awed by the capacity of opera to express the depths of human emotion - both the highest highs and the lowest lows - to an extent, in my opinion, greater than any other art form. My participation in Merola marks the end of a year of self-directed, technique-intensive study that I have undertaken, and I am excited to apply the growth I have experienced in such a high-level environment.”“Self-directed”? Turns out the Princeton graduate in history has “coordinated and curated” his vocal studies until now. There is definitely an atypical story there for the singer whose first name means lion in Hebrew."
SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE