Christian Van Horn: Opera and singing are so much bigger than any one singer and it’s important to remember that every time we step out on that stage.

Mr. Van Horn is the 2018 Winner of the Richard Tucker Award and a 2003 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He received his Master’s degree in music from Yale University and is a graduate of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Mr. Van Horn has appeared in many of the great opera houses of the world including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Rome Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, and Netherlands Opera, and at the Salzburg and Munich festivals. His operatic roles include the title roles in Mefistofele and Le nozze di Figaro, Mephistopheles in Faust, Claggart in Billy Budd, the Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Escamillo in Carmen, Enrico in Anna Bolena, Colline in La bohème, Alidoro in La Cenerentola, Timur in Turandot, Banquo in Macbeth, Narbal in Les Troyens, Zoroastro in Orlando, Oroveso in Norma, Zaccaria in Nabucco, Publio in La Clemenza di Tito, Gessler in Guillaume Tell, and Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette. He also appeared in the world premieres of Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of the Soul at the Santa Fe Opera and Marco Tutino’s Two Women at the San Francisco Opera, and in the American premiere of Thomas Adés’ The Exterminating Angel at the Metropolitan Opera. In concert, Mr. Van Horn recently made his debut at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as Creon in Oedipus Rex. He has also appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra (in Cleveland and at Carnegie Hall), New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival Easter Festival, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and at the Mostly Mozart Festival, Bard Music Festival, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Mr. Van Horn recorded the title role of Le Nozze di Figaro for SONY Classical. He also appeared in the Metropolitan Opera’s HD broadcasts of Falstaff and The Exterminating Angel

Dear Christian, thank you very much for accepting our invitation! First of all, how are you? How did you spend these hard times?

Thank you so much for having me in your magazine. I have a very warm place in my heart for the people who make such great efforts to support this incredible art form. I am just fine. The year was difficult for me just like everyone in the arts.  I stopped working March 13 2020 and didn’t work again until January 2021.  VERY fortunately I have had a good amount of work since.  

Let’s get to know you a little bit. When do you find out that opera is your path? Do you remember your debut on stage…How would you describe your first experience on stage?

I knew that I could sing (or at least had a voice) from a pretty young age.  I started singing in the church youth choir when I was 11 or 12 and then joined the choruses in school as well.  There were never many boys in those groups so I was often a section leader or given the little solo bits.  It was something I was good at and encouraged in from the start.  I sang in the school musicals in high school and seemed to know from there that I wanted to stay in this as long as I could.  Moving onto college I realized through some proper voice lessons that I could have a lot to offer.  Opera and classical music starts then.  I got a tiny taste by singing Benoit and Alcindoro in a university      production of La Boheme. The bug was bit and I knew I needed to do this for a living.  My          professional debut was singing Le Duc in Romeo and Juliette with the Florida Grand Opera.  Small role but impactful if done well.  I have never looked back since.  

Read the entire interview here, in the 3th/2021 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.


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