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Apollo's Fire - Bach's Easter Oratorio and Easter Cantata

CLEVELAND, OHIO | APRIL 2024

 “A festive, virtuosic spirit coursed through every piece Apollo’s Fire presented... the dialogue between soloists and ensemble was on brilliant display… The vocalists were the stars of Cantata 66… countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen (in his Apollo’s Fire debut) made a moving show of the cantata’s centerpiece… Cohen demonstrated exceptional dynamic range and control in the role of Mary Magdalene, at one point crescendoing on the word “distressed” to a terrifying degree.”

CLEVELAND  CLASSICAL

By Daniel Hathaway

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Deutsche Oper Berlin – Written on Skin

DEUTSCHE OPER BERLIN | FEBRUARY 2024

"Dieser Künstler ist ein mittelalterlicher Buchillustrator. Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen spielt ihn mit mächtiger Stimme und Gestalt, aber eben auch kongenial jungenhaft – gemäß dem Text, der ihn stets als „Jungen“ bezeichnet".

 

"This artist is a medieval book illustrator. Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen plays him with a powerful voice and commanding figure, but he is also congenially boyish - corresponding to the libretto, which always refers to him as a 'boy''.

BERLINER MORGENPOST | Continue reading

B.Z.

by Martina Hafner

"Dieses Stück ist nichts für schwache Nerven. Bei George Benjamins „Written on Skin“ an der Deutschen Oper werden grausige Bilder heraufbeschworen, die sich jedoch nicht auf der Bühne abspielen, sondern im Kopf des Zuschauers entstehen (Regie: Katie Mitchell)… die großartigen Sänger, allen voran der Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, machen den Abend zu einem Ereignis. Riesen-Jubel."

 

“This piece is not for the faint of heart. George Benjamin's “Written on Skin” at the Deutsche Oper conjures up horrifying images that do not take place on stage, but rather arise in the viewer's head (director: Katie Mitchell)… the great singers, especially countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, make the evening an event. Huge cheers.”

SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL

by Mark Berry

"Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen’s performance as The Boy might almost have stolen the show in its uncannily angelic combination of the worldly and otherworldly; that is, it might have done, had the cast not worked so closely together.”

DER OPERNFREUND

by Ingrid Wanja

"vorzügliche SängerdarstellerVorzüglich ist auch der Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, der den First Angel und The Boy durchaus nicht nur optisch, sondern auch akustisch sich voneinander abhebend gestaltet, beiden aber eine wunderbar farbige, sinnlich klingende Stimme verleiht, die, sehrschön aufblühen."

 

"Excellent singer-actors…  countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen is also excellent, making the First Angel and The Boy stand out from each other not only visually but also acoustically, but giving both a wonderfully colorful, sensual-sounding voice that blossoms very beautifully."

Berliner Zeitung

by Kai Leuhrs-Kaiser 

"Das Werk wurde ursprünglich komponiert für den – damals aufstrebenden – Countertenor Bejun Mehta (der die Rolle inzwischen nicht mehr singt). Sein amerikanischer Kollege Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen hat mehr frischen Ingwer in der engelhaft hellen, zugleich schmetterfreudigen Stimme… am Ende des Abends nichts als gerührter Jubel. Und zwar vonseiten eines Publikums, das vom Anblick des breit grinsenden Komponisten und seines Librettisten Martin Crimp nicht genug kriegen kann. Erlebt man selten. So ruhig, super austariert und souverän ungefährdet ging in Berlin lange keine Premiere vorbei."

"The work was originally composed for the then up-and-coming countertenor Bejun Mehta (who no longer sings the role). His American colleague Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen has more fresh ginger in his angelically bright, yet also remarkably powerful voice… at the end of the evening there was nothing but emotional cheers. Rarely experienced. It's been a long time since a premiere in Berlin has been so calm, well-balanced and confidently smooth."

"Zum Star des Abends wurde jedoch der aufstrebende Countertenor ANC, der in Doppelpartie des Buchmalers/Ersten Engel leuchtende, engelsgleice Töne hören ließ. Mit einer zumal für seinen Stimmtypus ungewöhnlich breiten Ausdruckspalette verlieh er dem Katalysator des Dramas ebenso liebevolle wie mysteriöse Zuge."

 

"However, the star of the evening was the up-and-coming countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, who brought bright and angelic tones in the double role of Illuminator/First Angel. With an unusually wide range of expression, especially for his voice type, he gave the catalyst of the drama both loving and mysterious traits."

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English Concert’s rarefied “Rodelinda”

CARNEGIE HALL, NEW YORK | DECEMBER 2023

“some of the finest singers in classical music... a fabulous performance of Rodelinda… The tricky pairing of two countertenors came off superbly—Cohen has an uncanny mezzo color to his voice.”

NEW YORK CLASSICAL REVIEW

By George Grella

“The whole cast was unsurpassable…Young countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen… sealed his success: this is a rich, almost contralto-esque sound.

THE ARTS DESK

By David Nice

“when confronted with playing this exquisitely vital and nuanced as this group is capable of it’s a near impossibility not to be won over... their mastery was easily evident. The cast were at this same level of accomplishment and the singing was filled with purpose and great artistry… the Unulfo, sung by countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, had a stunningly beautiful instrument. At the broader ends of his range it takes on very unique coloration and resonance. His Act 3, “Un zeffiro spirò’ was sumptuously performed across a very wide vocal spectrum to the audience’s delight.” 

PARTERRE BOX

By Patrick Mack

“Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen embodied the trustworthy counselor Unolfo with earnest dignity, constantly guiding Bertarido in the right direction… Cohen was especially effective in the aria that opens Act 3, “Un zeffiro spirò che serenò quest’alma” (A breeze has blown to ease this heart), a sign that things will turn out all right in the end.”

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE

By Nicholas Jones

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TEATRO DELL'OPERA DI ROMA | OCTOBER 2023

"With a full hall and enthusiastic applause, Giulio Cesare in Egitto triumphed at the Teatro dell'Opera of Rome… most surprising is the third countertenor of the cast, in the part of Sesto, son of Cornelia and Pompeo. He is the American Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, with a voice at once soft, intense, powerful and, above all, of authentic contralto temperament, without a shadow of ‘falsetto’ falseness. Impressive. Add to this his impeccable intonation, the homogeneity of his tone, his iron-clad technique and a sensitivity that effectively leads him to forge the highest point of the opera, in a duet with his mother at the end of the first act from the original libretto. The maturation and courage of the young character finally lead, in an even greater climax, to the aria of revenge "La giustizia ha già sull’arco."

CONNESSI ALL'OPERA | Continue reading

PREMIÈRE LOGE

by Renato Verga

"The third countertenor – and the surprise of the evening – is Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen , a Sesto of great vocal power, expressive, with a beautiful timbre and a sure technique by which he succeeds in giving an evolving portrait of Pompey's son.”

LE SALON MUSICAL

by Marina Valensise

"One of the best shows of recent years at the Rome Opera… The absolute protagonists are the voices, now clear and sinuous, now vibrant and powerful, of the three countertenors… The surprise performance of the evening is in the role of Sextus by the twenty-nine-year-old American Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, a great interpreter.”

MUSICA

by Maurizio Modugno

“A very notable production… virtuosic prodigy instead arrived punctually from the fabulous Sesto, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, a young countertenor from Brooklyn who is already quickly climbing the steps of fame and who - starting with an impeccable "Svegliatevi nel core”, all the way until the finale "Tutto lice Sperar" — exhibited a beautiful timbre, a singing of incredible virtuosic fluency and accents that were always appropriate, peremptory or pathetic as required.”

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TEATRO DELL'OPERA DI ROMA | OCTOBER 2023

"Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, who with his lush, homogeneous and sweet voice and a beautiful timbre offered a very intense interpretation of the beautiful “Stille Amare” from Handel's Tolomeo… The evening then continued with many pieces, all much applauded, in a crescendo of enthusiasm, admiration and great acclaim. Long and very warm applause for a concert of incredible beauty, performed at the highest possible level."

CONNESSI ALL'OPERA

by Paola De Simone

“This much-applauded whirlwind of baroque fireworks and musical adventures satisfies the soul and warms the heart… Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, the youngest of the three, presents the closest to the sound of a natural castrato, with a voice that is extraordinarily intense, perfect for the prayers and laments, for the most lyrical and dramatic sentimental arias. A voice of tremendous volume, tonal weight, and noble legato, with an expressive thrust that knows how to deeply touch the heart… the greatest focus is on the young American Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen who, from the first bar, takes center stage with a beautiful and complex aria, Stille Amare… the painful drama of the scene and the protagonist’s beautiful lament immediately reach one of the highest points of the evening, thanks to tender but intense accents and singing that is delicate but greatly powerful. It is sincere, touching, and magnificent. To open the second part of the evening, he returns to Handel and Senesino with “Vivi, Tiranno” from Rodelinda, conquering everyone with incredible strength. The sweetness of his cantabile conquers at the end with Gluck’s “Che farò senza Euridice”… the ensembles were magnificent… the enthusiasm and applause of a rock concert… triumphant!

"a beautifully performed and recorded St. John Passion that gives full measure to the work’s remarkable synthesis of devotional and theatrical elements... Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, much talked about these days, triumphs in the alto arias, with a voice of arresting beauty, singing with the utmost expressiveness and artistry. His account of the aria “Es is vollbracht!” (“It is accomplished!”) is among the finest I’ve heard. McGegan paces the aria as a true Molto adagio that Cohen sustains without a hint of strain. The countertenor revels in Bach’s manifestation of grief, applying a kaleidoscope of vocal colors and dynamics, and in tandem with McGegan, a lovely plasticity of phrasing. Cohen delivers the aria’s contrasting “Der Held aus Juda siegt mit Macht” (“The hero from Judah triumphs with power”) with spine-tingling energy."

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Review: St. John Passion - Album

CANTATA COLLECTIVE | JULY  2023

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Review: Handel's Semele

“Nussbaum Cohen sounds astonishingly beautiful as Athamas”

"Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen made much of the dull Athamas, the best male voice on display.”

BACHTRACK

By Roy Westbrook

“The air is constantly charged with emotional intensity, especially from Athamas… countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen’s fine singing as Athamas”

FINANCIAL TIMES

By Richard Fairman

“Adele Thomas’s visually breathtaking and exceptionally thoughtful staging is very special indeed… Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen sang with glorious strength and beauty of tone as Athamas.”

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KOMISCHE OPER BERLIN | MAY 2023

"Jubel-Sturm an der Komischen Oper nach der Premiere von Händels „Saul“… das Publikum von Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen völlig hingerissen. Eine Stimme wie ein Engel!"

 

"It was a cheering storm at the Komische Oper after the premiere of Handel’s Saul… the audience was completely entranced by countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, a voice like an Angel!"

DIE STIMME BERLINS | Continue reading

TAGESSPIEGEL

by Christiane Peitz

"Das Ereignis des Abends ist jedoch Aryeh Nussbaum Cohens David. Der Countertenor aus New York singt lupenrein, mühelos, dennoch innig, nie flach: Kein Wunder, denkt man sofort, dass diesem Knaben alle zu Füßen liegen. Am Ende, als König Saul und Prinz Jonathan tot sind und David zu ahnen beginnt, dass ihm und seinem neugeborenen Sohn ein ähnliches Schicksal bevorsteht, stimmt er einen melancholischen „King David“-Song von Herbert Howells an, ein 100 Jahre altes Kunstlied. Der Thronfolger lauscht der Nachtigall, jetzt seinerseits einsam und verloren – Ranischs bester Regieeinfall."

 

"The event of the evening, however, is Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen's David. The countertenor from New York sings flawlessly, effortlessly, yet intimately, never flatly: No wonder, one thinks immediately, that everyone is at the feet of this boy. In the end, with King Saul and Prince Jonathan dead and David beginning to suspect that a similar fate awaits him and his newborn son, he sings into a melancholy Herbert Howells "King David" song, a 100-year-old art song. The heir to the throne listens to the nightingale, now lonely and lost himself – Ranisch's best directorial idea."

PLANET HUGILL

by Robert Hugill

"at the end of the production, there was a surprise. Nussbaum Cohen remained alone on stage, completely stationary and sang Herbert Howells' song King David in a lovely RVW-ish orchestration by Iain Farrington. It worked, thanks to Nussbaum Cohen's mesmerizing performance and gave us an ending that emphasized David's melancholy rather than the Israelites' triumph… Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen's David was not the slight, youthful figure that we might expect, but a strapping lad with a voice to match. Able to conjure moving simplicity in 'O Lord, whose mercies numberless', Nussbaum Cohen was admirably vigorous elsewhere, singing with wide-ranging freedom and ease… a vivid stage incarnation of the character.”

TAZ ARCHIV

by Peter Weissenburger

"…der einzigartig weiche, helle Countertenor von Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen macht mit jeder Phrase Lust auf mehr."

"the uniquely soft, bright countertenor voice of Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen makes you want more with every phrase."

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Review: "Ein prächtiges Stimmenensemble verzaubert mich in München"

"Counter Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen ist als Endimione exzellent. So eine reine, strahlend leichte, unangestrengte und zugleich emotional verzweifelnde Counter Stimme lassen das Herz und Bauch hüpfen… Nicht nur Barockfans sollten die Chance nutzen, dieses Barockhighligt live mit außergewöhnlich grandioser Stimmenpracht zu genießen. Eine Wucht. Ein Genuss. Wundervoll. Das meint das Publikum an diesem Abend einhellig. Stürmischer jubelnder Applaus für alle Beteiligten!"

Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen is an excellent Endimione! … Such a pure, radiantly light, effortless and at the same time emotionally desperate countertenor voice makes the heart and stomach pound... Not only baroque fans should take the opportunity to enjoy this baroque highlight live with an extraordinarily grandiose voice. A force. A pleasure. Wonderful. That's what the audience thinks unanimously tonight. Thunderous, jubilant applause for all involved!

OPERA WORLD

by Fred Cohn

"una interpretación notable… El prestigioso reparto ofrece al público muniqués el descubrimiento de seis cantantes que debutan en la casa esta temporada… Por último, pero no por ello menos importante, el contratenor estadounidense Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen hace también su primera aparición en la Bayerische Staatsoper con su sobrecogedoramente bello Endimione, por el que el público aplaude repetidamente sus precisos y conmovedores acentos y la pureza de su línea vocal. Sin duda el descubrimiento más bello de la velada. Su largo monólogo en la primera escena del segundo acto, «Erme, e solinghe cime», te deja asombrado y atónito… Esta Calisto hay que verla una y otra… Esta producción no ha envejecido ni un ápice y se renueva con la aportación y el feliz descubrimiento de nuevos talentos, y la orquesta es nada menos que sublime."

 

"a remarkable performance… The prestigious cast offers the Munich public the discovery of six singers who are making their debut in the house this season… American countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen also makes his first appearance at the Bayerische Staatsoper with his breathtakingly beautiful Endimione, for which the audience repeatedly applauds his precise, movingly accented singing and the purity of his vocal line. Undoubtedly the most beautiful discovery of the evening. His long monologue in the first scene of the second act, "Erme, e solinghe cime," leaves the audience amazed and astonished… You have to see this Calisto over and over again… This production has not aged one iota and is renewed with the contribution and the happy discovery of new talents, and the orchestra is nothing less than sublime.

OPERA ONLINE

by Dr. Helmut Pitsch 

"Da stockte dem Publikum der Atem als Teresa Iervolino, die Danae in der mittlerweile als Kult zu bezeichnenden Inszenierung von Francesco Cavallis Oper La Calisto durch David Alden sich auf der Bühne am Bein verletzte und die Vorstellung unterbrochen werden musste. Nachdem der Gong die Zuschauer wieder in den Zuschauersaal gerufen hatte, erklärt Serge Dorny, Intendant des Hauses, die Fortsetzung mit neu verteilten Rollen, indem sowohl Mary Bevan, die Interpretin der Titelrolle als auch der Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, der Interpret des Endimione die Rolle der Danae von Iervolino übernahmen… Der Abend war gerettet und für alle eine besondere außergewöhnliche Erfahrung…Auch Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen gibt sein Hausdebüt überzeugend als gefühlvoller, dezent farbenreicher Endimione, der auch noch als Danae teilweise einspringt. Sein Counter hat Schmelz und bleibt locker in den Höhen."

"The audience gasped when Teresa Iervolino, who was injured as Diana on stage in David Alden’s production of Francesco Cavalli's opera La Calisto, which has now become a cult classic, and the performance had to be interrupted. After the gong had called the audience back into the auditorium, Serge Dorny, director of the house, explains the continuation with redistributed roles, in which both Mary Bevan, the interpreter of the title role, and the countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, who performed Endimione, took on the role of Iervolino's Diana… The evening was saved and a special, extraordinary experience was created for everyone… Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen also makes his house debut convincingly as an emotional, subtely colorful Endimione, who also partially fills in as Diana. His voice is melting and remains loose in the heights…Lots of applause and enthusiasm from the cheerful audience, the Bavarian fans of baroque opera are in luck."

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CHAMBER ORCHESTRA OF PHILADELPHIA | NOVEMBER 2022

"The second series of the season from the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia lived up to its promise of Countertenor Fireworks. Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen served as the spark plug... Cohen’s interpretations were at once respectful and probing, marrying contemporary ideas about opera performance and truly gorgeous sound... Although just 28 and only several years into his mature career, Cohen already presents himself as a complete artist. His voice retains its weight and beauty across its full range—especially in his lower register, which can often be tricky for countertenors. 

His fine intonation and control of dynamics was especially impressive: Within the same phrase, he could capably dial the volume up to heroic levels, then plunge into almost whispered soft singing. Words rang out with color, clarity, and feeling...

He spat fire in “Impious wretch,” beginning offstage in full voice and reaching fever pitch when he finally made his way to the lip of the stage. Moments later, he brought an aching tenderness to “O Lord, whose mercies numberless.” Cohen is a brilliant technician—every melisma was in place—but the revelation of his interpretation was the simple sincerity underpinning his vocal triumph."

PARTERRE BOX | Continue reading

By Cameron Kelsall

"Rare the music organization that manages to hit a grand slam in the very first concert of a fresh fall season. But such was the case Sunday night in Skokie when Dame Jane Glover opened her 20th season leading Music of the Baroque with an intensely dramatic and thrillingly sung performance of Handel’s Jephtha... No self-respecting opera or Baroque aficionado should miss it...As her beloved Hamor, countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen has clearly fulfilled the career promise of his 2017 Chicago debut with the Newberry Consort. Cohen sang with a refulgent, evenly produced tone, far removed from many a wispy high male voice. He also showed a stage actor’s ease in making this rather weakly drawn character seem dramatically credible."

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Glover, first-class cast open MOB season in thrilling fashion with Handel’s “Jephtha”

MUSIC OF THE BAROQUE | SEPTEMBER 2022

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Review: "With a triumphant ‘Theodora,’ Philharmonia Baroque opens a splendid new chapter"

PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE | OCTOBER 2022

"An extraordinarily fine show of musical splendorTriumphant… San Francisco countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen added to his growing catalog of memorable local appearances with a lustrous and detailed performance as Didymus”

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Giulio Cesare, West Edge Opera

OPERA NEWS | JUNE 2022

Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen’s tall, elegant stature, ringing tone and articulate phrasing are tailor-made for the role of Caesar, and he delivered the Roman leader’s music with clarity and emphasis, his expressive phrasing rising to the heights.

OPERA NEWS

By Georgie Rowe

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THE METROPOLITAN OPERA | MAY 2022

"The performers are all top-notch… The countertenor duo of Christopher Lowery and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, taking on the iconic characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, not only got some of the most enjoyable music, but delivered on it. Their early duet was not only notable for the enjoyment they got out of it, but how beautifully they blended their timbres together to both feel like one but also to emphasize their differences. It’s also worth noting that they projected amply in the Met auditorium, no easy feat for any singer, much less for most countertenors; here were two that pulled it off quite noticeably."

OPERAWIRE | Continue reading

By Daniel Salazar

OPERA NEWS

by Fred Cohn

"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are here a pair of countertenors, working as a kind of vaudeville team. Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen and Christopher Lowrey, both in their Met debuts, wrung every ounce of absurdity out of the composer’s zany counterpoint."

“An excellent cast…Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are realized as simpering, obsequious dupes, whom countertenors Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen and Christopher Lowrey perform with unalloyed zest and glee.”

“the spying hangers-on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern — in a brilliant touch, cast as a pair of countertenors (more company debutants, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen and Christopher Lowrey, two of the most mellifluous young countertenors in America and just as handsome as Imbrailo and Austin) come off as overdressed nerds in dated suits and ties. Lowrey and Nussbaum Cohen skillfully negotiate writing that, in one of several Britten references in the score, derives from the circus mirrory-duetting of Peter Grimes’ Nieces.“

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Review: "Monteverdi"

OPERNHAUS ZURICH | FEBRUARY 2022

Die Sängercrew, allen voran der Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, findet zu sinnlichem Ausdruck. Die Körperlichkeit des Singens findet mit der Musikalität des Tanzes auf der Bühne zu einer spannungsvollen Einheit...man verliert sich und findet sich neu. Nicht nur in der Liebe, sondern auch in der Musik. Der begeisterte Premierenapplaus zeigt, dass die Verbindung von alter Musik und moderner Tanzsprache an diesem Abend genauso sicher ins Ziel trifft wie Amors Pfeile.

 

The crew of singers, above all countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, find sensual expression. The physicality of the singing finds an exciting unity with the musicality of the dance on stage… You lose yourself and find yourself again. Not only in love, but also in music. The enthusiastic applause at the premiere shows that the combination of early music and modern dance language hits the target just as surely as Cupid's arrows.”

À certains moments, j’ai même scruté plus intensément les chanteurs – notamment l’excellent contre-ténor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen (Queste pungenti spine, de Benedetto Ferrari) – que les danseurs… Musicalement et théâtralement très réussi.

 

 

At times, I even watched the singers more intensely – notably the excellent countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen (Queste pungenti spine, by Benedetto Ferrari) – than the dancers… Musically and theatrically very successful.”

TANZNET

by Marlies Stretch

bezirzt auch ein Countertenor (Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen) das Publikum… schildern sie in dramatisch-beseeltem Ton, was sich in den Madrigalen, Lamenti und Arien abspielt.”

“countertenor (Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen) also charms the audience… they describe in a dramatic, soulful tone what is happening in the madrigals, lamenti and arias.

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Dutch Radio Filharmonisch Orkest | NOVEMBER 2021

 "Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, who can easily pierce through a tub of copper with his powerful high register, turns Prince Go-Go (a spoiled little bit of rosewater) into a hilarious gaudy caricature.“

DER VOLKSKRANT | Continue reading

By Rick Van Veldhuizen

"Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen made the childish weakness of Prince Go-Go tangible with his golden countertenor voice.

“The agile countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen was dramatically convincing as Prince Gogo.”

“At the festival, it turned out that the most successful and most precious were saved for last. Firstly, of the three operas by Christopher Moulds with the State Chamber Orchestra, this one turned out to be the best... And the lengthy story… did not for a minute lose either lively adventurousness or volume…

Several serious discoveries were discovered at once. The main one is the young American countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, who sang the main character. It seems that many falsetto artists, one more textured than the other, reached Moscow, but we have never heard this: a freely flowing lyrical mezzo of the most beautiful colorof excellent range, flexible, chiseled. This Caesar… the elegant manner of the singer made a strict youth-demigod.”

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Review: Giulio Cesare

MOSCOW STATE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA | SEPTEMBER 2021 

"The main super-discovery of the evening was the 27-year-old countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen who performed the role of Caesar for the first time. With a timbre of rare beauty and with professional mastery of baroque vocal technique, with ease he displayed the most incredible grace, confidence, freedom and amazing artistry - these are just a few of the qualities that made the singer especially stand out. Listen to Caesar's "hunting" aria with the solo French horn (end of act 1) - auditory ecstasy is guaranteed.”

“However, whether planned or not, the luxurious final "Caesar" completely overshadowed all other events of the festival… And the casting went off the scale. This sparkling miracle, triumphantly shimmering with jewels and hits, I wanted to listen to forever. It remains only to list the names of the wizards. An enviable selection of countertenors… The Roman dictator Caesar was performed… by Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen with a fantastically beautiful warm timbre.”

“No matter how long this opera was, it still seemed that the marvelously sung vocals of countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen (Caesar), we wanted never to end.”

"The ensemble of soloists was brilliant, despite the fact that almost all of them sang these parts for the first time. A new idol for many of those present was the countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen - an ideal Caesar, a resounding winner and an ardent lover who clearly enjoyed and conquered all of the difficulties of his role."

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ADELAIDE FESTIVAL | FEBRUARY 2021 

(Five Stars) "The recital commenced with a brace of three Shakespeare settings by the English master, Roger Quilter, and it was immediately apparent that here was a great talent, a singer who must be immediately placed among the finest of countertenors. There was great beauty to be heard in his tone, which is creamy and reminiscent of the great contraltos and mezzos like Kathleen Ferrier and Janet Baker. The range of vocal colour was extraordinary and he displayed complete technical command, not only in the projection of his voice, but his legato was cello-like in its smoothness and his control of volume truly amazed...

 

It was onto a truly special account of a quartet of Brahms’ lieder – impeccably nuanced with the quality of voice being entirely appropriate to these often nostalgic songs

 

Following the intermission the bar would be raised even higher with the exquisite delivery of with two Handel arias – one from the oratorio Saul, and the second, Vivi, Tiranno from the opera Rodelinda, which with its highly florid and complex ornamentation, was simply put, magnificent, with the singer and pianist working as true partners...

 

The performers returned to finish this excellent recital in a more relaxed cabaret style with a contrasting trio of popular American standards – Misty, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered and Porter’s witty I Get a Kick out of You. The lyrics were sung with impeccable diction but with the contours of a ‘trained’ voice throughout, there were many a passing vocal trick or ornament... the delighted audience understandably gave both Nussbaum Cohen and Shamray a well deserved standing ovation. They returned for an encore to perform a witty and laconic take on Frank Loesser’s Adelaide – a great choice for an encore... A man of many gifts, he also provided the fine tuned and entirely appropriate translations within the printed program, in German, Hebrew, Italian and French. Bravo indeed!"

LIMELIGHT | Continue reading

By Brett Allen-Bayes

BROADWAY WORLD

By Barry Lenny

“Cohen's recital, wide-ranging in choice, brought that bright timbre to repertoire not usually found in the countertenor catalogue…His bracket of four Brahms lieder was a revelation, as he poured passion to such songs as In Meine Nachte Sehnen with an energy unexpected in a voice type still characterised by restraint… Vivi, Tiranno from Rodelinda - Cohen sailed through the challenges of the coloratura effortlessly.

The next bracket was the real surprise of the evening. The three melodies chosen from the works of Henri Duparc were
 magical. The music flowed suavely from the two musicians. The refrain of L'invitation au Voyage, by Baudelaire is la tout n'est qu'ordre et beaute, luxe, calme et volupte, all is orderly and beautiful, luxurious, calm and voluptuous. This could, itself, pass as a description of the concert… He must come back. He and Konstantin should do another recital.”

GLAM ADELAIDE

By Nicola Woodford

“Hosting the rising star of American opera, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, is a triumph for the Adelaide Festival… a dizzying selection of songs that perfectly display Cohen’s versatility. Singing interchangeably in English, German, French, and Yiddish, Cohen's ability to emote transcends language. As he sings Johannes Brahms’ My Wounded Heart the audience feels his sorrow, and in Motionless Tepid Air, his passion and yearning. His silvery and unique countertenor voice is perhaps best showcased in an aria from Handel’s Rodelina, Vivi, Tiranno, in which he perfectly performs the coloratura…To close the performance, Cohen and Shamray loosen their ties before playing three twentieth century favourites. Cohen introduces Misty as holding special meaning for his fiancé – his performance is a little breathy and soulful. The audience erupts in applause before Shamray can even play the final note to I Get A Kick Out Of You…A rare musical delight – at once offering classical recital, Yiddish prayer, and a friendly jam session.”

AF21_A_Midsummer_Night's_Dream_credit_To

ADELAIDE FESTIVAL | FEBRUARY 2021

"(Five Stars) As King of the Fairies, 27-year-old countertenor Nussbaum Cohen is one of the only international guests at this year’s festival and upon witnessing his performance last night, it is clear as to why the international press considers him a redefining force in the countertenor field."

LIMELIGHT | Continue reading

By Jansson J. Antmann

THE ADVERTISER

By Ewart Shaw

“Benjamin Britten’s audacious A Midsummer Night’s Dream delivers on all its promises in this superbly cast opera… Oberon, airborne, is the American countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen. Androgynous and other worldly, he delivers the vocal enchantment Britten demands.”

THE AUSTRALIAN

By Matthew Westwood

“this is a classic Adelaide Festival: deeply involving, thoughtful, beautiful… with US countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen a rare international guest artist. (He entertained other residents during his stay in hotel quarantine with his own livestreamed performances.)…The cast is terrific, with Nussbaum Cohen… outstanding as Oberon.” 

“Adelaide Festival’s opening weekend conjured worlds beyond the mortal realm of coronavirus and international border closures, courtesy of a United States countertenor released from quarantine to reign over impish fairies and an acrobatic troupe and choir who pulsed as one in a spectacle of human possibility... Floating in from above was the mellifluous high timbre of San Francisco-based countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen as king of the fairies Oberon, transported from the ceiling in regal feather headdress.”

THE BAREFOOT REVIEW

By Samela Harris

“Oberon is sung by the utterly dazzling American countertenor, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen. His voice is a dream in itself, perhaps the Manuka honey of the musical world.”

"These new live recordings... both are enjoyable: well sung and characterised, and convincingly (often swiftly) paced by two seasoned Handelians (McGegan was Cummings’s predecessor as director of the Göttingen Handel Festival)... Yet on the whole McGegan’s performance fields the stronger cast... He is outshone by the rich-toned Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, whether in a beautifully sculpted ‘O Lord whose mercies wonderless’ or the noble elegy of ‘O fatal day’.”

GRAMOPHONE

By Richard Wigmore

“An A-list cast headed by rising-star countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, as David... The American Nussbaum Cohen proves a winning David; his shapely arias are smooth as butter. “O King, Your Favours With Delight,” and especially “O Lord, Whose Mercies Numberless,” ravish the ear... His rich, gender-ambiguous tone is suitably otherworldly.”

OPERA NEWS

By Clive Paget

"There are so many touches to savor, both in the instrumental accents and the phrasing of McGegan’s fine crop of soloists... Most touching... [is] countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen’s... sympathetic David... There are many times when the sound and music are so captivating that you may find yourself closing your eyes as you relish their beauties."

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PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA AND CHORALE

San Francisco Symphony Orchestra 2019-20 Review: Handel’s ‘Messiah’

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY | DECEMBER 2019 

“Musically vibrant, satisfying and festive... Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen brought his broad melodic line from the first note. Fast, dynamic, energetic arpeggios and gorgeous trills characterized his solos, recitative and songs. This was especially notable in his vibrant embroidery of the phrase “Refiner’s Fire.” At moments, his tone swelled with a fine, hooded quality, that added breadth to the line. As with all strong and simple texts, Cohen used eloquent embellishments that tripled and quadrupled meaning. It was as if it echoed far beyond its basic tonality.”

OPERAWIRE

By Lois Silverstein

SAINT PAUL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA | DECEMBER 2019

“a few key contributors deserve kudos. One is countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, who stepped in about a day in advance for the ailing Reginald Mobley and delivered the most memorable performance of his vocal range’s assigned solos that I’ve encountered in 25 years of annual “Messiahs.” From his first rich, powerful and dramatic “But who may abide” — concluding with a final “For He is like a refiner’s fire” full of, well, fire — to a breathtakingly gentle “He was despised” weighty with grief, this was a magnificent interpretation.”

PIONEER PRESS| Continue reading

By Rob Hubbard

"Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen... has been a break-out star from the beginning, and assignments at SFO and abroad put him on the radar of prestigious houses worldwide. His Adler Concert selections included exquisite Handel and Mozart, and a heartbreakingly gorgeous Berlioz song."

BAY AREA REPORTER

By Phillip Campbell

"Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen... with a long-breathed, ravishingly beautiful excerpt from Berlioz’s song cycle “Les Nuits d’Été.”

SF CHRONICLE

By Joshua Kosman

THE FUTURE IS NOW: ADLER FELLOWS CONCERT 2019

HOUSTON GRAND OPERA | OCTOBER 2019

“Full of scenic wonders, stunning music, magnificent performances, thunderous choruses, and elegant direction, Houston Grand Opera's presentation of George Frideric Handel's commanding oratorio Saul (1739) might just be legendary... a huge success. What an electrifying show this is, mesmerizing and thoroughly provocative throughout... Last heard last season in Ars Lyrica Houston's stunning Agrippina, another Handel masterwork, countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen is a vocal wonder. Caramel and crystalline, his voice could melt the hardest hearts, as his David does. Supple and extremely flexible, his ethereal high countertenor superbly matches the young wonder-struck warrior, the beauty of friendship with Jonathan, the stirring love for Michal, the conflicting duty to Saul.”

HOUSTONIA

By Michael Clark

“Houston Grand Opera's production of Handel’s Saul is a unique treat... the chorus has become a mob of fans, fawning over their new hero, the young David played by countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen. It’s no wonder why they admire him; at the young age of 25, Cohen has a voice of warmth and purity that yielded an angelic quality to his performance. He handles the florid melismas of each aria with total ease. As the first act continues and all the characters literally sing his praises, it appears the show might have been better titled David.”

TEXAS CLASSICAL REVIEW

By Steven Brown

“HGO’s cast made the downward trajectory coalesce into a powerful saga of nobility colliding with envy and obsession... Kosky and Stirrup made David’s dignity the counterpoint to Saul’s violence, and countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen captured that in the hero’s singing and demeanor alike. 

Cohen brought purity, poise and eloquence to David’s attempt at consoling Saul–the gentle aria “Oh Lord, whose mercies numberless”–and the last-scene lament for David’s slain friend Jonathan. Yet Cohen also sang with nimbleness and vibrancy when happier emotions came to the fore."

“As David, Cohen’s countertenor bore all of the best qualities of that voice type: an evenness throughout his alto range, clean and clear passagework, and above all, a glistening, silvery quality that befits the heroic protagonists of eighteenth-century operas and oratorios..."

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA | SEPTEMBER 2019

“The art form could hardly have put a better face forward. As the sun beat down and thousands of attendees splayed across the meadow and the adjoining hillside with picnic baskets and blankets, the park filled with the kind of musical delights that don’t always arrive in such beguiling surroundings. They included countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen’s ravishing account of “Ombra mai fù” from Handel’s “Xerxes” — which all by itself would have been enough to persuade even a skeptical listener of opera’s splendid possibilities.”

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE | Continue reading

By Joshua Kosman

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE | Continue reading

By Joshua Kosman

“The art form could hardly have put a better face forward. As the sun beat down and thousands of attendees splayed across the meadow and the adjoining hillside with picnic baskets and blankets, the park filled with the kind of musical delights that don’t always arrive in such beguiling surroundings. They included countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen’s ravishing account of “Ombra mai fù” from Handel’s “Xerxes” — which all by itself would have been enough to persuade even a skeptical listener of opera’s splendid possibilities.”

“Without question, the recording, which is also available from various streaming services, shows Nussbaum Cohen as a complete artist with an impressive technique. Diction, phrasing, breath support, full rounded tone, and a flair for ornamentation — the veritable checklist of technical attributes essential to great Baroque singing — are there in spades. So is a total commitment to the swings between melancholy, despair, anguish, nobility, fury, pain, and love under duress at the core of the recital’s repertoire. One of the most impressive features of Nussbaum Cohen’s artistry is tonal consistency.”

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE

By Jason Victor Serinus

AMERICAN BACH SOLOISTS | JULY 2019

Handel’s Orlando Is Riveting at S.F. Opera

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA | JUNE 2019 

“The Act 1 trio “Consolati, o bella” was a masterpiece; the singers told a whole story of coaxing, sympathy, and jealousy, while singing beautiful (and difficult) overlapping runs... The staging demanded nuanced acting from its cast, all of whom delivered... By now, Bay Area audiences should be accustomed to reading the praises of countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum-Cohen. He sang Medoro with buttery tone and lovable earnestness. Especially gorgeous was his smoothly sung Act 2 aria of aching nostalgia (“Verdi allori”).”

OPERA NEWS

By Georgie Rowe

“There was much to enjoy in this revival. The opening's breakout performance was that of countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, who offered a Medoro comprised of equal parts strength and refinement. His Act II aria, “Verdi allori,” was one of the opera’s high points—eloquent, shapely, and meltingly beautiful.”

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

By Joshua Kosman

“...countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen as Medoro — his tone strong and gleaming, his phrasing endlessly eloquent.”

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER

By James Ambroff-Tahan

Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen looked and sounded like a natural for the part of Medoro while making his SFO debut. Nussbaum Cohen’s youthful attractiveness was paired with a velvety, effortless voice, which was as beguiling in arias as it was the complementary center of Angelica and Dorinda’s attention in their sublime trio at the end of Act 1.”

“The evening’s most revelatory performance came from the young countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen as Medoro... currently a second-year San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow, he displayed not only a mellifluous voice but also a remarkable musicality. He emphasized Medoro’s earnestness in such arias as “Vorrei poterti amar” or the sublime “Verdi allori”. Nussbaum Cohen seems already prepared for a great career that should include the title role of this very opera.”

“Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, an Adler Fellow in the company’s young artist program, spun out Medoro’s music with astonishing richness in his mainstage debut... Cohen stole the show. He unleashed a countertenor of purity and focus — sleek, with an intoxicating timbral gleam. His phrasing was elegant and expressive... A star most certainly is born.” 

PHILHARMONIA BAROQUE ORCHESTRA | APRIL 2019

“But just as in the score itself, this was an occasion on which David walked off with the crown.

 

That would be Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, the extravagantly gifted young countertenor whose every appearance only serves to add luster to an already remarkable level of accomplishment. At 25, an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera, he seemed poised to redefine what’s possible for singers of this distinctive voice type.

 

For one thing, Cohen’s singing boasts a combination of ethereal beauty and robust physicality that few countertenors can quite achieve. David, who appears in “Saul” in the double guise of angelic musician and mighty warrior, draws on both sides of this artistry... David’s aria “O Lord, whose mercies numberless” is a kind of invocation of the Orpheus myth, a tribute to the power of music to calm even the most unhinged spirits. Cohen’s rendition — produced with smooth, elegant tone and infused with just a hint of expressive urgency — was a distillation of David’s ingratiating power.

 

At the same time, Cohen’s performance was never less than heroic, as befits a king-in-waiting. The explosive power of “Impious wretch, of race accurst,” delivered in a hard-edged rhythmic flood, made you feel what it might be like to be on the opposing side of the battlefield from him.

 

Cohen’s blend of vocal sweetness and tonal heft is reminiscent of the early career of David Daniels, who as it happens was the David when Philharmonia last performed “Saul” in 1995... Yet there’s a vigor and approachability to Cohen’s artistry that are all his own...”

LOS ANGELES TIMES

By Mark Swed

“A spectacularly vital David, the countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, gave rising-star notice.” 

OPERA NEWS

By Simon Williams

"The humane glow emanating from this performance came mainly from the exceptional musicianship of all engaged in it... Countertenor’s Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen’s extraordinarily flexible singing as David, was as confident in the stratospheric heights as it was in the warm calmative depths, establishing David as the emotional center of the work; his crushing sorrow at the death of Jonathan was the culminating moment of the drama.

“As the virtuous and empathic David, countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen captivated from his first self-effacing air — a dignified and demure “O king, your favors with delight I take.” Cohen, a rising star who impresses a listener more on each encounter, partnered in sweet accord with his betrothed Michal... Cohen mustered righteous rage in a number near the end and gave even the simplest line of recitative meaning and a sense of the moment. A supple expressiveness lit up register changes, the highest and lowest notes, and precisely furled ornaments.

Never was Cohen’s gift for making the countertenor’s rarefied air deeply human more evident than it was in a murmurous plea to heal Saul’s “wounded soul.” Here was singing of a high order, not because of pyrotechnics — the aria is daringly understated — but in the sheer, heart-sure conviction of every word and liquid phrase he sang.”

BAY AREA REPORTER

By Phillip Campbell

"The PBO debut of countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen as David in "Saul" has created extraordinary buzz. He is breaking out on the national scene... but Bay Area audiences can claim an exciting early star-sighting. The minute he appears, that unmistakable quality is clear... The uncommon strength and soulful expressivity of his remarkable instrument... if anyone is destined to win new fans for countertenors, place your bets on the Brooklyn-born kid who won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2017."

“This was magnificent. Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen lived up to his advance billing. His countertenor voice is superbly rich in tonal variety, and his range is stupefying. Moreover, Cohen is an immensely gifted interpreter of the music he performs. With exquisite diction in Italian, Cohen brought immediacy and intensity to everything he sang at this New Year’s Eve concert. Perhaps the highlight of the whole affair was Cohen’s interpretation of “Che farò senza Euridice” from Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. This aria, of course, is a familiar chestnut; but Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen made it sound new and fresh...

 

Given the prominence of Handel arias in this concert, there was plenty of coloratura. Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen wasted no time in showing off his adroit coloratura in his very first aria, “Sperai vicino il’ lido” from Gluck’s Demofoonte...  From Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen unleashed plenty of vindictive coloratura in the aria “Empio, dirò, tu sei.” In addition to its coloratura passages, an aria from Handel’s Agrippina featured Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen holding a note for what seemed an eternity on the final syllable of the word “dolor”/”grief”. Equally impressive was Cohen’s agitated and spiteful aria “Vivi, tiranno, io t’ho scampato” from Handel’s Rodelinda, regina de’ Longobardi... What a splendid way to bring in the New Year!”

BERKELEY DAILY PLANET

By James Roy MacBean

A Baroque New Year's Eve at the Opera

AMERICAN BACH SOLOISTS | DECEMBER 31, 2018 

"It was Cohen who forged a scintillating connection with the audience... the audience gave this abundantly gifted and ingratiating young artist A Star is Born reception. He deserved every “Bravo!” and barrage of applause

The countertenor... set the agenda for this “Baroque New Year’s Eve at the Opera” early on, in an aria from Gluck’s opera Demofoonte. In a performance perfectly attuned to the passage from one year to the next, when minds turn simultaneously to time past and whatever might lie ahead, 
Cohen made each repetition of the opening stanza in “Sperai vicino il lido” (I hoped the shore was near) a poignant and probing exploration of the speaker’s emotional flow..His voice became a wail, at once reckless and musically disciplined, which only heightened the pain. Anyone who thought that countertenors lack expressive range was hereby and thoroughly disabused of that notion.

The concert was filled with such treats — a boxful of bittersweets. None were more exquisite and memorable than the three selections from Handel’s Rodelinda. With “Dove sei, amato bene?” (Where are you, beloved?) Cohen turned a lover’s need for his beloved into an existential plea. The Herbst fell silent from the heart-rending truth of it, rendered in one softly heaving musical swell after another. Three centuries fell away. Cohen’s Bertarido was right there, his pain alive for everyone to hear and witness."

PORTLAND BAROQUE ORCHESTRA | DECEMBER 2018

“Think of how rarely these days you experience yourself in a group, jointly reacting to a shared input... our lives are pretty much lived as individuals and not as part of a feeling whole, in contrast to most of our history as a species. On Friday night there was such an experience when the young countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen stepped up for his first recitative (3. Nun wird mein liebster Bräutigam) and a disbelieving hush descended on the still restless hall, stunned by a voice that was crystalline without being harsh on the edges, melodious perfection for the tender words he had to utter. The combination of musical accomplishment with his empathy for the role and his ability to communicate with the audience was astonishing in one so young. It didn’t hurt to see his etherial presence in the 31. Aria Schließe mein Herz dies selige Wunder be balanced by boyish charm during the soloists’ entrance to the stage...” 

OREGON ARTS WATCH | Fridericke Heuer

The Future is Now: Adler Fellows Concert

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA | DECEMBER 8, 2018 

“Variety and range were the defining virtues of the evening. The wonderfully supple and expressive countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen took on both Handel and Rossini with comparable assurance and aplomb."

"Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, a countertenor of remarkable agility and heroism... Cohen put his extraordinary vocal sonority – muscular, sleek and full of enchanting colors – to use in a dramatic aria from Handel’s “Admeto,” then returned after intermission for a pinpoint account of the showcase “Di tanti palpiti” from Rossini’s “Tancredi.”"

BAY AREA REPORTER

By Philip Campbell

“Everyone on the bill deserved cum laude recognition. First-year countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen (Brooklyn, NY) merited summa cum laude mention. His professional demeanor and stunning ability were immediately apparent when he first appeared in San Francisco, and he set the seal on his promise, singing florid and dramatically expressive arias from Handel's "Admeto" and Rossini's "Tancredi." Like so many of his classmates, he's already set for stardom.” 

ARS LYRICA HOUSTON | NOVEMBER 16 & 18, 2018

"Ottone, the opera’s only honest and sincere character, was also the one that came across most compellingly Friday, thanks to countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen. For all the flair he brought the role of Nirenus in Handel’s Julius Caesar in last season’s HGO production, Cohen wielded a new emotional heft as Ottone.

 

Cohen’s voice boasted a warmth that few countertenors share; combined with the fluency and poise of his singing, his voice let Ottone’s arias exude forthrightness and nobility. The emotional climax came halfway through the story–when Ottone, though no fault of his own, suffers rejection by everyone around him. Cohen made Ottone’s response, “Voi che udite il mio lamento,” a musical portrait of desolation, from pianissimo phrases that were pale as death to surges of vibrant, plaintive sound... 

 

Stage director Tara Faircloth emphasized comedy... But for Handel’s serious moments–as in Ottone’s big aria,–Faircloth quieted everything down, and the poignant results helped Handel’s extraordinary music tell its story." 

TEXAS CLASSICAL REVIEW | Steven Brown

HOUSTON PRESS

By D.L. Groover

“Ars Lyrica, Houston's preeminent early music ensemble, under the sparkling direction of Matthew Dirst, has staged an utterly magnificent production of George Frideric Handel's first international smash hit: his baroque opera seria Agrippina (1709)... While the entire cast is super, two voices stand out: John Holiday as Nero and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen as Otho... Cohen... has a melting caramel voice, handsome stage presence, and charm to spare. Among Handel's nest of vipers, Otho's the hero and Cohen sounds like it..." 

“A solo cello answers the vocal line, then voice and cello counterpoint continues into the second poem, “Time Slips Away.” Nussbaum Cohen’s attractive, gently pulsating countertenor intertwines beautifully with Tim Hugh’s rich, singing cello line... Nussbaum Cohen is subtle and expressive, with cushiony, admirably consistent tone that resonates comfortably with Fuchs’ lush orchestrations.”

OPERA NEWS

By Joshua Rosenblum

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OPERA NEWS | AUGUST 2018

L'incoronazione di Poppea

CINCINNATI OPERA | JUNE / JULY 2018

“The cast was ideal, with most of the singers making their Cincinnati Opera debuts…Countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen was an affecting Ottone, his soft-grained voice a good foil to Costanzo’s brighter timbre. Like his fellow cast members, Cohen projected Monteverdi’s long lines sensitively, and the scene in which he and Drusilla try to protect each other from Nerone’s wrath was moving.”

OPERA NEWS

By Joe Law

“Playing Poppea’s spurned lover Ottone, 24-year-old countertenor phenom Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen sang and moved with the assurance of a veteran performer. The character’s frustration and anger were palpable in Cohen’s purity of tone and dramatic expression.”

CINCINATTI BEAT

By Anne Arenstein

ARS LYRICA HOUSTON | FEBRUARY 19, 2018

"...The performance found a new gear altogether in the third act, thanks largely to rising young countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen as the 3rd Israelite... Cohen employed mournful vocal colors as his countertenor easily filled the hall with luscious tone. The anguish playing across his face as he sang drove the impending tragedy home to great expressive effect... Cohen joined Dirst and the orchestra to seize upon Handel's inspiration and elevate this scene beyond concert music-making, bringing "Esther" to vivid, dramatic life."

THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE | Eric Skelly

Photo courtesy of  Pin Lim / Houston Chronicle

"After hearing Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen's Nirenus in HGO's fall production of Handel's "Julius Caesar," more than one operagoer could be heard wishing the young countertenor had been cast in the title role. Sunday, they got their wish, as Cohen and soprano Mané Galoyan teamed up for Caesar's final duet with Cleopatra. Cohen's commanding stage presence, gorgeous tone and musical sensitivity - at one point decrescendoing down to a limpid pianissimo that Montserrat Caballé would envy - were all on display here, as earlier in his supernaturally exotic Oberon in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." In performances with HGO, the Studio, Ars Lyrica and elsewhere about town, Cohen is having an extraordinary year."

HGO Studio

Showcase

HOUSTON GRAND OPERA | MARCH 2018

Julius Caesar

HOUSTON GRAND OPERA | NOVEMBER 2017

 "HGO gives us three “countertenors:” international superstar Anthony Roth Costanzo (Caesar); David Daniels, one of opera's veterans, the best anywhere (Ptolemy); and newbie Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen (Nirenus)...Young Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, though, may be the one to watch. Recent recipient of all sorts of opera awards, this countertenor has a lovely velvet side to his upper sheen. Though not a large role, Nirenus the eunuch is the comic foil, and Cohen silkily surpasses expectations with nimble artistry, gorgeous voice, and musical chops."

HOUSTON PRESS

By D. L. Groover

"Because the opera originally called for three castrati, today it’s common to hear contraltos or mezzo-sopranos in the roles of Caesar, Ptolemy and Nirenus. HGO has an impressive trio of countertenors instead... Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, as Nirenus, is the sweet voice I can’t forget, pure and surprisingly hefty for its high range."

HOUSTONIA

By Sydney Boyd

METROPOLITAN OPERA | MARCH 19, 2017

"There were several good singers onstage Sunday afternoon at the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions Grand Finals Concert, a venerable tryout for future stars. (Renée Fleming, the event’s host, was a winner in 1988, on her third attempt.) But there was only one complete artist. At just 23, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, a baby-faced countertenor from Brooklyn, already possesses a remarkable gift for intimate communication in a vast hall, combined with a voice of velvety gentleness — surprisingly penetrating given the tenderness of its texture — and a taste for adventure."

THE NEW YORK TIMES | Continue reading

 By Zachary Woolfe

THE NEW YORK TIMES

By Zachary Woolfe

"...In a competition that hews toward the standards, Mr. Cohen chose a harrowing aria from Jonathan Dove’s 1998 opera “Flight,” based on the true story of an Iranian refugee stranded in a Paris airport for years. While most young performers in the National Council Auditions concentrate simply on nailing their high notes, Mr. Cohen — his diction superb, his acting alert without overplaying — provided an eloquent reflection on a current international crisis.

But he is no contemporary specialist. Twenty-first-century singers, like 21st-century instrumentalists and orchestras, are rightly expected to range widely as well as deeply. For his second selection (the nine finalists each picked two pieces to perform with the Met orchestra, conducted by Nicola Luisotti), Mr. Cohen balanced the aria from “Flight” with “Dove sei,” an aching lament from Handel’s “Rodelinda” (1725). Expressive yet dignified, his phrasing confident and his ornamentation stylishly discreet, he brought tears to my eyes.

Mr. Cohen was deservedly named one of the competition’s six winners, but
he stood clearly apart from the pack... There was only one singer who could plausibly stand with the voluptuous-voiced Jamie Barton, the commanding Amber Wagner and the impassioned Michael Fabiano — the distinguished previous winners who performed while the judges deliberated. Mr. Cohen is ready."

OPERAWIRE

By James Monroe Stevko

"Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, the victorious countertenor and perhaps the concert’s showstopper, is a natural actor who seems to have done his dramatic homework. In both of his performances, “Pompe vane di morte…Dove sie amato bene?” of Handel’s “Rodelinda” and “Dawn, still darkness” from “Flight” by Jonathan Dove, Cohen very clearly envisioned the opera in his head and transported the entire audience with him, so much so that the audience could barely hold back its enthusiastic applause after his final notes."

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