Brazilian countertenor José Lemos is noted worldwide for his unique artistry in opera and concert. Of a performance as Giulio Cesare with Boston Baroque, the Boston Globe said, “…Lemos sang with a big, colorful, sexy tone and almost recklessly brilliant coloratura.” Of a concert performance of Stefano Landi’s Il Sant’Alessio at the Barbican Hall in London with the renowned Les Arts Florissants conducted by William Christie, The London Times says, “José Lemos, as Alessio’s father’s page, chewed up the stage with 17th-century ‘Comedy’.” As well, the Seattle Times exclaimed, “José Lemos is stellar as the idealistic Ottone”, noting his performance with the Seattle Early Music Guild’s production of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea conducted by Stephen Stubbs.
Mr. Lemos made his U.S. opera debut at The Tanglewood Music Festival in Robert Zuidam’s Rage D’Amours, and returned for their 2004 production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Oberon. He made his European debut at the Zürich Opernhaus in 2005 as Nireno in Giulio Cesare under the baton of Marc Minkowski and alongside Cecilia Bartoli‘s Cleopatra. That was followed by a performance at the prestigious Aldeburgh Festival in a production of Purcell’s Fairy Queen under the baton of Harry Bicket, receiving raving reviews by the London Times. Mr. Lemos is the First Prize winner and the Audience Prize winner of the 2003 International Baroque Singing Competition of Chimay, Belgium. This coming season features José Lemos debut with the Teatro Real in Madrid as Nurtice in their production of L‘Incoronazione di Poppea directed by the acclaimed William Christie. It will also see him perform with Magnificat Baroque and Brandywine Baroque, singing rare Caccini and Scarlatti works and his return to Buenos Aires to sing the role of Arsamene in Handel‘s Xerxes.
Mr. Lemos returned to the Zürich Opernhaus to sing the role of Narciso in Handel’s Agrippina conducted by Marc Minkowski, this production was also performed at the prestigious Royal Festival Hall in London where his performance was received with acclaim. In early June 2009 José Lemos also made his Carnegie Hall Debut in New York City as the Alto Soloist on Mozart’s Coronation Mass.
Some highlights of previous seasons include his debut as Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea with the Seattle Early Music Guild directed by Stephen Stubbs, the role of Tolomeo in Handel’s Giulio Cesare conducted by Nicholas McGegan at the Göttingen Handel Festival in Germany, Silène in the latest production of Lully’s Psyche with the Boston Early Music Festival conducted by Stephen Stubbs and Paul O’Dette, just released on the German label CPO.
He also performed the role of Martio in Stefano Landi’s Il Sant’Alessio with William Christie’s Les Arts Florissants in places such as the Barbican Hall in London, Rose Theater – Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, Opera National de Lorraine, Theatre de Caen, Grand Theatre de la Ville de Luxembourg and Theatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, France. Il Sant’Alessio has been released on DVD by EMI/Virgin Classics.
Mr. Lemos is the main guest artist with the renowned Baltimore Consort, with whom he tours the United States in concert and educational outreach. A versatile performer, he charms audiences in recitals with his exuberant renditions of native Brazilian songs, and delves deeply into the medieval and renaissance repertory in his performances with Quartetto Brio. Both the Baltimore Consort and Quartetto Brio have recorded on the Dorian Label; Brio has released Romance, featuring the exotic music of the Sephardic Jews. And in early 2009 the Baltimore Consort released Adio Espana, featuring the beautiful music of Spain’s Age of Discovery. José Lemos holds a Masters Degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and a Bachelors Degree from the College of Charleston in South Carolina.