The critically acclaimed and prize winning international opera tenor, Christopher Bengochea, is quickly being sought after by opera houses, concert venues, and audiences alike. Mr. Bengochea has been heralded as having “power, sure intonation, and fine diction that come in a package tied with a ribbon of ‘natural sound.’ tenor, Christopher Bengochea has delighted audiences with his unique combination of vocal and dramatic interpretations in performances ranging from oratorio to opera. It is a unique, broadly-projected “wide” sound that can serve lyrical or heroic music equally well.”
A most recent discovery into Christopher’s repertoire, found Mozart’s, Idomeneo, to a enormous success. The vocally and dramatically demanding title role, King Idomeneo, re di Creta, was met with vigor and ultimate brilliance by this tenor. Jason Victor Serinus of Opera News exclaimed, “Tenor Christopher Bengochea’s dark-hued (voice)..conquered virtually every vocal hurdle Mozart set out for Idomeneo…Bengoche’s performance was exceptional. How many Puccini tenors can also negotiate the runs of “Fuor del mar” with something approaching ease? The cheers that accompanied his exultant Act III aria, “Torna la pace,” were more than justified.” Other important engagements that occurred included Vasco da Gama in Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine for Opera Orchestra of New York, Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème.
The years 2005-2008, Mr. Bengochea had been a resident artist of Opera San José where he has been heard in a variety of roles from Reverend Samuel Parris in The Crucible to King Gustavus in Un ballo in maschera. Richard Scheinin of The Mercury News described “to hear Bengochea expand into big, lusty high notes — Verdi specials — were thrilling…. Bengochea could be the tenor the company has been waiting for.” During his residency at Opera San Jose he performed Rodolfo in La bohème, the title role in Roméo et Juliette, Alfredo in La traviata, Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, the title role of Werther, the Duke in Rigoletto, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte.
Bengochea’s operatic repertoire embraces a wide range of roles, including Ruggero in La Rondine, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana, Erik in Alva Henderson’s, Nosferatu, and Cavarodossi in Tosca. Companies with which he has performed include: Opera San Jose, Atlanta Opera, Opera Idaho, Opera Canada, da Corneto Opera, Center City Opera, Opera Company Brooklyn, Jarvis Conservatory, Intermountain Opera, Townsend Opera, Rimrock Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Pacific Repertory Opera, Livermore Valley Opera, West Bay Opera, Teatro Felice, Caramoor Opera, and the Tigulio Festival Opera, Stockton Opera Association, Opera Santa Barbara.
At home on both the operatic and concert stages, he was heard as the tenor soloist in Verdi’s messa da Requiem for the Modesto Symphony and the Symphony Silicon Valley. Other oratorio engagements include: Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, and Tallis’s The Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet and Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the Evangelist in Bach’s Weihnachts Oratorium with the New York City Chorale Society, the world premier of Alva Henderson’s “From Greater Light,” performed under world renowned Carl St. Claire and the Orange County Symphony Orchestra.
This Basque American tenor began his musical career as a pianist then moved into the study of opera during his time at Montana State University and later the University of Montana. After becoming an award winner at the Northwest Regional Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and winning third prize at the Internationale Societa Concertistica Vocal Competition in Santa Margherita-Ligure, Italy, he decided to pursue singing entirely. It was in Italy where Bengochea had the opportunity to study and work with renowned tenor, Gianni Raimondi who described Bengochea as “having a voice most brilliant and romantic: that will become very important in the future of opera”.